I didn't go back to Peoria after I got back to Ann Arbor from Buffalo, but went directly to Ft. Wayne where General Electric gave me a temporary job in the factory. I was shifted around, working in various departments the same as the other newly graduated engineers but Hocker promised me the first choice at a place in one of the engineering departments when one became available. Business was in a slump in 1923 and few orders for electrical machinery were coming thru. I went to see him frequently to prod him along and after a few weeks he found me a job as design engineer in the apparatus engineering department. A man by the name of Hadley was head of the department and, oddly enough, I was put under the tutelage of the brother of the man I had worked under in the small motor engineering department, another Nordstrom. Instead of being short and chunky as his brother was, he was tall and slim. They didn't resemble each other at all.
My salary, if I remember correctly, was $1,500 a year to start. I didn't earn it as there was practically nothing for me to do. Nordstrom would be assigned a job now and then and would hand over some of the calculations to me but it wasn't nearly enough to keep me busy. Nordstrom spent his time visiting with his brother or wandering around the factory leaving me along at my desk - it was next to his. I tried my hand at working up plots for short stories. About Christmas, however, an order came in for a fairly good sized motor, about 100 horsepower, and Nordstrom handed the whole job over to me. When the motor was ready for testing, I went down to the test floor to check on it. I wanted to know how the test results would conform to my calculations so, instead of having them run a routine test, which would have taken only a half hour or so, I ordered a complete test which took most of the day and ran the cost up considerably. I don't think Mr. Hadley, my boss, was very pleased about it but he didn't say anything to me when he found out who had ordered the full test.
I lived with the Nobles again but Leonard had married his country girl and I shared the front room with Kenneth Eiler. Two recently graduated Purdue students had the other room. The four of us would sometimes rent the Lutheran Church gym across the street on a Saturday afternoon and play basketball after the weather got too cold to play tennis. Leonard's sister-in-law, the girl who had tried to get me interested in making love to her, set her trap for one of them - we called him Steiney - and after a whirlwind courtship, Steiney became Leonard's brother-in-law. I imagine she used the same tactics on him that she had on me. I can't explain why she attracted him and not me.
Last modified on 21 June 2009 @ 09:41