Susan Dennis (susandennis) wrote,
Susan Dennis


Back in the olden days, it was the norm to find a job and keep it until you retired or died. Except for newspaper reporters. It was generally considered smart to work at a paper for a couple of years and move on to a bigger one for the next couple of years. Lather, rinse, repeat. The more different papers you had under your belt, the better in terms of getting better newspaper jobs.

I had two and it was getting time to get a new one. Plus, I was getting tired of Wheeling. It was a great place to start but it didn't hold much for the long term. So I applied for a job at the Pittsburgh Press - aka the big city. I actually got the job and then the paper went on strike before I could even hand in my notice in Wheeling.

Now I was getting whiny. I remember so clearly calling home one Sunday. The house I lived in was on a hill and the roads were coated with ice so I was stranded. And bored. And whiny. Daddy drilled down. What was really wrong? I don't know. Everything. I'm cold, I'm tired of Wheeling, I'm tired of my job.

"Well, look. You have a college degree. You have zero responsibilities to or for anyone else but you. You can go and do anything you want to do anywhere you want to do it. If you are not 100% happy with you and your life, you have no one to blame but yourself."

Ohhhh snap!

[Interestingly many times over the years, I've come to a crossroads in my work or social life and pondered what to do and heard this advice/slap down and instantly saw the right choice. I don't think Daddy ever had any idea just how profound an impact his words had. I tried to tell him but I'm not sure he ever got it.]

So now I looked everywhere and at everything. Was this next? Kind of ironically(?), I found my answer on a trip home.

By this time (1972/3-ish) 'home' had moved again. Daddy had taken a new job running a group of textile mills in South Carolina and he and Mom had moved to Aiken, SC. Aiken was a delightful small and fascinating town. It had a long history as a getaway place and was also the winter home to some really famous horses.

They had a nice little 5 day a week newspaper - the Aiken Standard. No union. Not even any hot type. A nice mix of old and young people on the staff as well as some women. And, they were willing to give me a job.

So I found an adorable little cottage to rent and I moved south.

To Be Continued
Tags: tbc
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