Jan 1999. .I have decided to write in the present and flash-back to the past when things here remind me of something in the past. We are coming into the mountains near El Paso, Texas. This reminds me of when Mom came out to Calif. after my step-father died in Texas. I pulled our Newmoon house trailer back to Indiana from San Diego, Calif. with our 41 Ford. in 1954 before Interstates.
I was in the Navy from Oct. 1950 to July 1954 and ended up in San Diego, Calf. we (Doris and I) started marriage in Tacoma Wash. We kept getting a larger trailer as the boys came along. Before we left Tacoma we had a 35 foot trailer and I had fixed the 41 Ford to pull the trailer by putting over-size pistons and rings in the engine to get more horsepower. Then put removable overload springs over the back axel of the Ford to hold the weight of the trailer. I did this in the Navy Hobby shop where I worked the last year in Tacoma.
When I first got to Tacoma I was put in the boat patrol for the mothball fleet at Tacoma. I had started a correspondent course from Chicago to learn about auto and diesel engines before I joined the Navy.. In the office part of the boat pool, I found and old typewriter folded into a special disk. So I started typing my correspondent tests to Chicago. Soon I was transferred to the personal office because someone told them I could type and they needed help. Then the projectionists that showed the movies on the base got transferred - so I became the projectionists showing movies at night. Then I needed a military drivers license to transport the films for the movies. So now I was one of the few that could pick up things.(gofer)
Then I was transferred to the Training office which had been a easy job and keep me in the same department so I could keep showing movies and be a gofer. But while I was there I looked up in the personal records of all the persons that did not have a high school degree and got them to take the GED test. I got so many to take the and get there GED's that I got my first Captains Accommodation. The second Captains Accommodation was after I was sent to run the Auto Hobby Shop when I had a tool crib and work benches built and then I spray painted the whole shop. I was held in Tacoma over two years and got my Second Class rating before leaving.
I was transferred to San Diego and ship board, but it was in and out of port. So we pulled the trailer down the whole west coast. We took 30 days thru National Parks and stopping at my dad's home and at my cousin Russell Towne's. The car pulled fine except it would over heat easily. I put a cargo carrier with a five gallon can of water on top of the car and ran a copper line down in front of the radiator. Then split the line to spray water on both parts of the radiator and had a valve where the line came past the drivers window from the water can.
One weekend I had duty and an order came to transfer an engineer Sec. Class or higher to another ship -I was the only one left that weekend to transfer. This ship was going to Stockton, Calif. near San Francisco to be put into the mothball fleet. It had been overseas during the Korean war and was going out of commission so they had built up the food allowance so they could have steaks and strawberry shortcake most meals. On the way to San Francisco we got in a big storm and this PCEC (the smallest ship in the Navy) was going first front end down then back end down. Even the most experienced got sea sick. I got ten days leave at Stockton to pull the trailer with Doris nine months pregnant with Dan) and David to Stockton. Going over the bay-bridge to Oakland I could not find a speed that the car with the trailer would not bounce. That night Dan was born.
I was discharged in San Diego so pulled the trailer back to San Diego. Then Mom had her car too. We started pulling the trailer for Indiana with the 41 Ford. The first long pull out of L.A. was fifteen or twenty miles. Close to the top of the hill, the car was losing power and I was looking for a place to pull over. Then I though I may be giving too much cooling water. So I turned the water valve outside the window down and waited and waited. I was watching over the front hood of the car for a place to pull over when the hood started raising up. It raised about a foot when the power came back to the engine. Up and on we went.
On another long pull we could see a truck five or six miles ahead in low gear on this two lane road going slower than I could in my low gear. So I slowed down as slow as I could now and hoped I would not catch him before we got to the top because I knew I could not get started again on that big hill. Just when he was going over the top I cough him and had to stop before running into his high bumper. As I stopped he stopped and put a chin on me and pulled us about ten feet over the top. He knew I could not get started by myself too - he had to do this other times too.
Outside of Flagstaff, Az. on old 66 highway I was alone while Mom, Doris and boys went ahead in town to shop. Just coming to the top of a long pull I started to shift gears and car stopped dead. This time I was on a three lane road but could not start up again. A State Trooper stopped and said the wind coming across the top of the pass was so strong when it met the front of the trailer it stopped me. He could not pull me but he could go for help so I told him my help was in town shopping. He went and found them so I got pulled again.
The last strange thing happened when we stopped at Lake of Woods for a weekend. My car set for a few days and when I tried to start it - the engine would not fire. I looked under the hood and found the top of sparkplug were red instead of white. The iron from the cooling water had dried on the white part of the sparkplug and caused them to short out. I wiped the red off and the engine fired off ready to go.
We lived in this trailer a few years while I was going to school at Purdue and in Chicago. We got a home in Gary, Ind. for a short time. I stayed around Chicago a few years working as a draftsman while getting a Tool engineering degree. My work showed I needed electronics schooling so went to back Purdue.
The Eisenhower recession was on in the late 50's so I went back to Purdue for the electronics. Purdue had reduced the drafting requirements in engineering so that not many students could do the ink drawings needed for publications. I had drafting experience and my new wife Barbara had drafting in school. We were working in different departments doing ink drawings. A few times our professor would ask us to take the work home on the weekends. The purchasing department said the only way they could pay us for all the hours we were working was if we formed a company. It was the start of my 25 years of business.
Jan 1999 -Treva and I are back at El Paso after going Pecos, Deming, N.M., Benson,Az., Casa Grande, Az., Treva's brother's fifth wedding university at Heber, Az., Grand Canon at Flagstaff, Az., where we stopped at a old soda fountain route 66 gift store in Williams, Az., on old 66 highway. Then we when to Congress, Az., Quirtsite, Az., Yuma,Az.and back to Casa Grande..
Jan 14, 2002 Just got back from town - road my bike to town only 5 miles. Found a propane lamp for more light and it gives off heat too. At night the heat fells good - it cool into the 40's but it was in the 70's today. There are all kinds of flea markets in this town - I looked all over before I could this lamp - think I got a good buy too.
Where am I this time - when I get out of bed ? I have to ask myself because I can overnight any place with this motor home. My sins are keep kin watching for new noises, seeing things like oil where it should not be or tire ware, smelling a different odor, feeling a new vibration. I have know what to do or fix to prevent a brake down on the road. Single again.
Jan 15, 2002 I'm in Quartzite, AZ with 100,000 other RV's someone has guessed. This desert is big and RV's just pull off the road and park. Some times two or three, four but mostly one here and there. There is a 14 day limit in one spot but then you just move to another. My cell phone works fine for voice and computer email or on weekends I can surf the net for information or files I need. Can down load files just fine. My modem is going at 19200 with a good signal most of the time. A lot of new RV's coming in today.
Jan 28, 2002 I'm still in Quartzite - but today I went into town and all the RV's are leaving town. I found a caster wheel to use the base and swivel to make my solar panels swivel and raze to the sun when parked. I also saw a swivel base for solar - they want $75 but I would still need to drill for the line to raze the panel. Still working on my design for the solar.
There were 140 Win's here for the week. It was good to have company and play cards with some - went dancing a few nights till I got too tired and needed to rest. Now most have gone on to the next stop in Ajo that starts Feb 1. Or to some other place.
Jan 30, 2002, I'm in Niland, California the Slabs. Windy today - only in the 50's. The Slabs is an old Air Force base left to the weeds and cactus - no fences. The slabs are what is left when the buildings are gone. The roads are bad too - what is left.
Some club members found a big group of slabs and four small old trailers to make a game room, library, kitchen, and mail room. Put a big tent next to the trailers for dining and dancing. About 100 RV's park around - just any old way or place.
Feb 3, 2002, I was in Ajo Az for a Fiddlers contest - good fiddlers but I nodded with sleep after a hour or so.
I'm in Phoenix so I could get online with this new story. I found the inverter I wanted - and a good price - so I have something else to play with - AC from DC and my switches work with it - now I well see how the batteries well hold up.
Nov 24 2004, I'm in RV park in Donna Tx - was here last year too.
Feb 9, 2006 Still in RV park in Donna Tx.