Virginia, 1970-74

In August of 1970, my stepfather--Doug--was elected to a national office with the American Federation of Government Employees. His new job required relocating to Washington, DC. I was still living at home, just out of high school, with no job, no plans, no marketable skills that I knew of, and no place else to live in Utah. Gen must have seen that I wasn't ready to leave the nest. She reminded me that I had never been back east and that there were probably better opportunities for me there than in Utah. She encouraged me to move along with her, Doug, and Becky. It was sound advice that turned out to have extraordinay results.

2804AlbanyCt01Doug and Gen bought the first house they looked at. It was a brand new 3-bedroom, 2-bath, fake dairy brick, split-foyer colonial in the Hideaway Park subdivision north of Fairfax Circle in D.C.'s Virginia suburbs. It was huge and luxurious.

Our white-trash Utah furnishings didn't begin to fill it. Doug and Gen bought brand new chairs, drapes, a sofa, a color TV, beds and bedding. The Utah stuff went into the huge family room downstairs, where it looked shabby and sparse in the cavernous space.

The first surprise the east coast delivered was that one's towels and wash cloth do not dry out overnight. One night in early December 1970 I looked out my bedroom window and saw all this mist--not quite fog--hanging in the air. The radio next to my bed reported 100% humidity. My long, straight, blonde hippie hair turned curly.

Humidity! So THAT'S what everybody's been talking about. I was a life-long westerner. I had never experienced chronic atmospheric moisture.