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JULY 6 to DECEMBER 31, 1924.
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On July 6, 1924, I arrived in Schenectady to stay and the following day, reported for work at GE. At the time, I regarded by work at GE as a temporary thing preparatory to returning to Syracuse to settle down to a job in one of the local industries. Little did I dream that I would spend the next 38 years with GE, and even if I had planned to remain with GE, at that time I wouldn't have had the remotest notion of ever getting into railroad work via GE. During my first weeks in Schenectady, I was torn between fascination with this introduction to industry in one of the most diversified and glamorous plants in the world, and almost desperate loneliness and homesickness. It was during this period that I developed a steady correspondence with Willie which was important in helping me weather the storm. I also carried on an almost daily correspondence with Mother which helped a great deal as did my frequent weekend visits to Syracuse where I saw old friends and was at home with Mother. On these trips, I saw Fred Thalman and Bill McClennan several times but the people who meant most to me were the girls I'd known so well, Doris Moore (although we never had another date), Louie Neill, Dode Brown and Betty Bump although she became engaged about that time. In Schenectady, I acquired a number of new friends, particularly Del Quammen, George Zamzow, Fred Mollerus, Jim Hollywer, Dave McClennigan, Willie Weikel and Frank Carlton. I visited the Phi Delta Theta house several times but that never caught on too well although the Brothers were friendly enough. Renewed my friendship with John Grant, the Syracuse University Phi who'd gone with GE in 1923, and spent one weekend with him at this home in Schoharie. But I was lonely for girls and think most of the boys away from home for the first time were also. We made some half-hearted efforts to meet girls but they were quite unfruitful. The only girl I met that interested me at all was Marjorie Hayden who was Steinmetz's step-granddaughter and whom I met at the Unitarian Church but nothing ever came of it. But I did go to church regularly and was very much interested in religious matters, and spent many hours discussing religion with Del and George particularly, they being Lutherans but quite open-minded and going to the Unitarian Church with me occasionally. I started as a machine tool operator in the Industrial Heating Dept., then became an assembler and wireman in Industrial Control, went from there to Steam Turbine assembly, and finally was chosen for a special assignment on hydrogen-copper brazing development under Christian Steenstrup, the father of the GE monitor-top refrigerator, a superb designer and manufacturing man. But the thing which was to shape my life perhaps the most came at Christmas when Willie visited us in Syracuse for a few days and soon after that, we became engaged. This is a quick review. I kept a very detailed diary during this time regarding much of this which I'll now supplement with excerpts from my letters to mother and Willie.
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