Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord … Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her…
Ephesians 5: 22, 25
To make a long story short, I went for the interview [in Illinois]. Pat and I clicked, even though the only thing I knew about production was those damn bastards screwed up my story. But, I insisted I wasn’t going to make a decision without Karen visiting and agreeing the move was right for us. I think that’s what got me the job.
We headed to Illinois for a weekend in March 1976 … left Friday afternoon and returned Sunday night. It was a weekend I’ll never forget.
We landed in a blizzard at O’Hare. Pat picked us up in his Mercedes … his heatless Mercedes. He’s driving (flying) out of the airport with an iced over windshield and no defroster … and he uses the washer and wipers to clean a peep hole. Mom was squeezing onto me in sheer panic. We made it the 65 miles or so to the hotel – I don’t know how. The next day Pat hands Mom off to his wife Nancy while he takes me to the plant. We catch up a little later after Mom got a tour of the “city.” Nancy went her way and Pat brought us to a Cape Cod on Marshall Street. It’s yours, he said, until you sell your house and find another one. Then it was off to dinner and a Sunday morning bus ride back to O’Hare.
I don’t know what Mom thought. I really don’t know whether she was overwhelmed or not impressed. All she would say was, “Do what you think is right.” I insisted I needed to know what SHE thought, but she never shared that information, adding as long as we were together she would be happy.
It meant a substantial raise and a different direction in my career. I figured we could discuss it further over dinner at the Seven Continents, a five star restaurant at the airport I didn’t realize was a five-star restaurant. I remember vividly we ordered the Caesar Salad and Chateaubriand and I damn near fainted when the bill came. We didn’t have any credit cards, just cash, and unbeknownst to Mom, the tab left me with $9.10 in my pocket. The waiter got stiffed. We got to the long term parking lot in Newark and I forked over $9 for parking. We got home and I plunked the dime on the table. Mom asked what that was for and I told her the story. Boy did my arm hurt!!!
And, so, it was off to Illinois by late summer 1976. We squeezed everyone (three kids under eight) and whatever we absolutely needed in the Dodge wagon with the hole in the floorboard. The rest of our belongings were on a Mayflower moving van heading west.
I semi-seriously thought about leaving Scott and taking Harrigan, but Mom wouldn’t have it. The dog stayed behind.
The decision to move was tough on Mom. Although she was never really close to anyone except Grandma Christie and Aunt Marie, this was a permanent 1,000 mile move and she cried almost all the way through Pennsylvania. We never made it back for Grandma Christie’s or Great-Grandpa Siccardi’s funerals. I know Mom always regretted that.
To be continued …
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Like everything else in life, that which is visible to the world is only part of the story.