Thursday, February 21, 2008

The places of our early love (pt 2) Cortez Hill

At our little apartment, 1573 Ninth Ave, Marcie and I began our life together. The old building was put up in the 1920s as a boarding house behind the main apartments. Behind that were old vacation bungalows converted into cottages.

They were the old San Diego's "No-Tell Motels." Stars, politicians, executives and their extramarital partners and the occasional honeymooner stayed in them back then.

The whole neighborhood stank of decay in 1993. There was a former Denny's, sometimes open as the "Spice house," usually not under stable management or ownership for more than a year at a time.

Nonetheless, our little home was architecturally interesting. Did you say you'd like a tour? Enjoy:

With her receipt of $6,000 from the Casa Arleda relocation settlement, plus the rent she had saved by not having to pay for some 8 months before that, Marcie had gathered quite a nest egg.

She needed it. CVS, her employer at the time, had decided to close its mall stores. Sav-on was buying others and hiring away some of the employees, but Marcie and I had no car and she could not reach the new location in La Jolla.

The store finally closed.

"I think I am going to take some time off," she said. "But I am going to look for a job that I want, and it's not going to be retail."

I smiled and kissed her cheek as X Files played on the television, back then a mutual obsession. She smiled and I remember now thinking that my silent support was just what she wanted to hear.

Marcie took some time off, but she found a job at the Union-Tribune as a customer service representative for subscribers. She still had quite a nest egg. She decided, one year after she had been laid off, six months into her new job, how to use it.

"Honey, I am going back to Paris next winter," she said. "Thats going to be my first vacation.

She said it as she rocked on her feet a little, happy and waiting for questions as she smiled.

I could only smile. I had hoped she would want to indulge in travel before she went back to work, but she had been prudent and had wanted to have a job first.

It was a very happy day in our little home.