It all started with an Old-Fashioned 1940’s Oak School Desk-Chair-would never think of refinishing. At age five, I needed a Desk-Chair to conduct my “private business”. So, Mother and Daddy got a chair like this for me so I could go to work. They placed it in the hall because Mother would not allow it in any room – too ugly. I thought it was great! I put my spiral notebooks on the shelf underneath. I had a shoe box for my pencils and erasers. I had a ruler. I don’t remember all my projects at my desk. But, I worked every day. Many days, I wrote notes to my best friend Janice who lived next door. It would be something I had created with pencil, ruler, and paper. I would fold it, and place it in our private hiding place in the side yard. Give our private signal – a “hoot-hoot-hoo-hooooooo” – like a bird of some sort. That would go on for hours, with notes going back and forth.
My favorite game was “Go to the Head of the Class”. Others were playing dolls. Not me. I was working and memorizing answers to the questions in the little book from Go to the Head of the Class. Over the years in grammar school, I loved my school desk. I had a place for my pencil. I had an ink well. And, I could store my books and tablets under the lid.
In high school, and college, I designated “office space” in my bedroom – wherever I was. When I got married. I insisted on having office space in our home. It usually was a corner in a room somewhere – usually the living room and NOT to be used by anyone else. I can still remember my office in our house in Athens, Georgia. Darrell and I were attending the University. He was in law school. I was working on my BFA in Speech and Drama, then MA in Drama. I had a card table set up in a corner of the living room. On my “desk” was a typewriter, a mug with pencils in it, and space for my coffee. I wrote my Master’s thesis on that card table – “The Origins of George Bernard Shaw’s Life Force Philosophy”. Sound familiar?
I started working as soon as I graduated from college – a college professor. Then, Chairman of the Division of Humanities. That was my job when I took a year’s leave of absence to get my PhD at UCLA. When I started acting, Vic Tayback, a friend, told me acting is a business – approach it that way or get out. OK. Selling real estate and doing fixers was my back-up career. It was a natural that I started law school at age 59. Made sense to me. I could practice law as long as I could think.
When Steve and I decided to move to France, things changed. Doctor’s orders. Well, the doctor didn’t tell me to move to France, but he did say that I needed to decrease activities that were causing too-high blood pressure. I had cases and clients. I said the “r” word. I knew I was not retiring. I was planning to do something else. All went well for eleven months.
Now – it is time to go back to work. Practice law in California, live in Nice, France. I have ideas of how to do that. Time to implement them. Working is a state of mind. There are “jobs”, and there is working. I love to work. Why? Who knows? But, this is not new news. Ask my mother. Ask Daddy. Ask my sisters. Ask Janice. Ask Steve. Ask my kids. Working for me started before school and will last until death. I am convinced of it.