HOME – EL CAJON
1965 - 1970
Our "vacation" is over, we will have to learn how to live
without a maid.
It was great while it lasted. First
thing on the agenda was to purchase a car.
One needs a car in California to get things done.
The Navy has to be called to get our household goods back, and the
telephone and the electric have to be connected.
It felt real good to be back, but many things have changed since we’ve
been away. All the wives
started to work again, Wilma at some electric factory, Cleo at the post office,
and Annie went to work for the county. No
more morning coffee groups.
The neighborhood seems so quiet now.
We bought a car, a Pontiac, a good looking car but we soon found out that it was a lemon. The house was in pretty good shape. Lots of annoying little things like doorknobs and keys missing. The plants were mostly gone. No more roses, the trellis in the back yard was about to fall down. The neighbors told us about the tenants. The first two and the last were okay, but the third one was something else. There was a bunch of them, coming and going all the time. They did leave after two months with rent overdue and the house a mess. We did know that because the fourth tenant would clean up for half the rent. Time takes care of everything and we could finally settle down again.
Our new bamboo furniture from Subic arrive and it looked great in the living room. The new coffee table of monkey pod was gorgeous. Everyone commented on it. We had to buy a new rug. Before we left, we had the rug cleaned and ready for storage, but when we unrolled it, it wouldn’t stay flat any more. We decided to get wall to wall in the living room and hallway. What a difference that made.
In the meantime, Van had reported to work and was assigned to the USS Dixie AD-14 stationed at the 32nd Street Naval Station. He was there for awhile and then they started to have him work in Long Beach near Los Angeles. He would drive up every Monday morning and drive home on Friday nights. It became rather hectic after awhile because he was having trouble with the car every week. That lasted a couple of months, then he was back to San Diego.
Bob was having a problem finding a job. He tried everywhere, but nothing, not even in the fast food places. Van decided that he would like to join the reserve police force here in El Cajon. It turned out that one of the reserves was also the Navy Recruiter. Bob said that the Navy wouldn’t take him because of his eyes. Van talked to the recruiter and the recruiter came and talked to Bob and informed him that his eyes would not be a problem. He only had to take a test to see if he would qualify. So Bob and Van went to Los Angeles and Bob took the test. When the result came back, his topped the list of all the other people who took the test. Within a week, he and his Dad went back to Los Angeles and his Dad swore him into the Navy.
Soon after the swearing in, Bob was informed to report to the Naval Training Station for his boot training. After 13 weeks of instructions, it was time for graduation held on the parade grounds at the Naval Training Station. It was a real inspiring event. Made you feel wonderful that you were part of this great country. Bob said that the only trouble he had with his training was that he couldn’t float in the swimming pool. He had test after test and still sunk to the bottom, but they graduated him anyway. After graduation, Bob told me that he felt so proud of himself. He had feared he would never be able to do all that was asked of him. He was very happy to be a Navy man.
Carl and Dorrie were back to school. Carl to 6th grade and Dorrie, a freshman at El Cajon Valley High School. I became a room mother for Carl and the teacher and principal kept me busy all year. I had worked for the school before we left for the Philippines, so they knew that I was always willing to help.
The Dixie was a repair ship and there wasn’t any function with the other wives which was good. I had my share of partying at Subic to last me a long while. The one thing I missed about Subic was the ironing. The weather would be so hot here in the summer, that I would get up about six in the morning to do my ironing. Dorrie’s dresses and Van’s uniforms had to be done every week. Once you got into the habit, it was okay.