I was nineteen and had a desire to travel to the far corners of the earth. But with only twenty dollars in savings my choices seemed limited. But I was an adventurous youth and I was determined see to at least some of the states. Hollywood U.S.A was a place romanticized in all the magazines so I made it my destination. An automobile rental agency supplied me with free transportation to drop off their Buick in Chicago, so I said goodbye to my New York City parents and was on my way west. It was the beginning of my dream to see the world. A few days later I was on historic Route 66 thumbing my way to California.
Ice cream parlors at that time were the rage and my first job in Los Angles was a soda jerk. The pay was twenty five bucks plus tips for fifty hours of pumping syrup. I lived a few blocks away in a furnished room that cost twenty dollars a month. Many of my customers spoke about jobs that were open in the motion picture industry. It sounded more challenging than spending my life working in an ice cream parlor so I called in sick and applied for a job as a script editor. I was asked to write a short essay which was about why I wanted to work for the studio, and after reading it my interviewer immediately hired me. My new job consisted of reading pages of hand written comments about almost every phase of work that was done on the sets. After typing it into readable form I submitted it to the set director. The job paid a hundred dollars for a short work week and I loved it.
I still had that desire to travel to the far corners of the earth, but my dreams ended when I opened up a travel magazine. It showed beautiful photos of a place south of the border called Baja California. I was determined to go there. I spoke to my live in girlfriend about it and she said that if I wanted to go she would join me. I asked my boss for a leave of absence and left the job. I parked my car in Tijuana California and we walked over the bridge into Mexico. We caught a bus to Ensenada and rented a room a few miles from the famous Hotel Playa Ensenada. The manager of our rooming house was an American from Chicago. He spoke about a shack on semi-desert land that he once lived in for three years. It was only twenty miles south of and it had fresh water well. He was willing to sell it for five hundred dollars. The next morning we were driven out to see it. The place was a mess but its location was beautiful. We bought it.
We stayed for five years and raised two children. There was no problem finding a job as an English instructor in Ensenada. But it was time to go back to my job at the studio and give my children a environment that was better for them. I no longer have the desire to travel to the far corners of the world. Life in Hollywood is just fine.