As the Autumn came on, I felt more and more restless. Finally I decided to quit my job and go back East. I didn’t feel I wanted to become a Californian. The weather was different. Not that I had missed the snow the previous winter, but the weather didn’t seem “right.”
In November I packed and departed Berkeley. It was raining the day I left. I made it across the central flat land and then started climbing the mountains. It started to snow. Then it snowed some more. Some of the cars on the highway had slid off into the ditch. I drove around them and kept climbing. I knew better than to stop. If I stopped, I wouldn’t get traction again.
I made it to the top and found that on the Nevada side of the mountain, it was raining. What a relief! The road zigged and zagged its way downward but I made it down safely and ate lunch in Reno, a sad little city.
On my way East, I visited some families of friends of mine. Since I wanted to avoid any more snow, I drove through Texas and slowly upwards toward New England. After several days, I hit the Pennsylvania Turnpike. By then I felt close to home so I decided not to stop for the night. I pulled into one of the rest areas, parked my car, and crawled into the back seat after locking the doors.
I don’t remember if I slept or not. After awhile, I hit the road again. I arrived home in Bethel, Connecticut about ten a.m. on a Sunday morning. My mother was at church. My Dad was surprised to see me; why was I arriving at ten o’clock in the morning? I had to tell him before I went to bed. Needless to say, my parents were alarmed that I’d done something so stupid. Once some time had passed, I agreed with them.
In January I went to Miami with my friend, Nancy, from Berkeley. She had time off from her job, teaching English as a Second language. We only had a week, so it wasn’t much of a trip. But we lived cheaply and enjoyed ourselves.
Then we came back and I started looking for a job. Miami had used up all my money, about $75. I called Smith College Employment Office and they gave me Ken Baldridge’s name and telephone number. I made an appointment to see him in New York City. And so my life with Baldridge Reading Services began. And we know how that ended!