Arlington

Gen & Doug's Arlington apartmentIn 1972, when the tension between Gen and Doug became too much to bear, and Gen attributed the problem to Doug's commute into Washington from Fairfax, Gen packed up once again and moved to South Arlington, Virginia, just across the Potomac River from Washington. The three-bedroom apartment they leased was big enough to hold all the furniture from the Fairfax house, including a few pieces of Ogden junk. Gen lightened her load once again, but not so much as in previous moves.

The apartment was closer to Doug's office, but he continued to be irritable when he was home from his frequent trips to Utah, and the two of them continued to take it out on Becky.

I was living several blocks down the street in a three-bedroom apartment of my own. There was an extra room and I invited Becky to move in. She did so.

That gave Doug and Gen an extra bedroom. Doug quickly filled it. He hired as his personal assistant an attractive woman, Pat, whom he and Gen both knew from Doug's union work in Utah, which begins to explain all the time he was spending out there. Pat needed a place to live while she transitioned to DC. Ironically, Gen liked Pat very much. Pat was a union member to the core, with liberal leanings and membership in the Democratic National Committee. She was smart, pretty, funny, and friendly. She was easy to like, even if you hated her. When Doug proposed moving Pat into Becky's old bedroom, Gen was all for it.

The three were very chummy. Gen, now faced with an unpleasant commute of her own from Arlington to Fairfax, took a job as an occupational nurse at the IRS's headquarters in DC. The three of them commuted together. Doug and Pat dropped Gen off at the IRS, then headed up to the AFGE's new headquarters on Thomas Circle. They picked her up on the way home after work. They shared breakfast and dinner, evenings, weekend trips.

Gen was stowing medical supplies one afternoon at work just before quitting time. She lifted a box onto a shelf and experienced a mighty spasm in her back. Doug and Pat picked her up at the usual time and she rode home in excruciating pain. The pain was no better by morning.

Gen sought medical advice and ended up at National Orthopaedic Hospital, conveniently located in South Arlington. She had a herniated disc, resulting from a congenital spinal curvature. Corrective surgery, it seems, was not warranted. Because she was still a probationary employee at the time of the injury, the IRS generously fired her when she was unable to come back to work after her sick leave ran out. She applied for workers' compensation.