Friday, November 15, 2013

21. Crowley's & Ranchouse...August 1964...

I had learned that all the other girls that had been fired at Ranchouse had packed their bags and headed home.  I wondered how the restaurant could stay open because I knew they must be very low on staff.

I would get some update on their situation soon.  More about that next time.
Now to continue...

Within the first week on my new job, I looked up one morning to see the manager from Ranchouse walk through the door.  I froze inwardly as I thought I knew why he was there.  I do not know how he found out where I had gotten a job but somehow the word had gotten to him.  I watched as he scanned the restaurant to observe where my station was and headed to one of my open tables.  I dreaded taking him a menu and waiting on him but I had no choice.

As I got to his table, he immediately leaned forward, looked intently into my face, spoke just above a whisper with intense urgency and asked what I felt certain he had come to ask,
"Linda, can you please come back to work for us?  We really need you."
I had no doubt that they needed me but how could I return to Ranchouse and abandon my new opportunity as well as put myself back into an environment that was so tense and risky?  I mustered the strength to speak and gave him this answer.
"I have taken this job now and cannot break my commitment to these people."
My former manager was ready with more questions.  He continued:
"What are your hours?  When is your day off? Will you please work at Ranchouse all day on your day off and every dinner hour the other days?"
And I reluctantly, knowledgeably but hopefully answered, "Yes."

Now you know why there had not been time for me to write letters home.  My day at Crowley's started at 5:50 am, I got off at 2:00 pm; washed my uniform by hand, walked the two miles to Ranchouse Restaurant where I worked from 5:00 - 10:00 pm, then walked back to Webb cottage to wash another uniform and get some sleep.

This would be my work schedule through Labor Day, September 9, 1964.
                                                                           Friday, August 21, 1964
Dear Folks,
When I think of how long it's been since I've written you, I feel so bad I could almost cry.  Thanks so much for your letters & prayers.  They really mean alot to me now especially, because I'm getting so sick of Estes & so anxious to get back to home & Wisc., I'm about ready to burst.  But what really makes me sick is to think that I'll just be with you folks for a day or two & then off to another grind at school.  It seems like such a long time since I've been home & I guess I really miss it.   I'm getting really sick of Estes & Colorado.  You know how we all get pretty strong roots in one place & find it hard to change around alot.  Well, I guess I'm a Wis. girl all the way thru & a farm girl at that.  Don't worry about me not being able to leave here right after Labor Day.  I'll be so anxious to leave I'll probably want to go after work Mon. nite. 
Work is going pretty well but this routine is pretty rough.  I'm glad I don't have much longer to go but I really am convinced I'd rather work this hard now than to have to work while I'm at school as I'm going to need my time to study.
I'm sending home some more money orders & checks which you can put in the bank.  I'll probably be sending more soon...  
Well, it's getting late & 5 am comes early so I must close but I just had to send you a note & let you know I'm still alive & how much I appreciate your letters & prayers.  
See you Soon!  & I can hardly wait!  Love, Lee
My next letter home would be written a few days later...
                                                                                        Aug. 26, 1964
Dear Folks,
Today is my day off from Crowley's & I don't go to work at Ranchouse til 3:30 so I'll try to write you a note & let you know I'm still alive...
I'll share more of this letter next time.

No comments: