I’ve got the right era now, and working in the Dexter Shoe Shop was a lively place. It was not a place for Ladies to work. Women with grit made it okay. The men/managers were so sweet to us. Not! You do understand in the 60s, we women workers were not on the same level as real live Male human beings. We were tolerated, ridiculed, the brunt of jokes, and generally mistreated as much as the law would allow.
I was a lot different from some of the other girls that grew up protected. I fought back and took no bullshit and could sling it nearly as well as they could! Thanks, Mom! She brought me up to never back down from a fight and, if I lost the fight, to make sure that I “got a lunch while they got a meal!”
Most of us “girls” smoked in the bathroom, on our breaks, and it was tolerated, not liked, but tolerated! One day the supervisor called me out of the bathroom to tell me to go back to work. I told him I was on my break and would go back when it was over. If he hadn’t tried so hard to be a dick, I might have just ignored him, like the other girls. But, he was screaming at me, and I took exception to his language and grabbed two fist-fulls of his shirt, picked him up off the floor, and put him against the wall. It must have been a funny sight to see him with his feet, dangling a foot off the floor! Of course, no one saw him. I can’t remember exactly what I said to him, but he looked shocked and a little scared. Because when I dropped him on the floor, he ran like the devil was chasing him. I was never called out again. Lesson learned.
When Mom and I went for lunch at the lake, she laughed her ass off! I am surprised that I didn’t get fired right then. It might have been that he didn’t want anyone to know what I did. He was a little pip-squeak and wanted to be the big man. I think his pride wouldn’t let him admit what I did. After all, I was a mere woman.
I will tell you about the one that did get me fired later.
The summer that I spent double dating with Joe and Shirl and whatever new chick he dated was the best summer of my life. I needed that freedom and fun so much more than I can ever describe. Joe was an interesting guy! He walked across the Canada/Maine border with just the clothes on his back. With his younger brother’s ID! When he arrived in Dexter, he got a job in the Shoe Shop and lived in an apartment above a restaurant. He learned to speak English watching TV, and it gave him good lessons, but his sentence structure was a little funny. For instance, he would say, “I feel to eat!” The way he pronounced Italian was a hoot. He loved Italian sandwiches! There was a Deli in town that made the best! I never have had one as good.
He talked one of the car dealerships into selling him a car with no downpayment, and to my knowledge, he never made a payment on it. It was a 57 Bonneville Chevy, and it was fast! Shirl bragged that they had it up to the limit on the speedometer! I think that was 120 MPH! They didn’t drive that fast when the other girls and I were with them. Joe just couldn’t keep his speed down, and he was stopped by Police Chief Harold Knox for speeding. He was supposed to appear to answer for the speeding ticket. On Friday night, Joe (not his real name, remember it was his brother’s ID) said his goodbye to everyone except Harold Knox. I have it on good authority that a very good friend drove him to the border Saturday morning. That same good friend drove the car back to Dexter and parked it where it would be spotted. Before Joe walked across the border, he told Shirl, “Take good care of Brenda!” And he has for the last 60 years!
I will race back again and tell you more tales of my life. Just for the fun of it, I am posting a picture of Chocolate Boy.