IN THE FALL OF 1975 a few months before I was fired from Florsheim, my parents moved my sister and me out of their home.
Moving day dawned bright and sunny. What beautiful day. How amazing, I thought, how all the bad things in my life happened on the most beautiful sunny days. My mother had died on a gloriously sunny Saturday morning. And now this was happening.
At that time, I saw the move as just another act of betrayal. But in retrospect, I see my father was being unusually kind. He had purchased an apartment building on Eleventh Avenue in Maywood, and had set the two of us up in one of the apartments. Not rent free, of course, but cheap.
The apartment, a small one-bedroom unit, without air-conditioning, was on the second floor. The living room was the largest room in the apartment.
My father, being a handy-man of some repute because of his years spent working as a janitor to help make ends meet when we first arrived in Chicago, split the large living room in half. One half he kept as our living room and the other half he designated as a second bedroom.
I took the original bedroom and my sister took the one daddy had made. It was the first time either of us had lived on our own. It was a trying time for both of us.
I sat in my room totally convinced that when Mr. Bowers returned from England, and found that Dale had fired me, he’d rush to my rescue. All I had to do was hold on. Mr. Bowers would tell Dale, that he was wrong in firing me. I’d have my job back in no time. I held onto that idea for three months while existing on unemployment compensation.
One day I got up the courage to call my office and the new secretary answered the phone. I asked her when Mr. Bowers was expected back in town. She surprised me by saying that Mr. Bowers had been back in Chicago for weeks.
With my hopes smashed, I got myself together and went out searching for a new job.
NOTE: Did you notice that Eleventh Avenue in Maywood was in bold and italicized letters? The reason being, I recently moved back to Eleventh Avenue in Maywood. I live one block from this building that my father used to own. I pass it every night on my way home. It is my way of reminding myself what I went through back then and NOW. Later, in the book, you’ll under the significance of the move back.