My Life in the 1960s
In the 1960s, I attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), majoring in Mathematics and Physics. I also ran on the school track team.
During my junior year in college, I ran on the UWM track team. I won several metals and received a letter in the sport.
The biggest thrill was running in the Journal Indoor Track meet, which was telvised locally. Included in the meet was Rev. Bob Richards, who set the world's record in the pole vault, as well as other top track stars. I ran in the mile relay race.
I started looking for a job for when I would graduate in June, but I had no offers. A promising job was at Allis-Chalmers in West Allis, but that didn't pan out. I also interviewed at Cook Electric in the Chicago area and 3M in Minneapolis.
I graduated from UWM in June 1962 with a Bachelors in Science (BS) degree with majors in Mathematics and in Physics.
Since I had no job offers yet, I started summer school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as a prelude to enterging Granduate School there. I roomed with my neighbor from 54th Street, Ron Heilmann, along with several other guys. We lived in a house on Bowen Court, which was due to be ripped down for expansion of the school.
Finally in late summer, I received an offer from McDonnell Aircraft Company in St. Louis, Missouri. Mom felt so bad that I was leaving home.
I got an apartment in St. Louis in an all black neighborhood. But then later I got an apartment in Hazelwood, which was close to McDonnell. My roommate was Lowell Gunther, who was also from Milwaukee.
I worked in the optics department at McDonnell, designing and testing optics.
One memo I wrote in February 1963 was entitled: Review of Basic Concepts in Third (3rd) Order Aberration Theory (PDF).
I made a test fixture to test the windows used in the Mercury space capsule used by John Glenn, the first U.S. Astronaut. I also tested optics for the RF-4 aircraft that flew over Cuba to take pictures of missle sites.
Pictures taken in Optics Lab:
However, I soon became restless in my job. I really wanted to interact more with other people.
I quit McDonnel Aircraft and entered in Graduate School at Missouri University. I lived in Dockery-Folk dormatory. I was able to get an assistanship, teaching college Algebra.
My grades in Graduate School were mediocre, and I was running out of money. I was able to be rehired at McDonnell. They gave me a $2 a week raise.
I got an apartment in Bridgeton, MO with Carrol Hughes and his brother Nolan. They both were from Texas. Carrol worked in my department at McDonnell.
I decided I wanted to get into engineering sales with IBM, so I coudl interact more with other people. However, I would then lose my draft deferment, since I would no longer be doing defense work. I quit McDonnell and moved back to Milwaukee and joined the Army Reserves.
I then served six months in the Army Reserves. After my discharge, I picked up my car from Hjlamer and Margaret"s and drove down to Los Angeles. I stayed with Jim and June in Sylmar, CA for a while and then got an apartment in Van Nuys and looked for work.
I got a job as an engineer with Aeronutronics/Ford-Aerospace in Newport Beach, CA. I worked there about a year and was then layed off.
I then got a job as the Member of Technical Staff at the Santa Barbara Research Center (SBRC).
Bought a new Porsche 912.
While I was still working at SBRC, I started writing a "man-in-the-street" column for the Goleta Valley Sun newspaper.