Upon receiving my degree, my partner and I decided we wanted to move from Nebraska. We had heard so much about New York, though we had never been there. We both applied for jobs before the move. I landed a job as a Purchasing Agent for the Federal Bureau of Prisons Northeast District.
In July, 1972 we made our move. Even back then things were expensive in NYC. Based on our salaries of the time, we were only able to afford a "studio" in a brownstone on the upper west side of Manhattan. We paid then almost as much as I am paying for a two bedroom condo today. It had one large room with a fireplace, a small kitchen and bathroom. Somehow we made a home of it; at least for a few years. We were on our way! We loved NYC in those early years. We took in all the sites, went to the theater, symphony and various other things NYC is so known for.
My partner and I both made advancements in our careers. We were able to move after a few years from our studio, to a one bedroom apartment on 17th Street and 7th Avenue in Manhattan. We were coming up in the world.
I remained with the Federal Government until late, 1978. I had advanced as far as I could at the time and did not want to wait for my superior to retire...I would still be waiting today!
I left my job and joined NYC government as Director of the Home Energy Assistance Program; provided energy assistance to the elderly and low-income populations. At this time ED KOCH was Mayor of NYC.
In 1980, Mayor Koch wanted to start a nonprofit foundation to raise funds to provide meals to the elderly on weekends and holidays. This was due to the fact that Federal funding only provided meals Monday through Friday. If a person did not save food on Friday, unless they had family to provide meals, they went hungry until the next meals were delivered on Monday.
Mayor Koch asked my superior to recommend someone to head the foundation. She recommended me. When the mayor asked me if I would take the position, I agreed on the condition that I could also continue in my current position. Thus, I began wearing two hats. It was a grueling pace, but I thrived on it.
In a short time, we were able to raise funds to provide two meals a day on weekends and a grand meal on holidays for thousands of low-income elderly in all 5 boroughs of NYC. Today; the program is still going strong. It is called CityMeals-on-Wheels.
This year also brought tragedy into not only my partner's and my life, but also the nation. Early in the year, a new disease began spreading in the United States. It began within the gay community, but soon spread among IV drug users and heterosexuals as well. The disease is AIDS. It remains with us today and in the years that have passed since we lost our first close friend, we have lost 133 friends, including the 22 people closest to us in our lives. A special remembrance of them is included later in this website.
I'm a homeowner!! In 1982, my partner and I were able to leave the rental market and purchase a condo in Brooklyn Heights. This is an upscale section of Brooklyn, just across the river from Manhattan...from it you could view the skyline of Manhattan. What a sight it was to view Manhattan at night from our living room window.
I was astounded in 1982, when I learned that Mayor Koch wanted me to submit papers for a nomination to the "White House Fellowship Program." This is a program where those who are accepted, go to Washington, DC for a year and work either at the White House or one of the cabinet departments.
Hundreds of nominations are submitted each year. Though I thought I didn't stand a chance of being chosen, I went through all the paperwork, background checks and interviews. Thirteen people are chosen each year for the Fellowship. Surprisingly, I made it to the next to last round of the selection process. I considered it an honor to just have someone feel I was worthy of nomination. I can only imagine how my life would have changed if I had been accepted into the program
I do get to visit the White House! In late 1982, without my knowledge, Mayor Koch pulled another surprise on me. He nominated me for the DISTRICT VI PRESIDENTIAL VOLUNTEER AWARD for 1983. In the spring of 1983, mail arrived at my home bearing the seal of the President of The United States. It was an invitation to the White House to be the recipient of the award for which I had been nominated. I obviously went and received my certificate and plaque and had a brief time to confer with then President Reagan.
As a recipient of the award and because of why I received it, I was requested to present seminars the following day at the Marriott Hotel to Department of the Elderly Directors from across the country, as to how they could begin a CityMeals-on-Wheels program as we had in NYC.
In 1984, though I had already left the program, I was awarded the 1984 New York State Eleanor Roosevelt Volunteer Award for my work the four previous years.
In late 1983, I burned myself out in government. I think it was not only from my regular job, but also the fact that I was wearing two hats at once. I had also suffered my first heart attack not quite two years earlier, and felt I might be working my way towards another.
I took up a new position as a consultant to Polytechnic University's Alumni Association. The university is in Brooklyn Heights, not far from home. I created data bases and analysis for them to improve fund raising from their alumni.
It is also at this time that an event that would forever change my life occurred....however, Chapter Eight is devoted to that story...don't peek, finish this chapter first...lol!
In 1986 my partner received an offer which would require moving from NYC. It would mean a move to San Francisco, CA. We studied our options and realized we were both ready for a change. NYC had in the past few years become dirty and crime-ridden, maybe San Francisco would be different.
Move west young man! We sold our condo and made our move settling in an area of the city called Hayes Valley. It was close to Symphony Hall, Opera House as well as fine restaurants and museums........just the things we enjoyed.
My partner had his job but I went out without one. I had been considering while doing consultant work at Polytechnic University, that it would be great to begin my "own" consulting business. We figured now would be as good of time as any. Thus began the "LA CONSULTING CO."