Saturday, June 26, 2010

Living it up at the FERGUSON … 1957


In 1957 I was three years out of college, had worked a variety of jobs and was finally in the “Big Apple”. It had been my dream for years to work in NY City and here I was !

The first thing that I needed was a place to stay however. I had very little in the way of savings and no clear idea as to what job was in the offing. When I heard of the Ferguson Hotel for Girls (billed as a “safe haven for young ladies new to New York”) I was thrilled. It was in a 6-story brownstone and not only was the location great (the upper East side in the 80’s and just minutes from Bloomingdales) but it offered both breakfast and dinner as part of the very affordable weekly charge.

My enthusiasm was dampened a bit when I saw the actual rooms.
There were three of us sharing a small bedroom on the fourth floor; but, it was clean and the other girls were pleasant. The rules were stringent and included… no drinking, no smoking or cooking in our rooms & definitely NO MALES ABOVE THE FIRST FLOOR !

Little did I know that my roomies were out-of-work starlets and they thought nothing of breaking every one of these rules if it could help pay the rent ! I’m not sure how they got everything past the “house warden” but finding a strange male in MY BED was a shock to say the least. Actually it was the last straw and I asked to be transferred to the first single room that came available.

That room and getting hired to work at WABC Radio actually became a reality on the same day. I took that as a good luck sign then: but, looking back at it from the distance of 50 + years I wonder how things would have been if I’d stayed with the starlets. I’ll bet my blogging memories would be a bit spicier!

7 Comments:

Blogger Diana said...

Oh Ginnie, I think you do just fine with the memories that you post! I love it. Your story reminds me of one of those old movies, when everyone was polite and dressed nice!
Love Di ♥

6:47 PM  
Blogger kenju said...

Oh, I bet they would have!! I would have liked that place (great exterior) but the no smoking rule would have been my downfall.

7:45 PM  
Blogger Syd said...

Neat story. I really like the old brownstones. I remember listening to WABC when I was a kid. I would tune in at night to far away radio stations to get interesting music to listen to when I was supposed to be sleeping.

5:01 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I once found a girl in my soup, but I have never found a man in my bed. Thank goodness.

5:48 AM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Great story, Ginnie. It may seem humorous looking back, but probably was upsetting at the time. Thanks for sharing :-)

6:45 PM  
Blogger KGMom said...

Ginnie--this post is a treat--and the 1957 experience still happens (to some extent) now. Our daughter lived in Manhattan after graduating from college. While her fiance was in London, she signed on to stay at the rooming house (can't remember who ran it, but something like the YWCA). She didn't have the errant roommates, but the rules did bother her. She left after 2 weeks! Found a studio apartment in Harlem--brave girl!

5:50 PM  
Blogger Cazzie!!! said...

Tee hee, what a story Ginnie! Imagine that.. well, maybe they have umpteen kids :)
I love coming here to read your life stories, and the thing is, our life journey's have not stopped... lots more to discover yet :)

12:34 PM  

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