Saturday, March 9, 2013

Week 28 - Ocean Waves

My Dad informed us this week that Dana is engaged. The block might have prompted another wedding-related post - but since I don't know when Dana is getting married, or if maybe she's having a destination wedding someplace (she's traveled a lot already!) I decided the history of Barbara Brackman's friend's service with the WAVES during WWII better related to my own history.  With the war in the Pacific as the focus, I chose a couple of Asian prints (the one in the lower corner was in a package of fat quarters from my sister-in-law Joanna) and a pack of green hand dyes I bought probably ten years ago to give the block a little motion.

This is not quite the William and Mary green.  I bought it to go with the decor in my Reston house, which is the one Dana will remember from some of the family gatherings - Thanksgiving and her father's 50th birthday to name two.

So back to a little about the quiltmaker and writer of this family history: when I finished college, the best opportunity for me with my language major was as an analyst with the Defense Department.  I worked there for a couple of years, quit and worked as a contractor on a joint military installation in Germany, then moved to Hawaii where I worked for the Navy.  About the only proof that I was a direct Navy employee is a letter that came with a check for a special service I performed, sent to me after my last day there. (this is just the letterhead and first line.)

Then I went back to my previous job in the DC area - here are a couple of photos taken at awards ceremonies in the 1990's - I cropped out the other people in the photos.  The first one is a folder with a check inside for my support to a cutting-edge research project.  Flags always show up in these photos.

And finally here's a photo I cropped so we could see the U.S. Navy's flag.  The occasion was a medal ceremony - I earned it for support to the Balkans war in the mid-1990's.

I never served in the military, but worked as a civilian employee or contractor in the Defense industry my entire career.  Thanks to the women of the previous generations, I did not suffer discrimination for being a women in that world.  By the time I was hired in 1979, the language specialist field I was in was just starting to include a lot of women, and became female-dominated by the end of the next decade.  But the environment in general was mostly male and women in upper management certainly were the exception in the early years.  I witnessed many changes, however, as women moved up ahead of me.  In particular, by the late 1980's/early 1990's, new rules were instituted that allowed management to punish my co-workers for sexual harassment.  What we women suffered was not usually blatant - the common issues were disrespectful remarks, to include catcalls and whistles, that were stomped out, permitting us to perform our jobs without having to put up defenses of our own.  


Vicki W said...

Did you make that jacket in the last photo? I remember making a jacket for myself using that triangle buttonhole technique that I learned from Roberta Carr.

Anna Banana said...

As usual, you've packed a lot into that little 8 inch block. Thanks for sharing your story!

Dorry said...

The block, the block, it's meant to be about the block. Yet we all can't help but comment about the things other than the block. Yes, you very well demo in this block why it is time to get serious about including ombres (or other shaded fabrics) in our collections. Good use of the fabrics.

Sherrye said...

Well-respected in your work in Washington AND at the machine!! Like the shading of the greens.

Cindy tedesco said...

Always interesting to read about your blocks and how you connect them to your life.