OLDEN GOLDEN DAYS

Garry and I had interesting careers. To some degree, the work we did made a difference, though how much difference is still a point of discussion. Garry covered news. Trials, murders, fatal accidents, crime, politics, celebrities, opening days at Fenway, following Presidents and other VIPs.

Garry’s professional life put him in the spotlight. He was regionally well-known and a daily presence on local television. Sometimes nationally. People forget which station he worked for, but they knew his face and felt he was part of the family. After all, he showed up every night just about supper time.

Garry met celebrities. He followed stories that could also be seen in newspapers and sometimes made national or even international news. He was on television pretty almost every day. People knew him or felt as if they did.

My work was important. I worked on projects on which we depend these days like wireless computers and gigantic databases (like Google). But my work was technical. We had our own celebrities, but you had to work in the business to know them, so most people never have heard of them.

Describing what I did made most peoples’ eyes glaze over. Trying to explain the differences between object linking and other table-based databases to someone who hasn’t yet mastered the basics of their home PC was an exercise is futility. Eventually, I stopped trying to explain what I did unless I met someone who happened to work in my field. Then we had a grand old time rattling on about what we did and how we did it. Such moments were rare. Mostly, I said, “I write technical documents and manuals for software and hardware aimed at professional developers.”

I had interesting stories about Israel and interviewing people who are now famous, but weren’t back then — like Netanyahu who was Minister of Education when I was running a features newspaper in Jerusalem. He was a regular guy then, worried more about getting money to better fund schools. Times change. My stories are far less entertaining than Garry’s, so I let him have the floor.

Garry, on the other hand, is a ham. Ask him. He’ll tell you. He loves the spotlight. If there’s a video camera anywhere, he’s there. He’s not chatty at home, but give him an audience and he’s off and running.

No one was interested in my work except those who did the same kind of work. Nonetheless, I earned a good living and didn’t have to work 16-hour days. Or wear a suit to work in the middle of the summer heat or stand in a blizzard to explain to viewers that it really is snowing. To this day, I wonder why they send reporters into the bitter cold to tell people the weather is bad. Everyone could look out the window.

We did interesting things. What I did is a more interesting now than it was then since so many more people are involved with computers today. I was there when they were figuring out how to make wireless connections and was assured ten years before it happened that soon everything would be wireless. Now people are interested because these obscure things are very now. They are part of everyone’s life and we depend on them. Also, grandma’s boring career is less dull when you need help with your computer or software.

I’m not as sharp about software as I was “back in the day” because I haven’t kept up with changes. Retirement is an opportunity to not be involved in all the things you did while you worked. The only time I miss work is when something goes wrong with my computer and the operating system is sufficiently different that I have to figure out where Microsoft has hidden the information this time.

All the original information is still in Microsoft OS, but they move it around. On a lot of levels, personal computers have not changed as much as they seem. They are a lot faster and there are more applications, but underneath the “user interface,” the computer functions pretty much the same way it always has. It just does it much, much faster.

I’m glad we had interesting times. A lot of things Garry thought weren’t interesting are more interesting now and surprisingly current. For me, some of the people I met and interviewed are a big deal in today’s body politic — or in science or technology.

We don’t have money, but we have memories. Sometimes, we have some peculiar personal relationships to people and events that took place many years ago, but changed the world. Like those five years at The University of Jerusalem’s Environmental Health Laboratory where I saw what is going on in today’s battered environment. What a pity we knew so much way back in the early 1980s — and much earlier — and did so little to fix it.



Categories: Blogging, performance, Photography, Work, Writing

Tags: , , , ,

8 replies

  1. I love your “Olden Golden Days” Marilyn-Garry, thanks for making known your golden days. You two really are so intelligent, that is now I have no wonder why your Blog name ís “SSILOE”. I love the intelligent people, “Hat Off To You”, I am very interesting to read when you and Garry had been so busy at work.❤🌹❤🌹😀
    .
    DTQT.

    Like

    • Garry was a reporter for a CBS TV station in Boston for 31 years. Before that, he was in Hartford Connecticut for a few years, and before that, at ABC Network in NY. It all started — we both started — at the same college radio station.

      I was a writer and eventually, wound up a technical writer, though I also did almost every kind of writing for which one gets paid. Being a technical writer was interesting since I was SO non-technical. I learned. I think I really got my education AFTER college ended!

      I was in the high tech market at an interesting time — basically when most of the things we use now were being invented while Garry was in the TV world as it transitioned from film to videotape and then to digital imagery. I’m not as technical as I was simply because I haven’t kept up with all the software changes. The physical construction of technical devices hasn’t changed much. The internal items have gotten smaller — even tiny — but basically, if you could build a computer 25 years ago, you can still build one today.

      Television has changed a lot more than that and Garry is very glad he’s not in the business anymore.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. it’s always better to know more about you and Garry. A power couple of yesteryears now wonderful storytellers. But I never understand the irony of life that why some people become so famous and have money also while some don’t have it despite they too shared the limelight. Strange are the ways of life. I think being famous is subjective. I look at it this way what you both achieved might have not been by those big guns.

    Like

    • Garry never earned the kind of money that celebrities are supposed to earn. No millions and no huge pension, either. I never got a pension because I worked for companies that didn’t have a plan. A lot of people assumed Garry was making millions. He never did. I never did. We also sent money to Garry’s Mom and I was always trying to help out the kids and then the grandkid.

      When you retire, whatever money you get when you retire NEVER goes up. You don’t ever get a raise or a bonus. Garry’s been retired for 20 years. His pension and social security — and mine — are the same as they were 20 years ago with probably a $50/month (for each of us) “cost of living” raise — like a few dollars every few years.

      Not everyone who gets “famous” also gets rich.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. YOU AND GARRY HAVE GIVEN SO MUCH TO SOCIETY THAT YOU DESERVE TO REAP THE REWARDS. UNFORTUNATELY, LIFE DOESN’T ALWAYS WORK THAT WAY. I TAUGHT FOR 42 YEARS, MOSTLY AT A PRIVATE ALL BOYS HIGH SCHOOL WHERE THERE WAS NO RETIREMENT PAY. THE YEARS I TAUGHT PART TIME FOR A COMMUNITY COLLEGE NOW GIVE ME A TINY MONTHLY PAYMENT THAT BARELY BUYS THE GROCERIES. A BASIC SOCIAL SECURITY PAYMENT EVERY MONTH PAYS FOR THE WATER AND ELECTRICITY BILLS…..EXCEPT FOR THIS MONTH WHEN THE BILL CLIMBED SKY HIGH. THE ONLY REASON WOULD BE A LEAK, AND WE HAVE TO HIRE A PLUMBER TO DEAL WITH THAT. SOMETIMES I WONDER IF IT WOULD BE CHEAPER TO RENT,BUT WITH THE PRICES FOR EVEN ONE BEDROOM APARTMENTS HERE RUNNING AROUND $1,200 AND UP, IT’S STILL NOT PRACTICAL. AH, THE JOYS OF GETTING OLDER!

    Like

    • I know what you mean. Garry’s been retired for 20 years and I’ve been retired for 15 and the money hasn’t changed. It wasn’t adequate in the beginning and 20 years later, it’s really pathetic. People always thought Garry was earning huge money, but he didn’t. He wasn’t an anchor. He didn’t have an agent. He earned union minimum plus overtime.

      He worked a LOT of overtime which gave us (every six months) some extra money for vacations and to replace things that needed replacing. Otherwise, we did okay when we were working, but AFTRA and Channel 7 together pay a really pathetic amount of money with NO extras. No medical and to keep it so if he passed before me, he had to take only %50 of his pension. I think they have since changed that law, but it’s too late for us.

      I didn’t get a pension because the places I worked didn’t offer one. So, like you, we’re barely hanging in there and it gets worse each year.

      Like

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