Wednesday, August 31, 2011

#12 and beyond ...

My pursuit of a career in journalism was forever changed by becoming an R.N. Writing nurses' notes is a form of descriptive journalism, but doing this blog takes more creativity than I had imagined. I keep trying to find the time and age appropriate photographs to add to the blog appeal. In the summer of 1965, before graduation in September, I represented Delaware at the American Student Nurses Convention in San Francisco and the International Congress of Nursing in Frankfort a/M Germany. I met Gisela Beer and visited her family home in Cologne. I also travelled with an Australian nurse, Alverna Ballard, from Perth. With a co-loan from my father, I purchased my first car in Wolfsburg on a special deal: "buy it there and pay no import tax." Car payments were $52/month. My first job as a new R.N. was in the Labor and Delivery department. #12 residence was an apartment on Bancroft Parkway, just a few blocks North of the Brandywine River, within walking distance from the Delaware Hospital.
After graduation, Brenda Payne, R.N. and Robin Haight, R.N. headed west in that green VW bug "Gruenschen". She had a sunroof, but we covered that with a tarp and filled it with camping gear. We left in 10 inches of snow, aimed towards the South, camped the first night on top of picnic tables in Cumberland Gap, MD. As we headed westward, Brenda voiced amazement at seeing the Smokey mountains in Georgia - there aren't any mountains in Delaware or Eastern Maryland. Knowing we were going towards the Sierras and the Rocky Mountains, I'd always giggle and reply: "You ain't seen nuttin' yet, Brenda." We stopped in Atlanta at the home of one of my parents friends - George and Betty Somerville. They took us to see the sights - Stone Mountain - the Famous men of the South carved as their version of Mount Rushmore. Their oldest daughter, Georgia, my age, was living in Mexico. They encouraged us to travel to see her and their youngest daughter, Liz, age 9, taught us the necessary Spanish to survive a visit to Mexico. How to order milk with ice [rather than drink warm milk] Please, Thank You, Right, Left and straight ahead and how to find or ask for the ladies room.
On our way towards Texas and eventually Mexico, we found ourselves in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. We could have camped on the NE side of Lake Pontchartrain and taken the hiway bridge each day into the city. Gas costs and travel time convinced us to look for another place to stay.
To be continued ...

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