Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Post 1989 - Life Was ... Good

Continuing this mini series in which I write about the year that the post number is.

We have reached 1989.  Let's see what I remember about that year.

I began 1989 still living in that tiny apartment on Dahlia Street in Dartmouth.  I hated living there.  It was such a small place.  The guy living across the hall was a druggie and would hit me up for money whenever he saw me.  The man who lived next door to him was a commissionaire I'd see out and about.  And... there was a man living in that building who always was dressed to the 9's.  I'd see him out and about town as well.  I got the impression he was a business man, but why was  he living in an apartment about the size of mine?  I remember seeing him for years after I moved out, actually.

Speaking of moving out, I managed to secure an apartment in the South End of Halifax, courtesy of a woman I went to high school with.  She was moving to a bigger place or something, and I managed to benefit from that.  It was at 5240 Green St, Apt 303.

I remember the day I moved in, very well.  It was June 3rd, 1989.   The day I moved into the apartment.  And, the day my father was nearly killed in an automobile accident.  He had helped me move my stuff to the new apartment.  Was driving home.  Fell asleep at the wheel of his truck.  He was in the habit of letting his left arm hang out the window of his truck, like a lot of men do.  He hauled his arm in just in time, for the truck rolled over and over and was damaged beyond repair.  He managed to walk away from the accident and returned to work not long afterward.  The next day was his birthday.  He turned 58 and lived another almost 21 years.

I liked the apartment very much.  The previous tenant had left behind a hammock she'd strung between the two ends of the balcony, and I would sit in it at night and contemplate my life and watch the people walk by on the street, oblivious to my ogling.  The apartment was much bigger than the crap hold I had had in Dartmouth.  I could walk to work.  I was close to drinking establishments and a pretty good movie multiplex.  There were quite a few bookstores within easy walking distance of my place.  I was just down the hill from a Pizza Hut and a Lawton's Drug Store.  I was a 4 minute walk from a Sobeys.  There was a Petro Canada at the corner of Green and Queen Street (it's been an empty lot for  years and years).

I turned 25 in 1989.  Work was going much better than it had in '88.  I was working for a demanding company that expected results.  It was around 1989, maybe 1990 at the latest, when an event transpired that typified my years at that company.  It was a Friday afternoon.  The mainframe we all used was about to go down for the evening for its nightly backups.  Every minute beyond 5pm was borrowed time.  And there we all were, feverishly pounding out code on the terminals at our workstations, saving our work every few seconds, knowing that at any moment, we could be logged off for the weekend, and we would be pissed off that we couldn't keep working longer.  Says something about our commitment and our energy level at that time.

Kevin and I really bonded that year.  We had a Career Education Manager (CEM) in  our company, a person who oversaw our professional development in broad strokes.  He was going to have dinner with us both one evening but he didn't show up.  So he and I went out instead and drank beers and talked about life and the company and where we would end up.  We've been friends ever since.  Hello, Kevin.

What else happened?  I dated a girl from Hantsport whose sister married into the Jodrey family.  Yes.  That Jodrey family.  The sister invited us to her home for Thanksgiving dinner that year.  I remember how she orchestrated where we would all sit.  We were all served our food.  We left.  If felt kind of mechanical.  I still see that girl I was dating from time to time when I visit the Valley.  I should re-word that.  I do not see her in a dating sense.  She works in a store that I go into from time to time.

I look back pretty fondly on 1989.  Except for my dad nearly getting killed, it was a pretty decent year.  I dated a pretty girl and got to take her to the company Christmas party.  I had 2 Thanksgiving dinners.  I had a decent apartment.  I got to know Halifax quite well, and liked what I saw.  And I was making $26 000 a year, big bucks when you don't have a drug problem.

Life was... good.  Not great.  Good.

Wanna hear about 1990 tomorrow?  Well, do ya, punk?


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