July 1978

I have been very negligent, but as the old saying goes, Better Late Than Never.  So, here goes: We enjoyed a pleasant spring, too bad I didn’t capture it in writing.  June was very enjoyable, maybe so much that I sloughed off in my writing. The weather was agreeable, not too hot, not too cold.  We did have a short cold snap in late June.  Perhaps a wake-up call to remind us how much we like living here.

School is over and the girls, as usual, did well.  We are so proud that they are progressing in life. Louise is going to a Mennonite camp with a girl she knows and we are all looking forward with her in that experience. The grade school here has a three-week program in August involving taking trips to see different sites in the area and Louise enrolled in it.  We are fortunate in having a school district that reflects our locale.  That is, suburban and moderately upscale.  NOT a gargantuan district that is an amalgam of backgrounds and interests serving no one well. Louise is still taking violin lessons; and with the camp and school trips, she is quite occupied learning about our area history, socializing at the Mennonite camp, etc.

Ingrid has no particular summer plans, though we hope she can fit in her driving practice for driver training so she can qualify for her license through that program. When I was her age I was more interested in the subject than she is now. I didn’t get my license until I was in college and could practice with a friend.  So now I am quite interested in the Driver Training program which I did not have than Ingrid is now. I hope she does satisfactorily finish the program. When she gets her license, that will drop many taxi trips for Marge and I if she can drive herself; Marge and I look forward to that.

Ingrid is taking voice lessons from a teacher in Bethlehem who teaches voice at Moravian College in Bethlehem (a four-year college). She has a good singing voice which will improve more with technique training.  Ingrid is also going to take part in a college level English program taught next year for selected H.S. students.  Both girls are intellectually   “Gifted” a School District recognition indicating they are both much above average in intelligence and ability.

I have made a few trips.  I had a small speaking engagement at an industry seminar in Chicago in early May.  PP&L paid for my expenses and it was a good visit.  I enjoy speaking about subjects and projects I managed at PP&L.  I went to Dearborn, Michigan as part of the planning committee for an industry seminar in October.  I am going to be a speaker at one session and flew into Detroit.  Dearborn has several attractions itself and I did some tourist activity when there.  I really enjoyed a trip to Tampa Florida at the end of the week before Memorial Day. I made a long weekend of the trip which was delightful.  The reason for this trip was an invitation to visit Tampa Electric since they initiated a program similar to the one I supervised at PP&L  My counterpart at Tampa visited here several times so I welcomed the opportunity to take this visit paid for by PP&L. My Tampa buddy is a sailboat enthusiast and charted a 27′ sailboat.  We had three really beautiful days sailing in the Gulf of Mexico. That could easily become habit-forming. I had a great time.

Recently I went to Poughkeepsie, NY to visit a counterpart at Central Hudson Power to exchange some information and discuss the program planned for October.  Last and certainly not least, Marge and I both went to Williamsburg, VA. I went to a trade show of utility vehicles and equipment.  This is tangential to my main area of responsibility but PP&L did authorize the trip.  We had made a family trip to Williamsburg before on a vacation and there were still some places Marge wanted to visit so she did that now.  This was the first trip that we made leaving the girls at home alone. They are responsible and trustworthy.

The flip side of that coin was an opportunity for Marge and me to be together.  That evening we started the evening with cocktails and a very good dinner.  After that, we went back to our room and enjoyed a very long and VERY delightful time together.

The trip back was very stressful for a while. This resulted from the worst rainstorm or squall I have ever been in.  It was almost like a whiteout from the snow in winter, perhaps worse but with cautious driving, we left the rain squall safely and returned home.  The weather was still rainy though not severe, just fall weather.

Now news from the health front: I had my eyes examined as it was about 6 years since my last exam and my vision was slightly worse, though not bad. I needed new glasses anyway as a while ago they broke at the bridge. I purchased a new frame, but it does not fit comfortably. I have a broad nose and not easy to fit with new frames.  I get glasses from my optometrist and they probably cost more than from a walk-in store.  Even so, they always need some custom fitting to be satisfactory and I suppose the extra cost is worth it.  I showed no eye health problems, such as glaucoma and I am glad to have eye concerns completed.

I experienced for the first time in my life a complete hearing exam.  This included both audiometric and medical tests.  The results from the exam were the news that I have nerve damage and a permanent hearing loss at frequencies above 3000 cycles and this is not treatable.  As a child, I had earaches severe enough to have the family doctor come to the house. So, the news from this exam was not really a surprise. The “good” news was that most speech is below the 3000 cycle limit.  Some sounds known as unvoiced consonants such as P and T cause some difficulty.  Hearing aids just amplify sound and would not help me. Something to watch, perhaps technology will improve in time.

Hay fever has been the bane of my existence as long as I can remember.  This is mostly a late summer occurrence, although I have tried to stay inside most of the summer when possible.  Since I was a junior in High School I have worked summers as a cook in a restaurant, or preferably a resort to avoid being outdoors. The family doctor gave me some medicine to take which I started in March to build up some resistance.  It seems to be working. I have been increasingly aware of minor aches and pains and shortness of breath.  Of course, I am getting older but I didn’t just accept that totally. SO, I have started a program of running, jogging really.  Some of the others in the office have done this and they do look better. I have never had a problem with weight and I don’t smoke cigarettes anymore. I believe I am better off than many men my age but there is room for improvement in personal fitness.  So, I have started in warm weather so I can continue when fall and maybe even winter comes along.  That’s a reasonable goal.

An unwritten law at PP&L is that an engineer can’t progress to a Senior level, much less promotion to Manager without a license.  I came from the outside and had no need to become licensed.  I regarded myself as at least equal in mental capacity as the other managers in my department, but I didn’t have the official State certificate.  So, I enrolled in a year-long preparatory course at Lehigh University and took my Professional Engineer’s exam on June 24, twenty years after graduation. The exam was held in Philadelphia and it took 8 hours to complete. I went to bed early so I could drive down and get to the examination site.  I didn’t sleep well that night and, review classes or not, it is a long time since I have had to sit through an exam.

I felt that I did satisfactorily on the exam.  It will be late summer until I hear from the state how I did. It graded on a pass-fail system. I believe I will make out OK, but there is always the possibility that I misinterpreted some of the questions.  I got home about 5 pm, ate dinner and collapsed on the couch in the family room.  I slept until mid-morning the next day.  I was more tense than I thought and Marge told the girls to just let me be.

Marge and I had dinner and drinks not long ago a cocktail lounge and while there I commented on the dancers.  Perhaps we could take lessons and go dancing now and then.  I never did dance much and was not very good at that.  Now I have fewer inhibitions or unwarranted notions of my dignity or whatever…. We had one lesson and I think it will work out fairly nicely.  It is something we can do together without either one being the expert.

We are going to a place a little south of Virginia Beach in August, but no other specific vacation plans. Louise’s activities took up five of the summer weeks which was fine as nobody else had any particular interests. We are going to rent a beach house on an island with another couple.  It is sight unseen, but the literature looked good and is probably like countless other seaside villages.  We can’t go too far wrong unless we get some bad weather.  August is usually not as good a time for doing this but was the only time we could all get together.  Also, the weather will be a bit warmer than in July and the water pleasureable. That’s it for now.






About R. F.

I am a retired Professional Engineer who spent my working life in the electric utility industry. I am now a volunteer instructor at the University Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV).
This entry was posted in 1970-1980, Allentown, Coopersburg PA, Relationships, Summer vacations and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to July 1978

  1. Allan Tucker says:

    HI Robert, sounds like you had a fun good time, for the most part. Forget that it involved some work and medical stuff. Anyway, hope everyone has a great Christmas, and a Good New Year.


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