So we missed World Cat Day yesterday - the cats were all either crazy or sleepy (after the vet visits and shots), so I didn't get any real pics. Today I am posting an excerpt from the book my dad wrote about our family, called Some Ancestors of Amy Beth and Stephen Gregory Hitchcock (Stephen is my cousin's son). Today would have been my parents 41st anniversary - unfortunatly my mom passed away before they even made 25. He completed the first book, and was working on the second when he passed away. There are only 7 copies of the first one - for me, my uncle and my cousins, and one that he kept (which is now mine also). So since it was their anniversary, I decided to post the part he wrote about their meeing, engagement and wedding. Conveniently my dad was a nerd, so he included a copy of the book on cd with every printed copy - that made it much easier for me to post!
But first a quick vet update. It went well - Kirzon got his booster shots and is off any meds for now, and the kittens got their final kitten shots. Stella weighs 5 3/4 lbs and Gus weighs a whopping 7 lbs! So they are ready to be neutered and spayed - that will happen on August 27. Seriously - 7 pounds at 4 months old - just imagine how big he will be!!
Ok, so now, here is an excerpt from my dad's book.
I first met Ruth while I was still living out in Seattle, WA. I was working for the Motorola Distributor of Television receivers for the Seattle area and we went to Chicago for Motorola’s annual convention. The regional technical manager for the Seattle area was guiding us around and ended up seating us at the same table with Ruth. I later found out that the technical Rep., Dean Snyder, and Ruth were dating at the time.
A couple of years earlier, in 1965, while working for my dad as a Television repairman, I had been advised there was an opening at the Seattle distributor for Motorola as a technical representative with a territory covering most of Washington State. My brother dared me to apply for the job and I took the dare. Before the job interview I decided it would be best to “Cram” and did so by studying a technical article in one of the trade magazines. I nearly memorized the article, which was about a new Color Television receiver Motorola was just introducing. The article was written by Don Lowry and concerned the new TS914 Motorola Television chassis. Motorola had greatly simplified existing designs and therefore was able to drastically reduce the cost of producing a color Television receiver.
A couple of weeks later I was interviewed by Karl Finzer, Zone manager for Motorola and as luck would have it the only technical questions he posed were concerning this new chassis. I got the job as service manager for the distributor and stayed there for three years.
In 1968, I heard of a job opening with Motorola as a West Coast technical trainer and I applied for the job. I was asked to fly to Chicago for an interview with the Director of Service (Ed Gaiden) and was offered the job starting July 1. Suddenly a snag developed. The Motorola sales department did not feel it was appropriate to hire personnel away from their distributors and the job offer was withdrawn.
I went to the president of the distributorship and asked him what his feelings were. He said that if I felt it would be a job improvement he would be happy to support me. Shortly thereafter he talked with “Con” Hauser, the sales representative from Motorola and, as he had promised, supported me fully. Within a week I was again offered a job with Motorola. However, because there had been a delay, the opening for the West Coast had already been filled and I would have to work out of the Chicago headquarters until another opening “out west” became available. I agreed to that and on July 1, started driving to Chicago with a Station Wagon filled with all my belongings. I was officially hired on July 8, 1968. My department manager would be Ed Gaiden, who later became Vice president of Service, and his secretary was Ruth Ladelfa.
Ruth was a very nice person to work with. Always willing to help (and I really needed help). However, it turns out she really didn’t like me very well. First, because I was a friend of who was now here former boyfriend, Dean Snyder, and secondly because I had asked another girl from the office (who she did not approve of) out to dinner.
My first job with Motorola was in the Customer Relations department of Consumer Products. George Datillo was the department supervisor and Earl Jarrett was the person who showed me the ropes, not only within Motorola, but also about the Chicago area. On Halloween day of 1968, while Earl and I were discussing a customer problem with Ruth, her best friend, Barbara Heale came over and asked us if we were going to Ruth’s Halloween party that night. Ruth was totally flustered and denied she was having a party. Earl and I immediately knew Barbara was only joking but decided to play along and told her we were going to be there. Ruth persisted that she was not having a party and thought the issue was closed.
That evening Earl and I went to Ruth’s apartment, as “Trick or Treaters”. We brought with us a bottle of Scotch and a bottle of “Cream Soda”. I knew Ruth liked Cream Soda, but did not know if she liked Scotch. We rang the bell and no one answered, but Ruth’s Chihuahua dog, Misty, started barking like crazy. We kept ringing the bell and the dog kept barking. After about five minutes, Ruth finally gave in and opened the door. She was in her bathrobe and was watching television. She reluctantly let us come in. The dog was extremely protective and would not allow me to move from my chair. We chatted for a while but did not stay very long, for which I am sure she was thankful. Barbara Heale was always credited for setting up my first date with Ruth, although at the time I doubt if Ruth really appreciated the fact.
On several occasions after that I asked Ruth to go out and each time, she politely declined. Finally, she slipped one day and said she wanted to look at a Town House a few miles away. I had been driving past these town houses every day and volunteered to drive her out there. She either could not think of an excuse fast enough or decided it might be OK, either way we ended up going out to the Town houses and then on to a very nice spot for dinner. That finally broke the ice and we started going out regularly from then on.
It was around the first of June 1969 when I finally developed enough courage to ask Ruth to marry me. We were planning on going to dinner at “Binos” restaurant, a small place about two blocks from work. As we pulled into the parking lot, I blurted out the question. She did not immediately say yes but instead said, “well,
you’re not as bad as I thought you were”. We talked in the car for a while and I kept up the pursuit. Finally she broke down and said “yes”.
By this time, the excitement had driven away all thought of dinner, and since I had not already bought her a ring, I asked her if she would like to go find one. We went to a small Jeweler in Franklin Park and she found one she really liked…and a few days later, it was totally official. That night, we went back to my apartment where we finally had a dinner consisting of a bowl of Campbell’s Tomato Soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. We discussed a wedding date and decided that the following December would be good. We both agreed we wanted a very small wedding.
It was only then that I finally met Ruth’s mother. She had been in the Hospital for a digestive problem and
we decided we had better visit her and give her the news. Ruth’s dad had moved out of their home a couple of years earlier and was living in a retired soldier’s home in Quincy, Illinois. They were never officially divorced, but were completely separated by this time. We visited the hospital and Gert did not seem to be terribly surprised. She immediately accepted me, and we were always friendly.
It was about two weeks later Ruth spotted an ad for a small house in Franklin Park, just eight blocks away from work. We went over the see it and Ruth really liked it. The price was right for our financial situation (I was broke) and so we discussed our options. We decided that it really was too complicated to try to buy the house as two separate individuals. We knew the house would not be on the market very long so we decided the best approach was to get married earlier. We talked the situation over with a lawyer and finally made an offer that was accepted and we could have occupancy about August 1.
We set up a wedding at the Dupage County Courthouse for August 9. On August 1, I moved out the furniture from my apartment to the new house. Ruth stayed in her apartment that week and with the help of many Motorola friends, we moved her furniture in right after we were married.
The wedding itself was a very small affair. Don Cowan was there with his wife, Caroline. I had known Don while living in Tacoma. He had moved out to Glen Ellen, IL to take a job with the Computer department of Dupage Community College. Don acted as my Best Man. Barbara and Steve Heale along with Orville and Jeanne Neely were long time friends of Ruth at Motorola and have always remained as dear friends. Ruth’s sister Rita was the Maid of Honor and Ruth’s mother was also there.
After the wedding, we had a small reception at the home of Al and Elaine Wood from Elmhurst. Ruth’s dad came to the party and it was the only time I ever saw her mother and father in the same room. Ruth was terribly concerned that they would get into an argument, but they ignored each other and the party ended up pleasantly.