News and notes from Reston (tm).

Monday, January 9, 2012

Flashback Monday: To Be Fair, $0, or $50,000, Went A Lot Further in 1963


Set the Earth-Toned Wayback Machine back to November 1963 and do some snooping in Gulf Reston's filing cabinets, and you just might find a "photostatic copy" of this crown jewel of personnel information: The master list of Reston employees and their annual salaries.

It's nice to know that even in Reston's earliest days, back when Lake Anne was still emerging from the primordial ooze, there was a full-time "forester" on staff, who got paid a whopping $9,600 annual salary plus living accommodations for his efforts. Of course, that was before Ron Paul and the Gold Standard and Reganomics and malaise and Whip Inflation Now and the meteoric rise of stock, so that translates to nearly $70k today. Sweet! Likewise, the manager of the "construction division" got paid $30,000 a year, which comes out somewhere north of $210,000 in today's dollars. Which seems almost fair, if you consider how hard it must have been to source imitation stucco, countless cinder blocks, tankers full of "russet brown" lead paint and jet-age aluminum for the electric wiring.

But it wasn't all champagne wishes and caviar dreams on the Reston staff back then. "Week-end Salesmen" (and yes, they were all men) got $20 a day for pointing at various clumps of trees and exhorting clients to envision a row of mauve townhouses. We're guessing $40 over a weekend would help pay the monthly coupon on a Dart Swinger, but it probably wasn't enough to live on. And golf course laborers got paid between $1.50 and $1.75 an hour, which was probably about as crappy then as getting paid slightly more than minimum wage is today.

As for Bob Simon? According to the document, he was paid a handsome $0 for his efforts.

Update: Turns out Simon was paid $50,000 annually, according to an alert Confidential Restonian Operative who can actually read a smudgy photostatic copy. Good on him!


  1. $50,000 went even further than $0 did back then (look at that list again). And Bob Simon totally earned every penny.

  2. The Engineering group must have been the bees knees. They had their own "Party Chief"

  3. Yet when you ask about Milton's $200K salary, the RA board just plays ignorant and doesn't address it. He does what? Where's the austerity in this economy that is "poopy pants"?

  4. Who had the first $200k salary comment at 3:11PM? You won the pool.

    Next up: The over/under on the number of Hudgins-themed comments on whatever the next blog post winds up being about.

  5. Who cares? The real issue is the fugly font Restonian has in the comments section.


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