Gold Chrysler Watch


My Dad’s family has been in the United States since before it was the United States. They were Welsh/Irish and came through Virginia and kept going until they found the hills and hollows of what would become West Virginia. They became coal miners and steel mill workers and ended up eventually in northwestern Ohio. My Dad was too young to fight in WWII like his brothers but was drafted for the Korean War and went to college on the GI Bill.  Dad was the first one in his family to get a college degree and get a white-collar job. 

He went to work for Chrysler in Detroit in the Marketing & Investments division which ran its dealerships throughout the world. He was transferred to London, England (along with his family) in 1968 and worked throughout Europe. The capitals that he mentioned the most were Paris, Oslo, Istanbul, Madrid, and Berlin. He returned to the US after 4 years and continued to work for Chrysler even during its Lee Iacocca days (remember K cars). He stayed with them being transferred to different states within the US (Kansas City, San Francisco, Chicago, Irvine) until he retired in Southern California. 

When he retired, Chrysler gave him the proverbial gold watch to mark his retirement in 1991. Of course, they promptly hired him back as a consultant and he worked for them until 2008 when he was 80. The little boy who was born in West Virginia from generations of coal miners grew up to live and travel all over the world working for the same US multinational company for 30 years. That world doesn’t exist any longer.

Place(s): West Virginia, Ohio, Detroit, London, Paris, Oslo, Istanbul, Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin

– Sheri Jordan

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more