Dedicated to Alaskan Aviation Pioneers
Charlie Muhs - Editor

Vol 4 January 1997  
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Well, another year has come and gone. Dottye and I wish all OUR TIME readers the very best for 1997.

In an attempt to always find a better way, OUR TIME has a new look. The larger type should make for easier reading.

"1996 The Coldest Year Since 1982" read a recent Anchorage Daily News headline! Except for the fact we have faced below zero temperatures for the past several weeks. Fortunately, we have been spared the devastating storms that plummeted the Pacific Northwest and southern states. In Alaska, you expect cold weather and snow but not when you live in the southern part of the country. Snow in Atlanta on December 20th - and Green Valley, Arizona made the Alaskan evening news with their recent dusting of snow.

So far, your editor has not heard of any serious damage to our faithful readers. Thank goodness for that and we hope sincerely everyone is coming through this winter safely.

Dottye and I returned from a fifteen-day Panama Canal cruise on December 22, 1996. This was our first cruise and we look forward to our next. We thoroughly enjoyed the ship (Regal Princess), the weather and the Ports of Call (Cabo San Lucas; Acapulco; Puerto Caldera (San Jose), Costa Rica; Cartagena, Columbia; St. Thomas USVI and the Princess Cays in the Bahamas). Traversing the Panama Canal was a once in a lifetime experience. This adventure was something we had always wanted to do.

The FAA has continued the "Early Out" program through FY97. This will allow employees to "retire" under the "discontinued service" guidelines, i.e., twenty-five years of service at any age, or twenty years of service at age fifty. A list of those employees who retired in 1996 can be found on page 17.

Along those same lines, Helen Groeneveld, SATCS Anchorage Tower, retired January 3, 1997. Many of you may remember Helen (Fouse) when she worked in the Air Traffic Division as a Secretary and later as their Administrative Officer before becoming an Air Traffic Controller.
In this issue you will also find the latest information and reservation application for the 1997 "Alaskans" Convention in Las Vegas, NV this April.

Rodney Slater has been confirmed as the new Secretary of Transportation. Also, a new Administrator and Deputy Administrator will be in the offering for the FAA. So far, no good rumors as to who will replace Administrator Hinson.

Letters continue to come in from OUR TIME readers . Your Editor can not remember a time when the mail bag was as full as it has been in these past few months. With that in mind, most of this issue will be devoted to their letters.

In fact, one of the more interesting anecdotes of years gone by comes from Jim Vrooman. Having heard the Merrill Field building may be destroyed when the new Merrill Tower is constructed, motivated Jim to sit down and reflect upon some early times in this historical landmark. 
Your Editor began his career in the sub-basement of this grand old building. It was in July of '58 and Adolph "Rosey" Roseneau was the Air Traffic instructor. When I first arrived on the scene, this building was also home to the Anchorage Center - in addition to the Airways Station (FSS) and the INSAC.

It never ceases to amaze your Editor the quality and character of the CAA/FAA employees. When you think you have heard it all, along comes another anecdote about the pioneer spirit that helped carve out of this primitive and sometimes harsh land a legacy that credits us all. In this issue, your Editor asked Paul Wilson to share "his" Alaska story. We hope you enjoy this adventure as much as OUR TIME did.


Census Enumerator

By Paul Wilson

The CAA (Civil Aeronautics Administration) first became an independent Alaskan Region in 1941 with Marshall Hoppin as its first Administrator. Anchorage, Nome, and Fairbanks already had a small CAA Communication Station as early as 1939. Grant McMurray was working in the Nome station in 1939 and later he became well known in the Anchorage Regional Offices along with Jerry Whittaker and Al Hulen.

In August of 1938, young Paul Wilson left his home in balmy southern California and took a bus to Seattle and sailed to Nome aboard the S.S. Baranof. Stops en route were at Nanimo, B.C. for coal from there we traveled to Ketchikan, then across the Gulf to Akutan, where whaling was in full operation, then on to Dutch Harbor and north to Nome. With no docking facilities available, all the passengers and cargo had to be lightered to this early frontier town, where gambling was permitted and the small "Red Light" district was open for business.

I learned early the term "Cheechako" when I tried to buy one bakery roll (2 for 15 cents) with a nickel and three pennies . . . "Cheechako", she almost yelled, "we don't use pennies here!" The only place in Nome that pennies were traded was the Post Office. Guy Mish was the Postmaster in 1938.

Kotzebue (30 miles above the Arctic Circle) was my destination where I was to serve as janitor and helper for the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) teachers, Mr. and Mrs. Harvey W. Starling, that first winter. Having never ridden in an airplane, my first flight was from Nome to Kotzebue with famed CAA/FAA pilot Jack Jefford who was then flying with Mirrow Air Service. When Jefford learned that this was to be my first airplane ride, he asked if I would care to ride up front with him. What a thrill that first airplane ride was - and then to fly north across the Arctic Circle to Kotzebue. At the time of my retirement, Jefford was the Chief Pilot for the Federal Aviation Agency in Alaska.

Life in the Arctic those early years proved to be quite a contrast from southern California. Following the winter of 1938 I worked in the gold fields in Candle, Alaska as "flunky", Jim Robbins was the general manager. Being very conservative, I save all my summer earnings (over $1,300) and moved to Nome feeling very "rich". The following summer I found work with the U.S. Smelting & Mining Co. in Nome as a Time-Keeper.

Knowing little of Arctic conditions but needing employment, the position of Census Enumerator in the 2 Division in Nome became available under the supervision of Mr. Martin. I was assigned the region along the Chukchi Sea coast from Kotzebue north to Point Barrow. This was to be the first, complete census in all of Alaska!

Early in January 1940, I returned to Kotzebue where I hired York Wilson (part native and no relation) and his sixteen dogs and started north along the Arctic Coast. York had the best dog team available and was to serve as my guide, interpreter, transportation and in retrospect - actual survival itself. For a young Cheechako from California, this proved to be quite a challenge. Traveling in that hostile environment via a dog team coupled with arctic blizzards, limited daylight, temperatures forty below zero and colder, and penetrating wind were conditions not fully anticipated. Modern arctic equipment and clothing had not yet been developed, making it necessary to dress and travel as the Native Eskimos - fur pants, fur mittens, fur parkas, mukluks, reindeer sleeping bags, etc.

Often it was necessary to improvise overnight shelter and snow blocks would be cut and covered with the canvas sled cover thus making the "motel" for the night. The kerosene primus stove was the only means of heat and cooking. When an Eskimo family was located, their hospitality and shelter were most welcomed. Accommodations were simple . . . unroll the sleeping bag on the floor along side the family members and sleep came easy. Only the barest of essentials were carried . . . coffee, pilot bread, rice, some sugar, etc. Reindeer and fish, cooked or eaten raw ("quak"), for ourselves as well as for the dogs were obtained from the native families.

When asked what was the most difficult part of dog team travel, I quickly replied, "finding adequate bathroom facilities". In particular, during arctic blizzard conditions, with temperatures 30 to 40 below, one's objective is to expose oneself the very least!! Perhaps problems of long distance dog sled racers can now be better appreciated.

At several native camps south of Point Barrow along the Mead River, families were located living in sod, snow covered homes with no heat other than their bodies and an oil lamp. The cold was so intense that the primus stove had to be used to warm hands sufficiently to complete the Census forms.

Many older Natives spoke little English and did not know their birth dates or exact age, making it necessary to "guess estimates" for census purposes. When dates were estimated, this information was noted for future reference in some prayer book or Bible that some missionary had given. Frequently, the date of April first was given and it would be interesting in future years when some anthropologist, writing their thesis, would find so many natives with April first as their birthday!

Compensation for the Census Enumerator in 1940 was $12.00 per day plus $12.00 for the expenses of hiring the dog team, driver, food and provisions.

Arriving at Point Barrow was a happy occasion as we were met by Mr. Jens Forshaug, Reindeer Unit Manager and future brother-in-law. Also on hand was Howard and Pauline Burker, BIA teachers; Stan Morgan, AACS Radio Operator; Charley Brower and family, local traders; Miss Pollack and Miss Keaton, BIA Nurses at the Barrow Hospital.

Looking back, it is interesting to note that the Warren Harding Administration in 1923 had designated the area as a Naval Oil Reserve. No one could dream that such oil wealth lay under that Arctic Region. As an indication however, just a short distance from Barrow was a "pitch lake" where Natives, using a heated shovel, easily dug chunks of pitch which served as excellent heating fuel!

Except for racing, the dog team mode of travel has been replaced by the "iron musher" and the howl of the husky to the "roar" of the modern snow machine. The memories of the "trail" fifty-seven years ago still linger.

Following this "trek on the trail", I married Miss Helen Forshaug, a Nome Territorial school teacher from Wisconsin. Needing employment, we sailed north aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Hiada and accepted a position with the BIA as teacher and weather observer at the small Eskimo village of Point Lay. Helen's BIA salary was $1,800 per year. As assistant teacher, my salary was $600 plus four six-hourly daily weather observations at 50 cents each. Imagine dressing at 2:00 a.m. to start the light plant, 110 volts were not available otherwise, and going outside into blizzard conditions to check the weather. I then sent the report to the AACS Station in Barrow via coded CW - all for 50 cents!

In spite of the rigors of the Arctic, we felt fortunate to be at Point Lay on Pearl Harbor Day - December 7, 1941. Originally, we were slated to be BIA teachers at Attu, Alaska. Instead, Charles and Etta Jones were assigned as BIA teachers and weather observer. On June 8, 1942, in addition to the Jones' there were 43 Aleuts living on this tiny Aleutian Island so near to Japan. When the Japanese invaded this tiny, defenseless island, they immediately seized the schoolhouse and Mr. Jones was killed the following day. Mrs. Jones was sent to Yokihama, Japan where she lived out the war. Because of a change in travel orders by the BIA, Helen and I were sent to Point Lay instead of Attu and the course of our lives were dramatically altered.

In early 1942, the CAA began recruitment of "man and wife teams" to staff the communications stations (now know as Flight Service Stations) throughout Alaska. These teams were brought to Anchorage for training. For six months we received training in CAA/FAA procedures which also required a proficiency in CW Code at least 30 wpm. Assignments as CAA Aircraft Communicators were predicated on our grades and preferences. Helen and I were part of the second training class then held in the old Federal Building on Fourth Avenue in Anchorage. Mr. Herbert Bridges was the instructor. Other members of our class were: Lolla Berato; Mrs. Grimstad; Mr. & Mrs. Vern Counter (assigned to Petersburg); Hugh and Margaret Rae (Mar Rae is now living in Red Bluff, California); Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Wood (now living in Edmonds, Washington) and Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Roseneau (Rosie now lives in Venete, Oregon). Having lived as far north as possible, we requested assignment to Annette Island close to Ketchikan.

Originally Annette was a two-man station. We were assigned to the mid-watch and rotated working circuits #301 and #302. Remember? With the war buildup, Annette became a very important base for the Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Canadian Air Force.

When the war ended, Helen resigned and I worked at several CAA/FAA Overseas Communications Stations - San Francisco, Honolulu, Panama, New York and Anchorage. In 1956, while working in the Long Beach, California control tower, I completed college. Other assignments included: Air Traffic Control Instructor at Oklahoma City (1959/60); ATC Project Officer at the FAA National Experimental Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey (1962/63) and ATC and Communication Advisor in Saigon, Vietnam (1963/65).

Upon returning from Vietnam, I found the "call of the Arctic" irresistible and accepted a position as FAA Military Liaison Officer in the Air Traffic Division in Anchorage. I worked on Elmendorf AFB and traveled to the Air Force Radar facilities in northern Alaska.

I retired in 1973. For a brief time after retirement we moved to Montana, but the "Call of the Arctic" once again became irresistible and we returned to Anchorage where we call home.


Tom Lane, CivAir Club President, has informed OUR TIME the 1998 Retiree Cake and Coffee will be hosted in the MIC Room on Friday, June 27, 1997 at 9:00 am. The CivAir picnic will be hosted on Saturday, June 28, 1997 at noon. The picnic location will once again be at Cottonwood Park on Ft. Richardson - same location as last year.


JANUARY 16, 1997

Gore Commission: A three-day conference on aviation safety and security was held at George Washington University on January 13-15 of this week. Vice President Al Gore spoke at the hearing and announced three safety decisions; 1) DOD has agreed to make available its previously secret digital terrain map of the world. The map could be used in enhanced GPWS. 2) the Alaska Free Flight Demonstration Project, and 3) the modification of the rudder system on the Boeing 737.

Congress: The first session of the 105th Congress convened on January 7, but was in recess until January 20 for the House and January 21 for the Senate. The House introduced H.R. 4, a bill to provide off-budget treatment for the highway trust fund, the airport and airway trust fund, the inland waterways trust fund, and the harbor maintenance trust fund. FY96/FY97 ATC Hiring: ATS ended FY 96 with a total controller work force level of 17,080, 30 controllers above the end of year target of 17,050. This will allow AT to get a head start on meeting the FY97 target of 17,300 controllers. Of the 100 controllers hired in FY96, 75 were former controllers. AT is planning to hire 500 controllers 

in FY97. Of the 500 hires, 300 will be former controllers, 150 College Training Initiatives and 50 from other sources such as DOD, employee reinstatements etc. FY96/FY97 Technician Hiring: 369 new field technicians were hired by AF in FY96. The hiring goal for FY97 is 384. This number includes 250 to cover attrition and an additional 134 to meet future demands.

ARTCC Critical/Essential Power System (ACEPS): 24 of 25 installations have completed critical cut over and are operating on the ACEPS. The final cut over at Jacksonville is scheduled for March.

FAA Management Advisory Council (MAC): On January 9, the Acting Administrator established the FAA MAC as required by the Federal Aviation Reauthorization Act of 1996. The Council will be comprised of one designee from DOT, one from DOD and 13 members representing aviation interests appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Council will advise the FAA on management, policy, spending, funding and regulatory matters affecting the aviation industry.



Nancy Stewart pointed out our oversight in leaving her e-mail address off the E-Mail directory. She can be found at:  Sorry Nancy.



The January 9, 1997, Anchorage Daily News offered the following menu for those of you who may be planning a large get together. As you can see, there is a bit of preparation in order to pull this off - but the Editor's at OUR TIME truly believes you will be the talk of the neighborhood.



Reprinted from the Anchorage Daily News

Sheldon P. Wimpfen from Luray, Va., sent this recipe for WHALE CHILI to Chili Pepper magazine in 1989. Wimpfen claims it's the first recipe ever used for chili con carne, dating back to 15,000 B.C. Wimpfen claims the recipe was invented by the Alasxsxaq Indians of the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes near Katmai.



3 tons red chili pods
1 medium (50-foot) blue whale, cubed to fingertip size using an ulu
60 oogruk (seals), cubed to fingertip size
30 tons onions, finely chopped
1 ton garlic, minced
100 pounds sea salt
600 pounds oregano
400 pounds cumin

Dig a bowl in the ice 40 feet long, 20 feet wide and 10 feet deep. Place all the ingredients in the ice bowl and mix well. Add water and volcanically heated stones until the chili is bubbling. Reduce heat and simmer for two weeks. Ladle leftovers into 5-gallon leather buckets and freeze in a glacier. Serves a village for one year. ("Hot & Spicy Chili", Prima Publishing)

Hmmm. I wonder what Big Al is planning to top this at his September fish fry!



Connie Jeglum wrote to let us know how much she is enjoying OUR TIME. She reports, "My copy was waiting for me when we got back, along with the list of names and addresses. What a great service for old time FAAers. You do such a super job that my husband, who never worked for FAA, reads it from cover to cover". Connie goes on to say, " I know from personal experience how much work goes into any publication. Know that you are appreciated out here". <Editor blushes here>

I particularly appreciate the on-line addresses. Being an active member of NARFE, I liked the plug you gave the organization but wish you had included instructions regarding how to apply. Maybe in a later issue. I'm sure you know that the address for National Headquarters is NARFE, 1533 New Hampshire Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20036-12779. A post card asking for information will suffice or interested parties can call 1-800-456-8410. There's even an e-mail address, although I don't remember it right now. I know you get Retirement Life, so you can look in there for it. (

We're back in Fairbanks and will stay here until we leave for Egypt on December 26 (our third anniversary).

(Thanks Connie for the kind words. But, the real kudos go to the folks who contribute the outstanding articles that appear in OUR TIME. Without their letters and stories... We would be dead in our tracks. Editor)


Al Hall writes, "Woke up this morning with the back yard one large lake, which as the day progressed turned into a not quite raging but quite rapid torrent".

Also on looking at the lake in the early a.m., went down to Dorothy's craft room to discover two and a half inches of water standing waiting for fish to be planted. The peculiar thing is that when I went to the back door to look out and see how high it was on the door, it was not even over the back stoop and when I opened the door, the water went flowing out!! It was coming in from the crawl space under the main part of the house. We managed to get emergency coordinators to bring out half a dozen sand bags (read plastic bags of azalia potting soil) and was able to divert the one stream that was feeding directly toward the foundation of the house and the opening for getting under the house. That stopped the inflow into the lower room.

Needless to say, Dorothy had numerous cardboard boxes of stuff on the floor as well as safe places. Actually though not too much stuff that was dear to her was ruined. Not like the flood of '67 in Fairbanks.

Also, needless to say, we will not depart for Tucson tomorrow. Have put our travel on indefinite hold - probably for about ten days. We did manage to snag some professionals who are going to come in at 7 a.m. tomorrow morning and wring the rest of the water out of the place. We are having to take out the carpet. Will leave the concrete floor dry out whilst we are in Tucson and then have new carpet put down when we get back. That should reduce the possibility of mold and mildew quite a bit.

Thrill, thrill, it just started raining again. That ought to help melt the snow faster and make the waters rise even higher.

There is not a road in Clallam county that is not or has not been blocked or broken in one or more places. That includes US 101 and most of the streets of Sequim. I think that paradise has gotten itself lost. What a way to start the New Year!! Anyway all the best in the days ahead.



Jim Hughes writes, "Janie is hanging in there." She's in the fifth of six rounds - started last Monday (1/6) and continues through this Friday (1/17) - of chemo. Biggest problem right now is pain control. Pills help, but you always feel helpless to provide any comfort. Her spirits are still high. We still find lots to laugh about, though many would find our sense of humor somewhat unusual.


Get Well Soon

As we get ready to go to press OUR TIME has learned Sigrid Karabelnikoff is in the hospital. Sigrid has been there for the past three weeks. She has been diagnosed with Crones disease. A rare disorder that affects the digestive system.

OUR TIME has also learned Ken Hill, former AF Maintenance Mechanic, has successfully underwent triple by-pass surgery while in Arizona. We understand he is doing well.

And, Bill Turner reports former Flight Inspection Pilot Leroy McDonald was also recuperating from a brief illness.



Your OUR TIME Editor has learned the following with regards to a question about IRA survivor benefits: My source - Merrill Lynch.

A surviving spouse may continue to collect benefits from the deceased spouses' IRA, even if the surviving spouse has not reached age 59 1/2, provided the deceased spouse was withdrawing income from the IRA account at the time of death - to supplement retirement income.

Of course, don't take my word, but check it out with your financial institution managing your IRA account.



The following message was just received at NARFE HQ from the Office of Personnel Management:

The Office of Personnel Management today began receiving sporadic reports from annuitants that their "Statements of Annuity Paid" Form 1099R were incorrectly addressed by the private contractor that prepared the forms. The forms are used by annuitants to file their federal and state income tax returns. OPM officials have contacted Freedom Graphic Systems, Inc. of Milton, Wisconsin, the firm which prepared the mailing to annuitants, to determine the extent of the error. In addition, OPM has sent four of its own staff to Freedom Graphic Systems to isolate the error and correct the problem. New forms will be mailed once the error has been identified and corrected. Annuitants who have experienced this problem and do not want to wait for the contractor to mail a new form to their correct address can call, at no expense to them:

ANNUITANT EXPRESS, at 1-800-409-6528. 
Using a touch tone telephone, follow the instructions for requesting a duplicate form 1099R. The duplicate form will be mailed the next business day. Annuitants who do not have a touch tone telephone may call the OPM Tax Branch at (202) 606-0214 to receive a duplicate form.


I was asked to speak 
and it's been a week
And nothing came 
From this wonderful brain

And try as I might
Not one thought
I arrived here tonight!

So in that room
where all wise men go
Did my thoughts 
Start flying to and fro!
Upon the commode
with a setting sun
Did I write this ode
To Syverson!

So here it goes and 
Don't ask me to repeat
cause my knees are a shaken
And I got sore feet

Here's to Danny 
Our Assistant Nanny!

It won't be long
before he's gone
But do not swoon
For all to soon

He'll be at the Regional Office
You know the place,
Where they start all that Gossip 
He will be missed from our office, we insist!

The stories of Old
ee's been known to unfold
Tell of his uncles, Eleven!
I've been told
From North Dakota I know
Not Where!
But if you have the time
I'm sure he'll share
A story of the farm
and what he did in the barn
or of his travels with Lamay!
A General I've heard him say
or of the night he drank quite
right! must have been
from an Estuary 
For he ended up on a slab at the Mortuary

Now if you're lost and in a fog 
Then I'll tell you a story bout 
he and his dog!

Rabies it had when only a Babe
and should have died,
But somebody lied
Just ask Danny bout the
repairs he's made.

Then came the day he wanted to test
his culinary skills aah to long at rest
Donuts it was an recipe in hand
He started a cookin like a one man band
With flour a flying and grease a poppin
He made those donuts as if they were nothin

Thank God! there was no one there to mock
For his donuts turned out as hard as a rock
Being resourceful and one not to wait
To old Rover they went on Arlene's silver plate!

But the dog was to smart
and could see from the start
that the gift Danny was
was not from the heart
But loyalty abounds
and he tried to be the hound
and devour the ungodly tarts!

And though he tried
and thought he died
and some have said
"It tastes like more"

You can believe me when I quote the hound

But all aside!
And I never lied

To work with Danny
Just tickled my Fanny

He's brave and strong and true 
It won't be the same
I feel this pain 
and the loss will make me blue

But I'm a better man
cause I can say I ran
with the best-Yeah,
bar all the res
So I Bid Farewell
and it's sure been swell

But wait! I can't stop
and I know you're startled
without one last shot at Benedict Arnold!

But the time is near!
Before I'm removed from here!

So I propose a toast
to the one with the most

Here's to Danny 
Our Assistant Nanny!

Richard A. Ericson 

(While cleaning out a bunch of old papers, I came across the foregoing poem. It was written by Rick Ericson who was the Anchorage FSS Assistant Manager for Training at the time. Many OUR TIME readers will remember Danny Syverson.

Danny was the Assistant Air Traffic Manager at the time this poem was written, and was moving on to "greener pastures" in the Air Traffic Division after what seemed a lifetime at the Anchorage IFSS and FSS.

As many of you may recall, Danny was quite the story teller, with many a tale of his early years in the Air Force, on the farm and riding his Harley around America. This poem provides a humorous look into those misadventures. <g>

His sense of humor and love of a friend and "boss" inspired Rick to commemorate the passing of a era.

Danny died all to soon after his retirement in February 1993. OUR TIME felt maybe it was time to reflect upon a co-worker and friend who left his mark on quite a few of us....Editor)



By Jim Vrooman

Hi Charlie,

From the flurry of messages ricocheting around the RO in ANC, I see that one of our early landmarks is in jeopardy. Boy, does this bring a lot of memories boiling to the surface! I have fingerprints and shadows everywhere in that building and a long list of friends made there. Probably a majority of employees in the "early years" cycled through there sometime in their Alaskan career.

So here are some recollections, maybe not in the right order, but occurrence, nevertheless. Do with them what you will. Harry Burton and crew ran the Frame Room in the basement, the control for the VHF system extending from Annette to Cold Bay, and we field types stationed along the system spent many hours on the horn with him, troubleshooting, bull shooting and aligning the system. In those days, the FSS was in the east end of the first floor, where it remained; offices filled the rest of that floor, except for the NW corner, where I recollect the ANC Center was. It had a big board for strips down the middle of the room, with controllers on both sides. They passed strips and flight info over the board on one of those carousals with clips like they use in restaurants. Upstairs, at the east end was the IFSS, then the long teletype room, and the TTY shop on the west end, with an office in the NW corner.

My first tour there (10-56/6-57) was after coming off the Center RAPCON liaison job in FAI into the RE position when Bob Williams left for Hawaii. Wasn't Vince Speer FSS Chief then? Followed by John Bassler? And Tommy Cianfrani was the IFSS Chief. Grant McMurray was the Station Manager. Bill Conyers led an outlying maintenance crew. I worked out there again (6-63/7-65) as SMDO Chief. After the '64 quake, Lyle Brown moved his staff out there, and I took my gang out to Elmendorf, where there were communication lines with the rest of the field operations. Wayland Lipscomb's crew helped set us up in a quonset hut there. For a few days while the Hill Building and all the records were off limits due to damage, we found the Region could continue to operate without paper work. A revelation. I lived in that building again in '65 and '66, as Area Manager ANC, until they consolidated the areas which moved my office into the Hill Bldg. When the Area Concept was scrapped, I became Chief of Maintenance Operations and again had fingerprints all over MRI FSS. Do you recall the concrete pit in the front lawn? I think it contained a generator at one time. If it's still there, covered over, it will be a shock to some future developer's cat operator. Along in the late 60's we put a neoprene roof on the building, which was advertised to be permanent. I don't suppose it was. The building started to smell of burning insulation so we got a SMP allowance to upgrade the electrical system. What a brouhaha that turned out to be! Wayland had the job and put Tom Neville on it. Tom was all go and no stop, damn the budget, full speed ahead. He literally gutted the interior walls and threw them out in the yard and started fresh. No asbestos fetish then. After rewiring the main power system, rebuilding and re-rocking the walls, the funding was in shambles. His accounting system was written on the sheetrock wall in the hall, which got covered with paneling before I could get some numbers together for Dick Young and Buck Culver. I got raked over that one, but the building was sure pretty and didn't stink of burned insulation anymore. Pardon the length of this, but the memories this event triggered just boiled to the surface. Cheers, Jim



Emma Lu and I spent Christmas in Anchorage with the kids and grands. Then I got on a 31 ft Ketch Rigged sail boat (the middle son's) in Los Angeles and set sail for Cabo San Lucas, Baja, Mexico Dec 31st.

We got about half way when a VERY LARGE wave swallowed the boat, tossed me over board (had all my gear on and a life line attached - so I am still here) and broke the main mast in splinters, took all the rigging down and left it all around us in the 15 to 20 ft seas and about 20 kt winds. The rigging was pounding the boat and we feared holing the hull, so we spent the next two and a half hours cutting everything away. Free from the junk, we started the engine, which sounded really good, and headed for shore. The closest port was Turtle Bay, Baja, Mexico. It was 159 NM (according to our GPS). We calculated the fuel and it was close, but we made it after 36 hours with about 1 inch of fuel left in the tank.

I jumped ship and took a bus to San Diego and Delta home to VA and got here Sunday.

Just another adventure (now that it is over) to add to such times and 13 days on Montague Island in 1992 when I broke my nose wheel and Mt Spur blew up and stopped air travel for about 5 days, along with a 7 day storm that kept any one from getting to me. Glad to be home. Have only 118 messages to get to.

You guys make 1997 a great year for yourselves. I think I will just lay low for a while.

Jim C. Walton

(Yo, Ho, Blow the Man Down - Well Jim, I believe it was Brenda Moeller who once said - "We're just making memories!" ...Editor)


The following letter is from Bill "E.I." Williams.

Imoglich! Another year gone! Also consultation with ancient records tell me (also impossibly) that I'm well into my 71st year! Oh well, not much can be done about that.

Carol and I bowed out of our volunteer work as Court-Appointed Special Advocates (for abused children); and as Licensed Emergency Foster Parents -- finishing off eight years in both categories.

Still we have trouble finding some spare time! Taking care of our niece's baby when she's at work/school, other crucial pursuits: Carol: studying Greek (as obdurate Lutherans, Missouri Synod folk, we have to know just exactly what was meant in those biblical quotations). I'm within one more summer's worth of class work to finish up the MS in Family Life Education. Still not definite on what I want to do when I finish (will be certified as Family Life Educator by the National Council on Family Relations). Would like to work/teach in the area of family preservation some.

Maybe I'll just veer off and do something fun and crazy: teach a course in Grand Opera Appreciation? (Now have about 30 VHS full recordings of major operas by most of the principal composers).

Regression to infant care taking, incidently, is something of a challenge (for you who would like to accept such a summons). Not that we don't love the little tyke dearly -- and are spoiling him mercilessly; but, it is, well WORK, putting it quite mildly. Parenthetically, spoiling infants in the first couple of years is on firm philosophical/psychological ground! It provides a solid caretaker-infant bond. Of course, the theory is that the parent understands the need for the process and is amenable to gently reversing that "spoiling" during the "terrible twos".

My children all doing fine: Oldest Son - teaching and working with exchange students; Oldest Daughter - (RN), trying to decide whether to specialize in Psychiatric or Pediatric Nursing (I urged her to do both!); Youngest Daughter - MA and working with the Professor at UI (Statistics) and consultant to faculty and grad students, provides statistical assistance. (Has also testified as expert witness on paternity cases -- just a little commercial!)

Just received Charley "Mux's" Christmas greeting. All that talk of travel, RVs etc. makes me tired to think of it. We did invest in new 5th wheel few months ago (and promptly winterized same and put in barn for next Spring.) Am sure we'll be in mood for moseying around and about later.

We finally got on the net. Our tag:

thus, we have all kinds of addresses. In addition to E-Mail and P.O. Box: our FAX: 1-208-837-0923, and the UPS: (Mostly for books & Ed. Institutions): 3057 South, 1200 East Hagerman 83332.

"EI" & Carol


In response to our "search" for missing friends, the following letter was sent to OUR TIME by Dave Carr.


You asked were Dave Evans is located.

He has just finished building a new house in Tacoma.

I want to thank you for Our Times. It's great to read about some of the people that worked for FAA.

We are good friends of the Evans' and see them now and then.

David Carr

Dave's address is:

110 Holly Ct.
Tacoma, WA 98466


(Thanks Dave. It should be noted that John Bassler also called to let OUR TIME know Dave's whereabouts.)

Back in December your Editor got a surprise call from the past - Bob Livingston! Bob is living in Chignik, Alaska. We reminisced about the "good old days" in Cold Bay and began to wonder about some of the gang that worked there.

So, we were wondering does anyone know the whereabouts of: Ray Caudle, Ed Dhabolt & brother Les, and Jim Kline. Let us know.


Ride 'm Cowboy !

Have you ever wanted to go to the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas? Well, here is what OUR TIME has found out.

As you might know, this event is sold out a year in advance and tickets are sold by a random drawing.

So, on November 1, 1997, call Las Vegas Events at (702) 895-3900 and they will send you a form that you must submit to be in the drawing for the 1998 Rodeo..




Now you can combine the joys of playing some of America's finest golf courses with the satisfaction of knowing you're doing it the smart way. The Golf Card lets you enjoy complimentary play at more than 3,150 of America's great golf courses. Benefits include two complimentary rounds each year at affiliated courses (or up to 50 percent off player's fees) and a subscription to golf Traveler zine listing all 3150 courses and 350 Stay-and-Play resorts where you get discounts on golf vacations. The cost: $95 a year for a single membership; $145 for a double. For a limited time - sign up your partner FREE. Double membership only $95. Call Member Services at (800) 765-5938 to join today.

(While OUR TIME doesn't endorse any services or products, we do like to give you "leads" on various services and goods that might be of interest to it's readers. Remember, ALWAYS be careful when dealing with any unknown vendor!)



The following is an excerpt from the Eward's Christmas letter:

November was a very thankful month for us. Hal went in for his yearly physical and they discovered that he had some blockage to his heart. He had to have open heart surgery and underwent a five bypass operation. We celebrated Thanksgiving at the LDS hospital in Salt Lake City and were thankful that he did not suffer a heart attack and his heart was not damaged. We thank God that we caught everything in time and no damage was done. He is doing great now. It is amazing how fast they get you out of the hospital after major surgery. He was operated on November 25th and we were home in St. George on November 30th.

(OUR TIME is happy to report Hal is doing fine....Editor)


The Trail Began in Nome - - -

When I was young and green, I took a job with an outfit called CAA. A guy from Anchorage talked me into filling out the old form 57. That guy was Walter Sundien. He was the new boss at Augusta, Maine Airport and I had just got out of electronics school and was ing for work.


I was sent to Nome, Alaska and met George Morin who ruled with an iron hand. He was one of the greatest teletype men in the world. I DID learn from him, and you never forget good people!! There I also met Dan Fritz, Roy Wall, Al Bascio, Bill Smith, Clyde Sterling and Bab Hall, all great guys.
I had a problem when I arrived in Nome or I thought I did. (I lost my arm in the Gilbert Atolls on Maken Island on January 15, 1944. When I got back home nobody would give me a job. They would only say you can't do this with only one arm.) But when I got to Nome, the CAA and the people of Nome only said, "Show me what you can do."

After a few months I met a guy named Steve Anderson. He was the Mayor of Nome and the head man for N.C. Company. Steve had an arm off also. I had a lot of spare arm parts that Steve needed. So one Sunday morning I gathered up all my spare arm parts, threw them over my shoulder and started down Front Street. All hell broke loose when a big bunch of PAA tourist saw me, the whole town came apart.


I departed for Kodiak. Arrived on Woody Island 6-10-54. Howard Slonager met us at the Naval Air Station. We took a ride to town and got on the P-6 for Woody Island. Pappy Lee and Darrel Chaffin met us and we crossed the island to the FAA station. Boy was that different from Nome. The first of the crew I met was Zip Zaber and Jim Cusack. The Station Manager was Don Thomas.

Well Charlie, my memory comes and goes. One thing I do remember is teaching the school kids that red was green and green was red. I had Kitty Dolman and Audrey Cusack mad at me for a year! So was my wife. But we all had a good time.

Stan Ericson and I went halibut fishing during a station halibut derby. We were told we could not shave until we caught our first halibut. As luck would have it, Stan and I caught our first fish. He was on one side of the boat and I was on the other side of the boat. The only thing wrong was we both hooked the same fish. So Don Thomas, being the judge, said we would each have to shave only half of our face. Which we did. The next week Al Hulin showed up with a Washington inspection team. Needless to say we were not very popular. What can I say - this is Alaska !


I departed from Woody Island for Sunset Cove and arrived on the 5th. We spent two years of paid vacation. The job was totally fun and I would have stayed there forever if I could have. But kids grow up. It was necessary to move on because of school. We departed Sunset Cove in June of '59.


We arrived at Idlewild Airport. It was a shock to the system to see the people's behavior. No body had any idea what was happening in the next station. The system I was put in charge of was NY Center RCAG at Littleneck. We had 27 on the crew and most of them didn't know what the function of the station was. They lived watch change to watch change! They did their work and did it good but not with the feelings that we had in Alaska. In Alaska, everyone in the region knew what was happening all over the region.

When United and TWA ran into each other over Brooklyn they were flying the system. It was the first time I had any contact with the CAB. Boy, that was an eye opener. Those boys can give you gray hair in a hurry. That is no place to be for a back woods guy.


We left Idlewild for Houlton, Maine. The year in Houlton was pretty quite and boring.


We arrived back in Alaska at Galena. Here we met Shaky Smith and his boys as he called the crew. Dave Gray, John Reily, Bob Bloom, Don Monday, and Luke Weathers.


From Galena we went to Juneau. We had three great years there.

Best Wishes - 
Lucky Kornelis


Lucky also wrote to let OUR TIME readers know that Bill Hanson the old N5 pilot with the Stetson hat and cowboy boots was in the M. Marien Miller Alzheimer's Center, % Land Developing and Housing, 3300 S. Decatur, STE.11, Las Vegas, NV 89102.

Bill's wife Alice is at:
3126 Pleasant Drive, Anchorage, AK 



The retiree e-mail directory grows with each passing month. Here is a couple "letters" from OUR TIME readers.

Hi...Just a line to let you know I appreciate the "Our Time" newsletter. It is always refreshing to see someone's'' article we have known back in the old CAA days.

Since I retired in 1972 from the Anchorage IFSS, we have been living, for the most part, here in my boyhood hometown of Issaquah...I worked at the local True Value hardware store for almost 20 years and am now fully retired or just tired.

Gladys and I raised three children, Marita, Steve and Michael over the years and now we are helping with the grandchildren...We have had a full life and still doing quite well health-wise...Thank the Good Lord!

I guess you can get my E-mail address from this letter but I will spell it out for you so you won't get confused with the combination, like other people is:

William One Jones. Thanks again for the newsletter...

William & Gladys Jones


Just heard last night, from Ralph Nelson, I learned of the demise of friend Charles (Chuck) D. Innes on October 27. Chuck died in his sleep or an undetermined cause. Old timers will remember him from his first arrival at Big Delta in 1946 as a maintenance technician, then as M.C. at King Salmon for quite a spell. He moved into a maintenance inspector position from there, transferred to Oklahoma City Academy as an instructor, and finally moved to Washington where he worked in Frequency Management and later renamed Spectrum Planning. He was a branch chief at the time of his retirement, sometime around 1975.

In that position he made many trips to Europe for annual conferences relating to Spectrum Management, particularly as it affected air navigation and communications, promoting and supporting FAA's position on spectrum usage.

He is survived by his wife Huguette, in Cape Coral, FL at the address listed in Our Time.

Jim Vrooman


Charlie....Just received Our Time and enjoyed the letter written by Sheila Meeks on Middleton Island. Although it was just before my time (I was with the USAF in Europe) I knew many of the people that survived it. In fact two people died as a result of it on Strawberry Island (Yakutat) my first place of assignment. One of my last assignments in the AF, prior to the FAA, was with a fellow who was in Anchorage when the quake hit. He had some wild stories to tell.

As usual, my wife Barbara and I enjoyed the "fish fry" at Al Bruck's this year. I missed you (Editor) but, reminisced with others. I remember you though, I was in AF not AT. I was the fellow with the "gimp sticks" (politically correct; bilateral, ambulatory, assistive devices), sitting in a lawn chair. Who cares what they are called, I still gimp along.

I do have a BONE to pick with you. Bob Mailander's name is spelled MAI LANDER, not MALLANDER. I believe I wrote to you the first time this occurred in Our Time. It is very important for us to, at least, make sure we give the parting honor of the correct spelling of acquaintances and work mates names.

I did request to be on the e-mail list but see I am missing from it. Well, next time I should be included. However, I have gotten in contact with some of my old work mates through Our Time...

John Scrivner

(Whoops! Sorry John. I agree and stand corrected. I guess there will be no performance award this year....Editor)



Received my "Our Time" (September Edition) today and was, as usual, glad to get it. It's nice to be able to keep up with the current FAA happenings as well as to hear the stories of the "Old Timers". Pearl and I sold our house in Anchorage this fall and are presently staying in our 33 foot 5th wheeler here at the Paradise RV Resort in Sun City. We hope to buy something in the Sun City area before long. We took up golf two years ago and thoroughly enjoy it but we are both discouraged by the slow improvement.

Sheri and family are coming over Saturday for five days. It will be good to see the grandsons and Sheri.

Our address here is: 10950 W. Union Hills Drive., # 818, Sun City, AZ 85373-1558 - Phone 602-972-8271.

Bruce & Pearl Crouse


Great Movie Lines

"Don't tell me what I ought'a do - that's what you do! I do what I want to do!"
(Chief Gillespie to Detective Tibbs-Heat of the Night)

Where have you heard that before?


For All Those Born Before


Consider the changes we have witnessed:

We were born before television, before penicillin, before polio shots, frozen foods, Xerox, plastic, contact lenses, frisbees and the pill.

We were before radar, credit cards, split atoms, laser beams and ballpoint pens, pantyhose, dishwashers, clothes dryers, electric blankets, air conditioners, drip-dry clothes and before anyone walked on the moon.

We got married first and then lived together. How quaint can you be?

In our time, closets were for clothes, not for coming out of. Bunnies were small rabbits and rabbits were not Volkswagens. Designer Jeans were scheming girls named Jean or Jeanne and having a meaningful relationship meant getting along well with our cousins.

We thought fast food was what you ate during Lent, and Outer Space was the back of the Riviera Theater.

We were before house-husbands, gay rights, computer dating, dual careers and commuter marriages. We were before day-care centers, group therapy and nursing homes. We never heard of FM radio, tape decks, electric typewriters, artificial hearts, word processors, yogurt, and guys wearing earrings. For us, time-sharing meant togetherness - not computers or condominiums; a chip meant a piece of wood; hardware meant hardware, and software wasn't even a word.

In 1940, made in Japan meant junk and the term making out referred to how you did on your exam. Pizzas, McDonald's and instant coffee were unheard of.

We hit the scene when there were "5 and 10 Cent Stores," where you bought things for five and ten cents. Sanders and Wilson sold ice cream cones for a nickel or a dime. For one nickel you could ride a street car, make a phone call, buy a Pepsi or enough stamps to mail one letter and two post cards. You could buy a new Chevy Coupe for $600, but who could afford one? A pity, too, for gas was eleven cents a gallon.

In our day, cigarette smoking was fashionable. Grass was mowed. Coke was a cold drink and pot was something you cooked in. Rock music was grandma's lullaby and aids were helpers in the principal's office.

We were certainly not before the difference between the sexes was discovered, but we were surely before the sex change. We made do with what we had. And we were the last generation that was so dumb as to think you need a husband to have a baby!

No wonder we are so confused and there is such a generation gap today!

BUT WE SURVIVED!! What better reason to celebrate?


Welcomes New Crop of Retirees

Twenty-five employees retired during the year 1996. Since the FAA "Buy Out
and Early Out" programs began, approximately 300 FAAers have left the rolls.

DOUGLAS W. COOK 01/03/96  Air Traffic -Anchorage ARTCC
KEITH E. LANDERS 01/27/96 Airway Facilities Division
LORINDA M. DUFF 02/03/96 Airway Facilities Division
JANE RYAN 02/03/96 Flight Standards Division
WILLIAM J. BEAM 02/29/96 Air Traffic - Fairbanks AFSS
PHILIP B. EVANS 03/19/96
NEIL H. MARTENS 04/40/96 Airway Facilities Division
CAROL HUGH 03/31/96  Human Resources Mgmt Division
WILLIAM N. HEINECK 05/03/96 Airway Facilities Division
ROBIN J. MASEK 06/28/96 Airway Facilities Division
LLOYD M. THUNSTROM 07/01/96 Air Traffic - Kenai AFSS
RAYMOND C. REEVES 08/03/96 Air Traffic Division
JACQUELINE J. FUERST  08/18/96 Security Division
JAMES E. ROYSE 09/03/96 Airway Facilities Division
DOUGLAS LITTLEJOHN 09/29/96 Airway Facilities Division
DAVID P. BELANGER 09/30/96 Airway Facilities Division
DAVID A. BROWN  * 09/30/96 Air Traffic Division
STEPHEN P. GEOGHEGAN 09/30/96 Air Traffic - Juneau AFSS
LOWELL F. NORTH 10/03/96 Air Traffic - Fairbanks AFSS
LOUIS F. PRESS 11/24/96 Air Traffic - Fairbanks Tower
CYNTHIA ANN JOYCE 12/19/96 Air Traffic - Sitka FSS
ROSALIE T. IVEY 12/31/96 Logistics Division

* Wife BARBARA (ATD) resigned shortly after Dave retired.


The Cross Since our last issue of OUR TIME your Editor has learned the following friends and co-workers have passed away.

Glenn Minnich, former FS inspection crew member passed away in October.

Lee Wright, former supervisor in the Anchorage FSS/IFSS passed away January 6, 1997 at his home in Cathlamet, WA. He requested his ashes be dropped over Monteque Island . Lee often flew there bringing many souvenirs from the beach home with him.

Former FS flight inspection pilot Tom Kulhane died at his Anchorage residence in December.

OUR TIME also learned Carl Simianer, former King Salmon Material Specialist, passed away at his home in Anchorage last October.

Also we have learned Jerry and Alice Fujimori lost their son Robin after a long illness. He was 36 years old.

Pat Nicolo, a life long resident of Cordova, passed away recently. Her husband Bill still lives in Cordova. Pat was 68 years old.

Loren D. Cameron died January 27, 1997 at his home in Sequim. Loren joined the CAA after service in the military during WWII and was stationed in DCA, OKC, and ANC. He transferred from FAA to USPHS and retired in 1975 at which time he moved to Sequim. He is survived by his wive Maxine.

Our deepest sympathy goes to their families and friends.


More Letters

John Bassler wrote and said he had run into R.T. Williams at the October Barbershop Show in the Anchorage PAC. John reports "RT" was doing well as ever. John also wrote that while at the Senior Center Bazaar in October he was visited with Elizabeth Conrad who does Native American Beadwork. Elizabeth was Bryant Mainord's first wife. Bryant passed away years ago. Elizabeth is also Jim Jensen's sister-in-law.

While in the "south 48" on a recent visit, John and Mia learned of Lee Wright's death. They met with Lee's daughter Toni and her family.

John went on to say he ran into Jerry and Bette Garrison near Mesa, AZ at a federal campground in the Tonto National Forest. "We were in our little twenty foot motor home and they were in their "winter home". a big one with solar power, two Tvs, and two cats".


OUR TIME also heard from Jim Carney. Jim keeps busy working at the St. George, UT Senior Center.

Jim said Roger Mikkelson was living in the area but still hasn't received any of the OUR TIME issues. (Jim: I'll try again.)


Readers: If you know someone who is not receiving OUR TIME please contact Barbara Marshall, AAL-10.



Motorhome Magazine
March 1997

More than 58,000 Americans gave their lives during the Vietnam War. Of those, 1065 were Kentuckians, each of whom is honored by one of the most beautiful and unusual memorials in the nation - a sundial made of blue-gray marble that stands on a plaza overlooking the Kentucky River and the state capitol beyond in Frankfort.

The 327 marble panels, weighing more than 215 tons, were brought from the Pyramid Quarry in Elberton, Georgia. Laid precisely to create a solar clock, they are carved with the name and date of death of each veteran. Once a year, the tip of the shadow made by the pointer (called a gnomon) touches each name on the anniversary of that soldier's death. Ecclesiastes 3:108 is cut in the same style lettering on the stones circling the gnomon.

The 22 Kentuckians still listed as missing in action or prisoners of war are not forgotten either. Their names are placed where the shadow never falls, symbolizing a continued vigil for their return.

The Kentucky Vietnam Memorial, which was designed by Helm Roberts, an architect from nearby Lexington, is always open, and the American and Kentucky flags are never lowered.

 Ruth Smalley

(This article was of particular interest to your Editor because our Son and Daughter's godfather, Bobby Taylor - a Kentuckian - gave his life in Vietnam)

By Norman Harrington

Dear Editor: I am a recent subscriber to your magazine and I surely appreciate the mag and especially the names/addresses of other subscribers. I found three people that I used to work with and plan on sending them all Christmas cards with a letter containing a short history of my FAA career and asking for theirs.

I loved that article on the earthquake at Middleton Island. After I had been at Woody Island for a few months on my first assignment, one of the hams on Woody contacted Middleton Island, on voice radio, and I got to talk to the Chief of Middleton in 1949. After a brief conversation, we established that this Chief, whose name I forget, had been my Watch Supervisor in the US Air Force AACS radio detachment at Port Moresby, New Guinea in 1944. Quite a coincidence?

The following is my story.


In early April of 1949, I took the train for Oklahoma City to attend school at the Civil Aeronautics Authority's facility at Will Rogers Field at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The school was run by the Alaskan Region of the CAA, and all the graduates were sent to posts in Alaska. It was a twelve week course, and I was late. I would begin school on Monday of the third week.

I had no money, and I borrowed $100 from my father for the train ticket and to sustain me until my first paycheck from the CAA arrived. I rented a room in the skidrow section of Oklahoma City for $5 a week. I could of had a room with bath for $6 a week but I didn't think I could afford such luxury. I had a breakfast of two eggs, hash browns, toast and coffee for 35 cents. I didn't eat any lunch at the school. For supper, I had a hamburger steak, potatoes, peas and coffee for 85 cents. After studying until about 8:00 p.m., I would go down to the neighborhood bar and have three beers at 10 cents each- for a total daily expenditure of $1.50 for food. I guess I got plenty of calories!

Fortunately, I got there in the middle of a pay period, so I would receive my first paycheck in three weeks instead of waiting four weeks. The CAA paid every two weeks, but they held back the first two weeks pay so one was always two weeks behind. I would get one weeks pay on my first payday. I was a GS-5 and my pay scale was $2,975 a year. My take home pay was $47 a week. My basic board and room expense was about $20 a week, including bus fare. So, after I began receiving pay checks, my financial troubles would be over. I was in "OKE (Oakie) City", as the sophisticates called it, for ten weeks and received fifteen pay checks and paid my father back the $100 I had borrowed before leaving.

After about four weeks on skid row, one of my classmates suggested three of us rent an apartment near the Capitol in a better section of the city. So Jonesy, a kid from Texas, and I moved into an apartment there. Three more CAA students in our class lived in an apartment upstairs. They were Joe Olynyx, Moon Mullins and John Jersey. Joe had a big, long, black luxury car and we all rode to work in his car. He refused to accept any payment from us. Joe and I became pretty good friends,and went out together at night a lot - looking for girls and excitement. The kid from Texas quit school a few weeks later and Jonesy and I shared the expense of the apartment.

Jonesy was the sharpest dresser I ever met and I learned from him to buy white shirts with french cuffs, cufflinks and good ties. Jonesy's main ambition in life was to save enough money in Alaska to buy a Jaguar car. He was sent to Moses Point. He went back to the States after his two year contract was up and probably did buy his Jaguar. I never heard from him and don't know how life has treated him.

Eugene Mars was our CAA instructor and I can't remember the name of our Weather Bureau instructor but they were both the best instructors I have ever had in any school. We studied Federal Air Regulations (FARs), FCC rules and regulations, navigation, Boehme tape, Kleinschmidt tape, Baudet tape, navigational aids, teletype, and Morse Code. In order to graduate, we had to pass about seven different written tests with a score of at least 80. If you failed a test, you could take it again after 30 days. I failed my first test in FARs but passed it on the second try. We had to be able to send and receive Morse Code at 30 wpm, type 50 wpm and read the various tapes at certain speeds or flunk out of training. My only problem was receiving Morse Code at 30 wpm. I tried and tried, took the official test two and three times a week, but couldn't pass. Finally, one day in the next to last week, I got hot or lucky and passed the test. You only had to pass it once. I was in!

There was about fifteen students in our class and about the middle of July we all graduated. An ex-airline pilot from Flying Tiger Airlines graduated first in the class. A brilliant college student from Connecticut was second and I graduated third in my class. I was pretty fast on the tape reading and I could type 70 wpm. I got pretty good scores on the written tests so it all added up to a good total effort.

We were asked to write down our first three choices for stations in Alaska. I chose Cordova first, Annette Island second and Kodiak third. Moon Mullins and I were selected for Kodiak. I was lucky because most of the guys didn't get any of their three choices. We were sent where we were needed. The school gave us all the booklets, orders and papers we would need for our trip.

Moon Mullins, Jonesy and I left OKE City together on a Western Airlines DC-3 about July 10, 1949. I entered the plane, found a seat, sat down and lit up a Camel. One of the stewardesses - a plump blonde - icily ordered me to put the cigarette out. Flustered by her hostile attitude I frantically looked around for an ashtray. Finding none, I ground out the cigarette on the sole of my shoe just as she reappeared up the aisle. With a voice dripping with contemp she said, "There's an ashtray in the handrest on your seat!" Jonesy, sitting behind me, laughed out loud at my discomfort - adding to my embarrassment.

We changed to a Continental Airlines DC-3 in Denver, much to my relief. Their stewardesses were courteous and polite. We changed again to a United Airlines DC-3 at Salt Lake City and the small plane was full. One woman, sitting behind me, had a baby with her. Over southern Idaho at about 13,000 feet we ran into real bad turbulence. The aircraft was thrown about like a toy. The baby threw up and so did several other people. The stench of vomit filled the air. The turbulence hadn't made me sick but the smell was beginning to. The DC-3 had little round 3 inch portholes opening to the outside air. I put my mouth close to these - breathing in only fresh outside air - surviving the episode. We made one stop at Boise, Idaho and then flew non-stop to Seattle. We stayed overnight at Seattle in a hotel.

The next morning we left on a four engine DC-4 for Anchorage. It was about a seven hour flight above the clouds. We saw very little scenery. We got into Anchorage about 4:00 p.m. and had to spend the night in a hotel again. Jonesy, Moon and I found a little log cabin cafe and I had a salmon steak for $1.50 - which I though was excessively priced - after the cheap food prices in OKE City. Jonesy left us the next morning bound for Moses Point, the first CAA Station east of Nome.

Moon and I caught a Pacific Northern Airlines DC-3 headed for Kenai, Homer and Kodiak. We landed at Kenai without incident. The Homer airport was located at the edge of the ocean on a bluff about twenty-five feet above sea level. We flew out over the ocean and I thought the pilot was going way too slow - we were going to fall out of the air. Keep the airspeed up man! We straightened out on a long final approach and just then the pilot dropped the flaps. It was like putting on the brakes in a car. Our airspeed dropped suddenly and we were all thrown forward. You've done it now, you dummy, we'll fall out of the sky like a stone! We didn't though and we kept on boring in towards the runway. "We're too low, too low". I silently screamed! "We're going to hit the top of the bluff. Pull up! Pull up!" I squirmed in my seat sure this world's worst pilot was going to kill us all.

We flashed over the top of the bluff, too high and too fast! "Slow down you idiot and lose some altitude!" "We're going to run off the end of the runway the way you're going!" We floated on and on over the runway, not touching down. I was frantic with panic. About fifty yards before reaching a taxiway in the middle of the field, the pilot sat it down. Rocks splattered around the wheel housings and the undersides of the wings. We lost speed very quickly and the pilot pulled off onto the taxiway. It was a gravel runway and the stones were all round, river bed stones from the size of golf balls to baseballs. These had the effect of braking an aircraft very quickly. I was surprised an aircraft could take off in this stuff since they retarded speed so much.

We let off some passengers at Homer and took on a few new ones and took off for Kodiak. When we got to Kodiak, it was socked in and we circled and circled for about an hour. The civilian airliners landed at Kodiak Naval Air Station which had the only facilities sufficient to handle airliners.

Finally we left to fly back to Homer to try again tomorrow. We landed at Homer without incident. By now, I had a lot more confidence in the pilot's abilities. We were taken to the Home Hotel which was a large, two story log building. We were quartered two to a room and Moon and I doubled up. We went down to supper which the airline paid for. The tables were picnic tables made out of split logs about a foot in diameter. It was all very substantial and frontier like. No one asked for our order. The waitresses began bringing in huge platters of food. There was a platter of steaks, a platter of pork chops and a platter of halibut. It was like eating in a construction camp or in a logging camp cookhouse. Huge amounts of food of all descriptions. For dessert you had a choice of apple pie, pumpkin pie, cream pie, ice cream, chocolate cake or pudding. I tried a little of most of them. I was impressed! Alaska sure knew how to take care of a man! {Oh how I miss those days!  I have fond memories of the Road House in Bettles, Illiamna, McGraph and Galkana.  Now Bob Mowery - These were the grand-daddy's of today's Royal Fork!}

Moon and I had a couple beers at the hotel bar to settle our gigantic repast, then we took a little walk around town. It wasn't much of a town, but it was picturesque and quaint and we loved it. We turned in about 10 p.m. and it was still broad daylight.

We landed in Kodiak at the Naval Air Station the next morning without incident. There was a drunk aboard with a quart of whiskey sticking out of his topcoat pocket. It can be fairly chilly on a July morning in Alaska. The shore patrol of the Navy grabbed the drunk, chewed him out, took away his bottle of booze and let him go on into Kodiak on the bus with the rest of us. I suspected the SPs would later drink the man's whiskey when they got off duty.

We were told in the town of Kodiak that the CAA boat would leave at noon for Woody Island, the site of the CAA radio and housing complex. Woody Island was round, about a mile across and owned by the CAA. With the exception of one family of non-CAA civilians, the Island was entirely populated by CAA people. It was heavily wooded, hence its name. It had two lakes on it and was a fine place to live. The dock was on the north side, closest to Kodiak, along with the CAA garage and some housing. The radio station and most of the housing was on the opposite side of the island.

As the boat pounded over the waves on its way to Woody Island, I thought, "At last I've found my niche. I have a career at last!" 

(Thanks Norm for that look into the past. It is interesting to hear about the Alaska we all grew to love and to see how much has changed since your first days in the "Last Frontier" . . . Editor)

(Charlie: I received my issue of "Our Time" yesterday which reminded me that you asked me to tell you about our cruise and I have not done so. I'm not sure now which one we were talking about so I'll tell you about the last two we have been on - Ken)


By Ken Moore

October 1996

Last November we flew to Barbados for a week cruise. We met another couple on the plane who were going on the cruise and since we got to Barbados a day early, we split a taxi fare to Sam's Castle. Sam's Castle is on a cliff on the windward side of the island, a pretty nice place.

We met two couples there, friends of ours from Denver, and the eight of us chatted and sampled the local rum before turning in for the night. Each island makes its own rum and some is good and some isn't. The rum at Antigua is memorable but I don't remember the rum at Barbados being either good or not.

The next day we had a leisurely breakfast, walked along the beach and around the grounds of the castle and had a nice lunch. You can't board the ship before 4:00 p.m. as they have to clean it up after the previous cruise and supply it with fresh provisions.

So we took a bus to the dock mid-afternoon and boarded the Star Clipper about 4:00 P.M. The Star Clipper is a four masted clipper ship 360 feet long and 50 feet across the beam. The mast height is 226 feet and it carries 36,000 square feet of sails and is built for comfort.

We set sail in the evening and started plying the waters of the Caribbean under full sail. It was great and I was jazzed up. I was ready to capture another ship, steal their gold, drink their booze and ravish their women. It was so much fun I would have let them keep their gold. The opportunity did not present itself however. {Aye, laddy! HAve ya seen me parrot?}

Our first port of call was the following morning at Martinique. Diane and I opted to scuba dive in the morning and go into town in the afternoon. There is a local market there that we like to visit where you can get local items, fresh spices, etc. I don't speak french so bargaining is fun and a challenge.

We would sail at night and dock at a different port each day. Diane and I would usually make one or two dives and visit the towns in the afternoon. The other ports we visited were Dominica, St. Lucia, Tobago Cays and Bequia. Then we sailed on back to Barbados and caught a plane headed north.

It was really a fun cruise. Food was good and there were plenty of act ivies and things to do. The sea was about as rough as a bathtub. One of the highlights was going out on deck at night, under a full moon, and listen to the ship going through the water and watching the moon and stars through the rigging. I even got to climb the rigging one day. We plan on taking one or two more cruises on the Star Clipper.

The other cruise that we may have been talking about was the one we took in April. This was with Princess Cruises on the Royal Princess. The cruise was the three week cruise and we left from San Juan, Puerto Rico. It took us a week to cross the Atlantic. Probably the smoothest crossing ever and I was glad because I get seasick. This ship was about 800 feet long and 80 feet wide. There is always lots of activities, stage shows, movies, dances, gambling, etc. and the food is excellent. I usually swam two or three times a day and walked on the jogging/walking track. We had early seating for dinner then watched a stage show, danced, gambled or went to bed. Each night there is a party at midnight.

On this cruise we went sight seeing at each port of call. Our first port was Madeira and we took a tour of the place, drank some of the famous Madeira wine, sightseeing, etc. Next we stopped at Gibraltar and we took in all the sights and walked and shopped through town going back to the ship. Next we stopped at Nice and Canes, France. We took a land tour and went to Monte Carlo and Monaco. We lost a little money at the casino. Liverno, Italy was next and is the port for Pisa and Florence. We toured both. Cittavichi was next and is the port for Rome. There was so much to see on all the tours it was hard to comprehend what we saw.

On we went through the Mediterranean, Agean, Ionian Seas and the Dardenilles to Istanbul. A truly fascinating city. We spent two days there. The Grand Bazaar is a must. From there we went to Caseates, Turkey and took a tour that took us to Ephesus. Quite a moving experience to be where St. Paul and St. John spoke and sat in the arena and walked down the same street the walked.
The last stop was Athens, another very interesting and fun place. We took two extra days there and had a blast. The trip home was long and tiring but worth it.

It is coming around November again and we are getting ready for another cruise. This one leaves from Bangkok and goes to Saigon, Singapore, Semarang, Surbaya, Bali, Cairnes, Brisbane and ends in Sidney. Why don't you and Dottye come along and we will ply the waters of the South China Sea, have a Singapore Sling in Singapore, shop in Bali, dive the great barrier reef and see the sights along the way.



{Boy - this retirement life can be tough. Other cruisers during the past year - Dave & Marge Simpson, Jerry & Louise Morrell, Ellen Parker (who will soon join our ranks) and Mary Lou West.)



February 7, 1997


Preventive health care: HR 177: 

Rep. Benjamin Gilman, R-N.Y.

Require the Health and Human Services Department to establish a schedule of preventative health care services and require federal and private health insurance programs to cover the services.
Referred to House Commerce Committee; House Ways and Means Committee; House Government Reform and Oversight Committee; House Veterans' Affairs Committee; and House National Security Committee.

Congress members' pay, retirement:

HR 46 and HR 47/Rep. Howard Coble, R-N.C.; HR 330/Rep. Gerald Solomon, R-N.Y.; HR 343/Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla.; HR 403/Rep. Michael Bilirakis, R-Fla.; HR 436/Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C.

HR 46 and HR 330 would repeal a law that provides an automatic pay raise for Congress members. HR 47 would make members ineligible to be in the Federal Employees Retirement System. HR 343 would prevent Congress members from receiving a pay raise when a budget deficit exists. HR 403 would amend the law that provides permanent funding for members' pay. HR 436 would eliminate or limit several benefits for members including annuities, COLAs, pay raises, mass mailings, and military travel and health care. All but HR 403 referred to House Government Reform and Oversight Committee and House Oversight Committee. HR 403 referred to House Rules Committee and House Appropriations Committee. HR 436 also referred to House Rules Committee; House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee; and House National Security Committee.

Expand Family and Medical Leave Act:

HR 109/Rep. William Clay, D-Mo.;
HR 234/ Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y.; HR 191/Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla.

Allow workers to take up to 24 hours of leave to participate in school activities and to accompany children or elderly relatives to medical appointments and other services. All three referred to House Government Reform and Oversight Committee; House Education and Workforce Committee; and House Oversight committee.

Hearing care:

HR 176/Rep. Benjamin Gilman, R-N.Y.

Require Federal Employees Health Benefits Program insurers to cover audiology services, when their plans provide hearing care.
Referred to House Government Reform and Oversight Committee.

Medical foods:

HR 496/Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif.

Allow Federal Employees Health Benefits Program insurers to cover medical foods.
Referred to House Government Reform and Oversight Committee.

New enrollees in FEHBP:

HR 76/Rep. James Moran, D-Va.

Allow those in the military health care system who also are entitled to Medicare to enroll in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.

Referred to House National Security Committee and House Government Reform and Oversight Committee.

Retirement - Public pension parity:

HR 372/Rep. Bruce Vento, D-Minn.

Keep retirees from having to pay taxes on the portion of their federal pension that does not exceed maximum benefits payable under the Social Security Act.

Referred to House Ways and Means Committee.

Retirement fund equity:

HR 107/Rep. Michael Bilirakis, R-Fla.

Takes the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund "off budget", so it would be treated the same as the Social Security Trust Fund during budget debates.

Referred to House Budget Committee and House Government Reform and Oversight Committee.

Firefighter retirement age: 

HR 172/Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Calif.

Change mandatory retirement age for federal firefighters to 57, the same as for federal law enforcement officers.

Referred to House Government Reform and Oversight Committee.

FAA Regional Administrator
Andy Billick
Editor , Charlie Muhs

OUR TIME is published in January, May and September by the Federal Aviation Administration, Alaskan Region, AAL-5 Public Affairs, 222 W. 7th Avenue # 14, Anchorage, AK 99513-7587; (907) 271-5296. Send all correspondence to: FAA, ATTN: Charlie Muhs, OUR TIME Editor, P.O. Box 202548 Anchorage, AK 99520; (907) 258-0355 - FAX (907) 258-2948.
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