Tuesday, February 13, 2018

ENOUGH ALREADY ...


The last two blog entries have been about my first jobs and my much anticipated move to NY City in 1957. I am not about to follow those with the “story of my life” (as exciting as it's been for me) since my long time readers pretty much know it already and the rest of you can simply check out the “Archives” if you are interested.

I do want to say HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY to each and every one of you and to thank you for all the good reading and the feedback that you have provided for me over the years. I also want to share that tomorrow I enter into a NEW LIFE PHASE !!  

I was born on February 15th, 1933 and that will make me 85 and holding. I don't take this lightly. Many of my friends have not made it to this age and, although I can thank my mother for good genes, I know that it is up to me to be diligent and to do the very best that I can to stay healthy from now on.

I gave up alcohol 29 years ago, never smoked and try to eat right and to keep active. The one thing that I hope to NEVER GIVE UP however is this blog. I think it's pretty clear by now that I love this way of expressing myself and it helps to keep my mind active. So, stay tuned and keep those comments coming !


Thursday, February 08, 2018

1957 ... Living it up at the Ferguson, NY City


As you read in my last entry it had been my dream for years to work in NY City and, finally, here I was !  However, the first thing that I needed was a place to stay. I had very little in the way of savings and no clear idea as to what jobs were 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) 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 60 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!

 

Saturday, February 03, 2018

Was I ever this young?

 
The year was 1956. I was 23 and just two years out of BU with a Bachelors in Journalism. I had worked for a short while in an Advertising Agency and a year as a promotional writer for WWNY Radio in Watertown, NY, but I was getting itchy feet and decided to head to California.

Coming from the East Coast was a huge plus back then and I’m sure it played a large part in my getting an interview at KEY-T television station in Santa Barbara and then actually landing the job. The picture above accompanied the press release which read:

Colin M. Selph, President & General Manager of KEY-T has appointed Virginia Lee as Advertising & Promotion Manager of the station. Miss Lee, formerly with Shattuck, Clifford & McMillen Advertising in Boston and WWNY in Watertown, NY will head up KEY-T’s trade press advertising and publicity, sales promotion and agency contacts. 

When I read that in the paper I realized I was in way over my head, but with the hubris of youth I felt I could fake it.  Actually those were the very early days of TV and the station was just getting off the ground so in a way we were all undergoing a learning experience.

In the long run it didn't make much difference since Mr. Selph got an "offer he couldn't refuse" and he sold the station within the first year that I was there.  The new owners brought all their own people so that left a bunch of us without jobs ... but my time spent there was definitely not wasted.

That short stint at KEY-T really beefed up my resume and helped to pave the way for my next BIG stop ... New York City !