July 1981

Photos of Durham - Featured Images

This photo of Duke University Chapel in Durham is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Well, I am off to a good start here in Durham, North Carolina. I got a job at the Ramada Inn on I-85 at Guess Road as a desk clerk. Easy transition for me and easy hire for them; all the equipment is exactly the same as I used at the front desk at the Schenectady Ramada. I’m hoping that I can move into the sales office soon, though.  While I may be a very good desk clerk, I don’t want to do it forever. The guy who was working behind the desk when I applied looked to be about sixty… not the long-term future I envision for myself.

We met the married undergraduate couple who live in the apartment upstairs from ours. There is always noise and banging from above; either because they have a bunch of friends over, they are fighting, or they are having noisy sex. They’re both pretty cool, but I wish I hadn’t opened my mouth and had let Lou do the talking when we first hung out.  We were chatting about just getting married, and I told them what I thought was a funny story about Lou getting a black eye at his bachelor party, and that we were lucky it disappeared before our wedding day. I had no idea that it would upset Lou, but his expression turned cold, and he abruptly ended the conversation; as soon as we were alone, he let me know he was really pissed.  He said that it was humiliating, and that I had no right to tell them about it. I just don’t get it. He had told the story to others himself, and had laughed it off with his fraternity brothers and my family and me. Now, it is a shameful secret that he thinks I am trying to use to embarrass him? I won’t bring it up ever again, that’s for sure.

Anyway, the people at work are nice.  It’s just a few miles from Duke to the hotel, so it’s an easy commute on bicycle.  There is one really big, steep hill though on the way home. My legs give out about half way up and I have to walk the bike a bit. Each day, I try to make it a bit farther pedaling up the hill.

Lou has an ad in the paper for handyman work, so he should be getting some income from that soon.  We’re also both working for the on-campus housing department.  I close the pool at a university apartment complex each night, and do some basic maintenance on it; same work I did at the Ramada pool when I lifeguarded.  We are also sharing duties with another couple to do lockout service.  That means that every other night, we are on call to help out anyone who has a simple problem at night – like they forget their keys, or their toilet backs up, or they lock themselves out of a room in the apartment. The best thing is that for both these jobs, we have access to a station wagon.  So I can go grocery shopping with a car, instead of trying to balance a grocery bag on the bike on the way home from work.

All and all, things are going well here. This campus is absolutely beautiful; the gardens are amazing, and the architecture is incredible. I love it.

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