Leaving Boeing, Arriving Rockwell & GE… Part I.
I provide the following two photos to show a time and even though I was in a nerd’s world- I really never had the style of a nerd.
The first, Pentagon ID card given to me sometime after my clearances came in– around December 1981. I do not think this is my original card– because the dress I have on was a heavy blend of linen or cotton. It had a full skirt which I wore with a brown belt and brown pumps. I considered this dress too light for winter wear and I do not think I had it on the December my clearances first came in. Possible I was notified sooner? Yes, and that would explain the dress. For some reason I always thought it was December but maybe I got them sooner.
I met Darius, I believe the summer of 1985 at the Dairy Queen in Odenton. He made me laugh right away. This photo was taken at the Tidal Basin in Washington.
He also had one– but I can no longer find it. Darius, Trish Sanchez [GE group Secretary], her husband Al and I had dinner at the Japanese Steak House in Rosalyn, VA. Not making up the name Darius Odum.
Does it look like I am a push over waiting to be told what I should wear or how to behave? I am confident enough to wear makeup and the big hair of the time– yet everyday sit and listen to the engineers I worked with and never ask for attention and simply listen to these older men discuss the issues of the day. If they asked me a question or if I had one I would ask or answer, but mostly I just listened– and I never minded.
There was a older black civilian that worked in the office assigned to my group when we went to the Pentagon. His name was Eugene Washington [think I made a mistake with my cadet’s name based on this– in this time frame. My cadet was Eugene Jones.]
I called him Gene.
I often felt he wanted to give me advice I had not asked for and I told him politely I was he wrong person. On one occasion he told me if I straightened my hair [at the time I thought he meant pressed my hair] it would be longer. I did not want my hair longer. I wanted my hair shoulder length and full. It worked well with suits and I wore a lot of suits.
I felt Gene was from washington [starting– inner city], had never lived anywhere but washington and was worried what a white woman would say if she saw me in the bathroom with my portable butane hair curler. I use this reference because Joann martin in 1992 or so said this to me when we were at Tyson’s Corner and I used one in the bathroom at a hotel where we were attending some sort of function.
I said to Joanne then- that I was curling my hair because the humidity had robbed it of its curls?
Joann was from inner city baltimore. gene– I am really not sure- -but based on his dialect I would say never lived outside of washington–and only socialized in the black world.
Here are photos of my friends in Tucson– Kim and bev.
Here is a photo of my 4th grade class in England [a country by the way, made up of mostly white people or it was back then anyway]:
All of my classes have looked like the one shown above. My family? Gene [Pentagon’s] and Joann would call my mother’s hair- good hair. Most of my family has good hair. I have bad hair. I never minded. So did mrs. Hopson.
This post? Showing photos of a time. Understand. I am not the idiot nerd. I am smart, have a career, have manners, love learning and very young. I look more sophisticated than I am. I also had my own style and did not make apologies. I looked like a professional but maybe it was more lawyer than systems analyst for a major defense contractor. I was treated well in stores from Georgetown, to Tysons Corner by clerks from all walks of life. I looked like I spent money on my style.
Need advice from Gene or Joanne? Joe [Marshall], Bruce [Parquette], Larry [Stevens] was I ever rude at lunch? Did I ever need too much attention? Yes, Bruce you did tell me you did not want me to be so rude to Gene. I also told you I did not like unsolicited advice especially when I was well mannered– and I did not consider it Gene’s place to tell me to press my hair.
Joann- I was not worried about the white woman in the bathroom- I was irritated by an old black man that I had not asked.
Most people [black, white, old, young] in my life have told me I have good taste or my mother had good taste. My father on occasion would ask if I felt some change hit me in my back with one or two of my choices. Not often. This meant he did not like something. Mostly he liked my clothes. I liked my father’s way of telling me things.