N is for Norm: My career-building dad. Fourteenth of 26 posts in the April 2021 Blogging From #AtoZChallenge. Theme: “Endwell: My Early Teen Years”— adding my story to the family history mix. Please join me on the journey.
From 1963-65, while I was engaged in early teen activities in Endwell, N.Y., my forty-something dad Norm was busy career building at General Electric in nearby Westover, N.Y.
Dad’s job was a short trip from our house, on the way to Johnson City — and he bought a little Fiat 500 for his commute to the plant so my mom could have the big car to shop, shuttle us kids around, drive to grad school in Ithaca and eventually to her own job at a parochial school.
Dad’s General Electric career
In general, my family members did their own thing by day — then we met up around the family dinner table at night to report on our activities.
That’s where we got used to hearing about Dad’s job at GE — along with his primary task, Quality Control (known as “QC” at our house) — as he focused on climbing the corporate ladder.
But except for our dinnertime chats and our family’s annual restaurant trip to celebrate Dad’s raise, his work life seemed remote from my day-to-day early teen concerns.
Dad’s family life
The clip at left is from 1963 when I was 13. About halfway down, it lists my parents as “advisors” to the Hooper School PTA — and the last line says Dad served as Scout Liaison.
My younger brothers were Boy Scout age then — and I was still in Girl Scouts in 1963.
An earlier clip from 1961 says Dad was program chair for a panel on “Your Child’s Future: Must Everyone Go to College?” — a question Dad would answer with a resounding “yes,” as he and Mom wanted that for all of us kids.
On weekends, Dad focused on household tasks and family time.
And on June 10, 1961, about four years after we moved to Endwell, N.Y., Dad paid $850 for our lot on Page Lake — where we spent most Saturdays in the summer during my early teens.
I’ve written about feeling trapped there as my teens progressed because I missed my friends and busy life back home.
Yet I now feel fortunate to have had that “away” time at camp in my early teens, where I learned to appreciate nature and solitude — which I’m sure is what Dad had in mind when he purchased the land all those years ago.
Up next, O is for Orange juice can curlers and On-the-roof suntans. Please leave a comment, then join me as Endwell: My Early Teen Years unfolds one letter at a time!
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