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  • Writer's pictureGloria Casale

The Autobiography Continues - Part 4

Updated: May 18, 2020

It was 1964. The interstate system of roads was incomplete. Gas cost about thirty cents a gallon. Motel 6’s were clean, and they really charged six dollars a night.

Welcome to Reno, Nevada

“The biggest little city in the world.”

I arrived in Reno as the sunset over the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Reno - the home of gorgeous sunsets, casinos, hospitals, and ‘quickie divorces.’

This was my first trip of any significance. I’d never traveled any further away from New Jersey than Syracuse, New York, or Lansford, Pennsylvania.

I’d been on the road for five days. I had an eighteen-month-old daughter, a two and a half-year-old son, and what was left of my $240 paycheck. My 1961 Plymouth Station Wagon had air showing through its tires.

The magnificent western sunset I’d been driving toward winked out as I pulled into Reno’s Motel 6 parking lot. The woman behind the desk chewed her gum like it was a wad of tobacco.

A copy of the Reno Evening Gazette lay on the counter.

“Do you mind if I borrow this?”

“Naw – go ahead. I finished lookin’ at it hours ago.”

I got the kids settled into our room and thumbed through the paper to the Help Wanted Section.

Nursing Supervisor

New Rehab Center

Good hours

Good pay.

A pale pink shirtwaist dress was in one of the boxes of clothes. I pulled the dress out and hung it in the bathroom while I took a shower.

The moist air relaxed some of the creases.

The hotel iron helped make the dress interview ready.

Nylon stockings.

Black flats.

That was as good as it was going to get.

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