A short debut memoir detailing the career of the first woman to become a project manager for a large construction management company.
In this autobiography, Ford presents a guide of sorts for women interested in working their way up in industries traditionally reserved for men. She graduated from college in 1959, spent a year teaching art before marrying; after having two kids, she taught for another 16 years during 18 years of marriage. And then, rather suddenly, she found herself divorced with two children. Determined to move forward with her life, she went back to school to study for a degree in construction management. She began her new career with two major obstacles before her: she was in her 40s, and she was a woman in a male-dominated field. She later learned after obtaining her first job—working on a large construction project for Disney World in Florida—that despite having graduated in the top 10 percent of her class of 76 students, she was the seventh from last to find employment, and the lowest paid. Time, tenacity, and a willingness to frequently relocate finally brought her the coveted title of project manager for the construction of a medical office facility. Ford’s third-person narrative offers an intriguing insider’s peek into the construction industry, and it should offer inspiration for women in similar situations. But the presentation is seriously flattened by her preference for generic terms; for example, she says that she went east to visit her children in the “Big City,” and that she attended an unidentified “Big Ten University.” Even her significant other is referred to as simply “Professor” (he was teaching at the unnamed university when they met): “Professor purchased a house in the warm state. She would not be far from him. He was not well. And she was anxious.” Although the book is enlivened by amusing and pointed job-related anecdotes, it feels more like a resume than a memoir, overall.
An impressive journey, summarized a bit too dispassionately.
Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.
Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").
Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)