AAF-small ssgtrichardbarry ssgt-aaf-small

After reaching home, our first thoughts were for seeking employment, but he government eased the path a little by granting "membership" in the 52-20 club, part of the famous G.I. bill. This gave us 52 weeks of $ 20 per week until employed. I only had to use 4 weeks of this largesse when my father, the doorman, knew an official of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, who gave me a job as a mechanical goods order salesman in their offices at 58th street and 11 Avenue in Manhattan at the princely rate of $ 50.00 per week, the going rate for those days.

 

I started law school at Fordham Law School, then located at Duane Street and Broadway. The class was large, mostly male veterans with about 2 or 3 women students. That was par for those days. My brother Bob had already started, but later switched to New York Law School, because they had an accelerated program.

 

I did miserably and did not finish, completing only one year. One reason was that it was night school, 4 nights a week and I could not complete the assignments. In other words, I failed out.

 

Bob completed his course and became a lawyer, thus guaranteeing a career. My mother was dissapointed in me because she regarded the law profession as the acme of careers.

 

I almost got married in 1947. In short the wedding got cancelled only two days before it was to be held in Visitation Church on 238 Street in the Bronx. Although a wrench at the time, I came to realize that it was for the best.

 

I quit my job at Goodyear because it seemed to be a dead end. I began to look for another job and finally landed a management training position at Grand Union Company. It was for the route sales division and meant that I had to go to Parkersburg West Virginia for the initial phase, which meant selling door to door. The primary products were coffee and tea and other staples but also included pots and pans and appliances. We would install a premium in a household and the buyer would work of the premium by buying groceries whcih would eventually be replaced by another premium.......ad nauseum!"

 

I put in my time in Petersburg, made a lot of friends, joined the Elks Club, lived in a rooming house and ate out every night. Although I had friends, it was a lonely excistende. I called it quits after about a year or so and came back home for another job search.

 

Through the help of brother A. Lewis of Manhattan College I took a training position in Real Estate at William A. White and Sons on West 42nd Street. However, after two  years of experience I was called back into the Air Force because I had joined the Reserves at Floyd Bennett Field. I was sent to MacDill Field, Tampa, FL, for a period of 13 months. A pleasant life.

nco-mess-macdill-front    nco-mess-macdill-back    liberty-pass
HDAF formDD256    HDAF formDD214

 Some of Dick's Korean war related paperwork

 a-102251

 Dick in October 1951

ssgt-USAF
As the Army Air Corps became Air Force in 1947, the uniforms and chevrons changed
Above: Dick's Air Force Staff Sergeant chevrons

My mother came in the winter of '51 and stayed near Nora Maguire in St. Petersburg. When I came back after discharge I felt left out of Wm. A. White so they got me a position at Harry Thoens, another Real Estate Company in the Woolworth Building. I called rents for the agent at the Woolworth Bldg and several other buildings in Manhattan.

 

Meanwhile I studied for the Insurance Brokers license at the Knights of Columbus Business School and passed the licence exam, which was quite a feat because it had a 50 % failure rate. If I had studied law as avidly I would have been a lawyer.

 I associated myself with a broker named Ferguson and tried selling life insurance but met with unrelenting failure. Selling insurance was not for me.

Here I was at 33 at a dead end, and no source of income. My brother suggested that I rent a gas station from Shell Oil Company, his employer at the time. So I worked at a station at 42nd Street and 12 Ave. for several months, nights, to learn to repair tires and pump gas before I got a station on Long Island, Huntington Station on Jericho Turnpike. My father loaned me the money. I lived at first with my sister and brother-in-law in Wantagh in a Leavitt (sic) house. The Wilson girls and boys were young at the time. I left early each morning to open at 0600.

This is where Dick's notes end. Dick's future wasn't as gloomy as the above paragraph leads you to believe. In 1957 he married the lovely Josephine Sheehan and had a great family with six children.

Not only was Dick a veteran, he was also my father in law. He passed away in 2001.

RIP