That first apartment building in Santa Clara in 1961.

Getting married at age 17 and moving to a new city, San Jose, was a challenge for me in mid-1960.  I didn't have any job skills and didn't know how to cook.  Add in the fact that I became a first time mother a month before my 19th birthday and you have a real life dilemma.  After daughter, Lisa, was born and money was tight, I started looking for a job to add to the family income.  With virtually no skills, I applied for a file clerk position at a company that made carburetors and tractor parts in Milpitas, California.  The company was owned by three brothers and the main brother who ran the office where I would soon be employed as a file clerk, was having an affair with his secretary......both of these people were probably in their fifties.  I didn't work there very long since I found myself pregnant with baby #2.  I was back to being a fulltime mother and housewife again.  Working at this job covered the time I was 19 and 20 years old.

During this time, we lived in a small apartment building in Santa Clara, California.  Two brothers owned the building.  After living there for a short time, we were asked to be the managers........the beginning of our property management career back in 1961.  We started in a one bedroom apartment and moved up to a 2 bedroom apartment.  Down at the other end of the block was a larger apartment building.  The owners of that building asked us to be managers and that would mean a 3 bedroom, 2 bath apartment.  We moved onto that job while still managing the first apartment building.  Durng this time my husband was holding down an 8 hour a day fulltime job and taking classes at the junior college in the evenings.  The managers of the first building were in a bind and asked us to return to their property which we did.

It was now into 1963 and we were finally able to put a small down payment on a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home on a corner lot in San Jose, California.   Our first home.......it cost $16,500 and was 1,200 square feet in size.  The owner was a real gem, he agreed to carry a second mortage for us since we lacked the proper down payment in full.  We later sold the home in 1969 and had a home built in Scotts Valley, California, just outside of Santa Cruz.  After paying off the second mortage on the first home, the same gentleman agreed to carry another second mortgage on the new home being built.  I was pregnant again with child #3 who would be born in February of 1964.

It was now 1969 and we are now in Scotts Valley renting a dumpy two story, 4 bedroom, 2 bath home while our new home was being completed.......we had to move out when the home in San Jose was sold.  This rental was where the Police Chief of Scotts Valley had been living until his new home was completed.  It was a disaster......only one bathroom worked and we were so happy to finally move into our new home on a hillside in Scotts Valley.  It was 3 bedroom, 2 bath and 1,610 square feet, a real improvement.......and all for $25,500.   We also purchased a new car a 1969 Toyota Corolla......much smaller back then and it was a stick shift.

Back to the job situation.........I noticed an ad in the newspaper about a motor vehicle newspaper delivery route in the Santa Cruz Moutains.  The route was 44 miles long and took 2 1/2 hours to deliver.  I applied for the job and it was mine.  Six days a week to deliver an afternoon edition of the paper and a very early Sunday morning delivery.  Papers were ready to be folded and bagged shortly after midnight on Sunday morning.  The roads were in a variety of conditions....some paved, some gravel and some just plain dirt with many pot holes.  It was rough going on my new little Toyota.  My three children were all old enough to ride my route with me.  They soon became knowledgeable in which house was a tube, a throw or a mailbox.  On the Sunday morning early route I was accompanied by my husband since he was available to help with the weekend run.  You might say we turned it into another "family adventure".  I worked that newspaper route until it became a problem for my little car and I needed to find something better.

Stay tuned for School Bus Driving 101, as I was about to embark on my next career of being a school bus driver over the next 12 years in three different cities for three different school districts.