Official Retirement Date is January 3rd, 2012
This morning as I left for my last day of work , (Yeehaw!!) a photo op presented itself! I felt like a little kid on his way to the first day of Kindergarten; but think on my way to graduation might be more appropriate! But it also got me to thinking about my 33 years in the Airplane Manufacturing Industry and all of the projects I worked on. I still easily recall Noe Castillo meeting me at the Main Gate at Northrop on August 28, 1978. Just a punk kid hired on as a Tube Finisher & Assembler, Trainee hired at $4.99 per hour plus a 25 cent Cost of Living raise. Big time money for this recently married 23 year old! I started work on the very first F-18 and by the time my Northrop career was completed 10 years later, I had worked on the F-5, F-18, F-23, T-38, Drones/Targets, and B-2. In what started as a trainee position, I moved to Tube Bender, Tooling & Production Planner, Manufacturing Engineer, back to T&O Planning and finally a Senior MFG Engineer. I worked in Hawthorne and the site in Newberry Park near Thousand Oaks.
Fast Forward to Halloween 1988 and my 1st day in Washington. Scooter and I drove up from LA with a quick stop in Lake Tahoe to see The Judds and we arrived, naturally, in the rain! We stayed with Vince Miraldi, another ex-Northrop employee, in Maple Valley.I started at Boeing on November 3rd, and have had the good fortune to work on the 737, 757, & 787 programs. I also had the honor of working on a few other projects including DCAC Conversion, C32A, 737 Quick Change airplanes, Supplier Engagement Teams (here’s a shout out to my WinterPeg buddies!), and Synergy 1. I know this means nothing to a lot of you but it’s my blog and my memories so deal with it!! 🙂
Ok, Ok… back to where I started… I have had a wonderful time working at Northrop & Boeing but the best part of any job are the people you share the trials and tribulations with. Many are memorable for their wit, some for dedication, some for snobbery; but all in all it has been a wonderful ride. Now an awesome opportunity has presented itself; we (Sue and I) have grabbed for the brass ring and something is caught in our hands! Now, it’s time to go see what it is and Live, Love, and Laugh our way on to the next phase! I wanted to title this blog “The Thrill is Gone; Long Live the Thrill”… It was exciting to be a part of making great aircraft and now it is time to make great memories, enjoy the retired life and be freeeeeee!!!!!
We leave for the shuttle in a few minutes for the first stop of the Grand Retirement Escapade And Tour (GREAT… thanks for the acronymWayne!!)