After graduation from Paschal, I signed up for a three year tour with the U. S. Army. I was anticipating a year in Europe. But, that wasn’t in the army’s plans. I was assigned to the air defense school in El Paso. I spent the first year as a student learning electronics. Then the army assigned me to the instructor staff at the air defense school. So, I spent my three year tour in El Paso and never did get to Europe. After being discharged from the U. S. Army, I found a home in the Federal Aviation Administration. I spent my first year in the FAA traveling in south and southwestern states installing radar systems for the FAA. My assignments brought me back to El Paso just in time to meet my future wife. She and her family were vacationing in El Paso. Their home was in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. We had one date before her family headed back home. A year later, I made the trip to Toronto, proposed and we were married in a whirlwind eight days in Toronto. As you may imagine my favorite songs from that era are “Weekend in Canada” and “Canadian Sunset.” My job kept us in El Paso until October, 1967. In the fall of 1967, I switched careers from radar electronics to main frame computer repair. I spent the rest of my FAA career at the Fort Worth Air Route Traffic Control Center just south of DFW airport. Susan and I have a son and a daughter and six grandchildren. We have lived in Hurst since August 1968 and our children have both bought homes near us. We get to see our grandchildren daily. Susan and I were avid square dancers until our health put an end to our square dancing days. I enjoy water skiing and passed along a love for the sport to our children and grandchildren. The grandkids tend to prefer using the jet ski. In looking for an activity to replace square dancing, I have started taking tennis lessons. I’m still a beginner and the younger people in the classes run circles around me. I never acquired a desire to chase the little white ball around a golf course.
Two years after I had a triple cardiac bypass, my daughter and I set a goal of hiking across Grand Canyon. On Columbus Day, 1992 we hiked from the South Rim to the North rim (That’s the hard way since the North Rim is 1000 feet higher than the South Rim). We camped overnight inside the canyon at Cottonwood Campground. It was beautiful, tiring but beautiful. On the trail we encountered several marathon runners who train for the Boston Marathon by running from the South Rim to the North Rim and back in a single day.
I retired from the FAA with 41 years and eleven months of combined military time and civil service time. Since retiring, I have worked off and on for Lockheed Martin Air Transportation Security Systems. Most of my time with Lockheed Martin ATSS (not to be confused with Lockheed Martin Aircraft Manufacturing) has been spent at the FAA Air Route Traffic Control Center. I did spend a few months in Oakland, CA, Kansas City, KS and the Washington, DC area. Fort Worth is home so I only take assignments that will eventually get me back to Fort Worth. That is the beauty of being retired. If they don’t have any work for me in this area, I can always go back to being retired.
I’m looking forward to meeting former classmates at the 50th reunion.