When people ask me how long have I’ve worked for the Allegheny Intermediate Unit or in what year did I start, I say 35 years or 1969. Sometimes they’re surprised, and sometimes so am I. I never thought of the enormity of it all until I wrote down specific events or what was going on in the world and even my small world at the time. I put together a little time capsule to jar your memory and for those too young to remember, to astonish them.
Neil Armstrong and Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr’s Walk on the Moon… 543,000 Americans in Vietnam… First draft lottery since W.W.II… Richard Nixon… Spiro Agnew… Edward Kennedy… First Human Heart Transplant… In-Vitro Fertilization… Cigarette advertising banned on television and radio… Sesame Street… Simon and Garfunkel… Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five… John Fowles… The French Lieutenant’s Woman… Drive-Ins… Woodstock… Hare Krishna… His ‘n’ Her Boutiques… sit-ins… love-ins… Laugh-In… Beatles… Rolling Stones… love beads… miniskirts… bell bottoms… manual typewriters… typewriter erasers… hand calculators… film projectors… Charles Manson, Tate Murders… Miss Vickie marries Tiny Tim on the Tonight Show… Chicago Eight Trial… minimum wage, $1.60… average annual income, $6,500… gallon of gasoline, 32¢… postage stamp 06¢… new car, $2,000… loaf of bread, 23¢… the slogan “You’ve Come a Long Way Baby”… the list could go on and on.
Each decade worked brought change. Change brought new knowledge and new technologies. I grew as a person and also within my capabilities. I want to thank the Allegheny Intermediate Unit for providing me these opportunities. I want to thank my co-workers whom I’ve worked with as a team for a good many of these years. I guess I have come full circle. I started in a brand new building (Hillman Library), and now am here in this new building at The Waterfront.
They’re starting to dim the lights and play the music. So I’ll end by saying, “Thanks, again.”
©Copyright February 2004 by Janet Rattay
Author’s Note: Friday, February 27, 2004 was my retirement day. So many people look forward to their retirement, after all, they’ve worked, or so it seems, all their lives to reach that pinnacle. I’m filled with some anxieties; leaving a secure position after thirty-five years. But time marches on, and my time is now. I’ve thought about this day for the past five years. People ask me ‘Why now?’ or ‘How do you know when you’re ready?’ You’re never ready. I don’t know the answers to those questions; I just say you’ll feel it.
This past Monday, February 23, 2004, I was recognized for my years of service. A fellow colleague presented me, in front of 100 other employees. I must admit he summarized by career nicely. The above “1969” was my farewell.