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Moving to New York packup party, goodbyes and farewell greeting cards

Packing possessions for the train trip

March 16, 1979

03-16-leaving-milwaukee (11 images) Click a picture to see a larger view.
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Doris Connie packing mess look up laughing New York Eighth avenue card signatures card cover goodbye girls photo signatures

Connie, Doris, Gerry, Ruth all helped Dennis get packed

Dennis took only his clothes and personal items

The initial move trip was made on Amtrak. The trip ticket was $86 one way in a sleeper from Milwaukee to New York.  The remaining possessions would go later

I left my 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass in Milwaukee with Ruth Pellmann, planning to return later in 1979 to pick it up.  The full move was with the car and a U-Haul rental trailer in June of the same year.  I needed to get settled in New York, and make sure I wanted to stay there.  Bunny Conway predicted that I would be back in Wisconsin in 6 months.  The page is being created 38 years later; Bunny was very wrong.  I decided to move back to Wisconsin in 2017 when I was retired. 

Party Time

The apartment on 38th Street in Milwaukee was a mess while we packed.  Gerry and Doris Ferguson, newly married, lived above Ruth and I and Connie Ida came from her apartment on Milwaukee's south side to help.  It only took two or three hours to pack and sort 6 large boxes.  Everyone stayed and we smoked a toke, drank a little and had a terrific time after the work was done.  There will be a larger farewell party at Tess's Tap and there would be another in June when I briefly returned to Milwaukee

Moving was a big deal

I was working for Woolworth and had been for 12 years before I made the move to New York.  Woolworth and the retail industry in general had changed significantly.  I had had it, and did not want to continue in retailing.  I had developed a friendship with someone from New York (he had frequent business in Milwaukee planning his convention ). I wanted to try sometime different.  He convinced my "if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere".  So off I went. I was thirty-one years old but it was not impulsive, I had been planning a move and a career change for months.  I just didn't know what that career would be.  I quit without notice just 2 days before (I waited for my monthly check to come before I quit)

Starting over was tough.  I only had experience milking cows and in retailing.  I didn't want to do either of them anymore.  I went to New York without a job waiting.  I expected to get unemployment for a short time but that was my only forecasted income.  The only thing I had in the move was a place to stay in NY

It was cultural shock to move to New York.  It is a world city, unlike almost every part of America; every language is spoken there.  Cars are mostly a nuisance (only 40 percent of the population had drivers licenses).  And on and on.  It took a year to adjust.  I've include two photos of my first month there and I was not happy.  You can see it on my face. 

New York can be a cold, cold place and meeting people can be daunting.  It is very had to find new friends there but eventually it happens.  I remember meeting an early acquaintance in a bar.  I had trouble understanding his language.  It took a few minutes to realize he was speaking English with a heavy, heavy New York accent.  He was a native New Yorker

I got brief temporary jobs with an "on call" inventory service and one with my new roommate, Charles Hull, managing his convention in Milwaukee.  I was down to my last $50 and started office clerking with a temporary service.  (They charged a bundle for my time but paid me peanuts.  I remember telling Gerry how I was in the subway and drooled for a candy bar that I could not afford ) That job developed into my second career, computer service management.  I had many years with American Express at its headquarters. It took a year or more but happiness returned and I LOVE NEW YORK

Coda:  My Milwaukee friends tell me our group of friends fell apart after I left.  I guess it is the ultimate compliment of friends. 

Keys:
Dennis, moving, New York, packup, Milwaukee, 1979, farewell, friends, new
Photos taken with a Polaroid SX-70 and digitized 35 years later, in 2014, by Dennis from a photo album

The 1970's