Back to El Paso . . .
Thank God, Cecil came back from Viet Nam unscathed, except for bad memories, which hopefully will fade over the years. So I’m ensconced in Exxon Math and Systems — and Cecil came back to Process Engineering at Exxon Research and Engineering. Fortunately, we’re both in the same building with only one car — my little red Tempest convertible.
Sadly, my father passed away during this interval. Cecil and I made all the arrangements for the funeral and the trip back to Norfolk for the burial at the old St. Mary’s Cemetery. I was really upset with my mother’s behavior at the gathering at the funeral parlor. She was absolutely euphoric and was acting as though it were a celebration of some sort. Looking back now, I realize that it actually was a sort of celebration for her to be free from the terrible situation she had lived in over the past two decades. Actually, my father was probably celebrating too.
Meanwhile, Mr. Schwartz from the Popular in El Paso, was calling to find out when I was coming back to El Paso now that Cecil was home. Acting as the “good wife”, I told him it was really Cecil’s career that would be the deciding point. So Mr. Schwartz asked me what Cecil was a chemical engineer and so he contacted people he knew at Texaco, Chevron, and El Paso Natural Gas Company. Naturally, all of them were looking for an experienced chemical engineer with Cecil’s background. And they all contacted Cecil and offered him a trip to El Paso for interviews. Cecil and I were used to the days at Exxon when the wife always accompanied the candidate on an interview trip. But no invitation for me. So Mr. Schwartz said the Popular would pay my way and I could interview with the Popular.
So I went along when Cecil was interviewing with El Paso Natural Gas Company. Little did I realize at the time that I would be meeting people at EPNG that I would be working with in the future. Small world! Needless to say, Cecil got the job with EPNG and off we went to move to El Paso.
Cecil was absolutely thrilled with the housing costs in El Paso, and we bought a beautiful house in the foothills of the mountains. At one point we almost didn’t make it when Cecil made an offer on the house and I said: “But we’ll go higher!” I obviously was not a negotiator!