EN GRANDISSANT – 1

My life has been long and interesting. Often over a glass of wine (or two), I often will tell a story of something interesting that happened to me along the way.

Usually someone will say “you should write a book”. I am sure they are just being nice, but my conceit has told me that maybe I should at least write some of my ventures down for my posterity with a little poem here and there for interest.

Furthermore I am using you folks to to see if my writing about them is worth while, to me or others. Everything written here did happen to me, and the chronicles are written as best I can remember of the facts, with very few embellishments. to keep your interest. It has been a long time and a long road, and at times, even I ask if this really happen~! It did~!
If I perceive that others do not find this interesting, I will stop posting, and get back to my other site. Los Perdidos.

MY FATHER AND THE ASSOCIATION OF LIFE AND PROFESSION

Who would ever dream that the association with family and the world around you would add so many things that would eventually go into the make up of what you finally become in life. I would like to give you a few vignettes of this. Warning, my stories will give you an idea of the times and place from which I grew up, giving a hint of my age and heritage.

A LONG TIME AGO AND IN A VERY DIFFERENT WORLD~!

First off I must tell you about my dad who was an electrician / radio man….. He had been educated at the Cohen School of Electronics in Chicago, where among others, Lee Deforest was one of the professors. I have his diploma hanging on the wall of my office today. For you who are not in the know, Lee Deforest was credited with the invention of the Vacuum Tube, thus long distance (short wave) wireless radio transmission, and for a short time it also employed Nikola Tesla (yes the one that the car is named after).

I guess that today he would be called an Electrical Engineer but that was long ago, the time was circa 1917. Public Radio was in its infancy and America was just starting to become “Electrified”, so one of the main subjects was, believe it or not, Diesel Engines, along with the power plants they ran. On graduation, dad was inducted into the army in the signal corps, at the time the “War to end all Wars” was in progress and which history books today calls “World War One”. The Signal Corps back then was not only still mostly semaphore but also telepathy and he was a telegrapher, being able to send and receive over the telegraph, as well as setting up the stations. I also have some of this equipment today.

When he was discharged and came home, he then stayed with his Grandmother who lived near by, and helped run her boarding house for students. This boarding house made it possible for her having raised three boys and a girl, having lost her husband due to injuries from the War of Northern Aggression. But she also had taken over the School he had established. There he met my Mother who was boarding while attending high school. But I again digress from my story~!

He immediately had a fine occupation constructing Power Plants, wiring houses, and also “fiddled” with the emerging radio industry, and the what may not seem related, Diesel engineering, even as the foreman on building the first bridge over the Red River in our Parish. The connection being that it had to be opened with a huge diesel engine. By the way those generator engines (power plants) which you may still see today in museums had one cylinder, about 14 inches in diameter and a flywheel about ten feet tall. They were huge things and as a kid the one in my home town often kept me awake at night, due to it’s slow bumb, bumb, bumb, all night, which you could hear all over our small town. I remember that the power plants he installed were manufactured by Fairbanks Morse and remember going to the supply house with him for parts.

During the depression and then by the time I came along, my dad mostly was wiring houses, and “fixing radios”, as hydro electric was rapidly replacing many of those engines. He was also occupied with several other side lines which he was educated for, and even became deputy sheriff under his father during prohibition, which slightly predated me. Often as a small kid I was the one who was sent into a small dirty attic to help string wires in old houses. From all of this I learned a lot about electronics from the ground up. Finally back on my subject~!

At a tender age I knew a lot about the fundamentals of radio, and could do minor repairs, I could also run wires, with complex systems. At about ten, I wired our “out house”, using lamp cord. I installed a light, receptacles, and a switch. I put in a radio, and a fan. For a very short time we had the only outhouse in our town with such conveniences. However when my dad saw what I had done, instead of praising me, he gave me the devil and made me take it all out. His statement was short: “You will take a S**T just like the rest of us~!” Oh I have hundreds of stories…..

When I went away to school my dad was not pleased that I did not follow in his foot steps and work path as my brother had done, and he thought that I was just too lazy. Little did he or I know that all of that knowledge was to serve me well for the rest of my life.

So I will leave you here but you will see how this practical education and more was to add a lot to my later life. Next I will tell you how my Grandfather also added to that knowledge. Stay tuned, as they would say on Fibber McGee and Molly.

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