Moving this drafting table out here to California got me thinking of my Dad again. I found this table among the piles of stuff in our basement. Since leaving home for college, I had asked him for it, and have taken it everywhere I have gone, drove it across the US in my 73 Ford Maverick- you can actually see it poking out of the back seat of the car in this photo of my dog Dominoe:
A few years ago, I refinished the drafting table (ironically, or amazingly, this photo was used as part of a photoshop tutorial)
What I knew of this table was that my Dad used it when he took a correspondence course to get a certification in construction cost analysis, a job he did many years for a private contractor in Baltimore and then for a long time with the US Government- Housing and Urban Development. I recall that he had attended University of Maryland for 3 years, but struggled in college (with sufficient pressure from his parents), and ended up leaving college to work a while as a brick layer, and then a short stint trying to run a gas station.
I was wondering about this period in his life, and realizing that he had actually done distance learning in the 1950s. So I decided to call my Mom to ask her for some details. I recorded our conversation (not the best quality, I had my iPhone on speaker).
So here’s to you Dad, doing distance learning in the 1950s!
UPDATE: Mom just called after researching her tax records. Dad was working as a bricklayer from 1950 (when they were married) to 1953 (FWIW, in 1951, his annual salary was $4000!), and then operated a gas station from 1953-1956. She thinks he did his correspondence coursework in this window, likely 1950-1953. By 1956, he was working for Baltimore Contractors as a cost analyst, so he would have gotten his certificate prior.
The post "May Story a Day #25: Dad Was a Distance Learner" was originally assembled from spare parts of a 1957 Chevy at CogDogBlog (http://cogdogblog.com/2011/05/may-story-a-day-25-dad-was-a-distance-learner/) on May 25, 2011.