Installment #1

   I spent my early years in Highland Park, California; the second of three sons. When I was 8 years old, our family moved to Puente, CA (later renamed La Puente -- guess the city fathers didn’t understand Spanish or it would have been El Puente), and what was then basically open country. I will save stories of my childhood for another time.

   When I was in the 7th grade, I decided my Life Plan was to be an Air Force Pilot, then retire from the AF and teach school. That meant I had to get a college education.

   I met my future wife, Kaye, while in High School and we began dating. She could not believe that she had met someone who had his life so planned out. The picture below is of us during High School days. 


Hi School1

Installment #2

I become an Air Force Pilot   


How it took me 10 years and 17 attempts to enter Pilot Training

   My route to becoming an Air Force Pilot was a long and arduous one. I have to regress a bit to start this story --

1955 Attempt #1 occurred when I applied to, and was accepted for, what would be the second graduating class of the Air Force Academy. It was quite a process, requiring Congressional nomination, letters of recommendation, etc., but I did it. In the Application Packet you were allowed to list your top three choices of career fields. I put Pilot, Pilot, Pilot

1956 Since I knew where my college education would come from, I did not pursue any scholarships. During my Senior year the school had a 'College to Career' day, wherein Seniors could skip a day of school to visit a nearby college. 

   Skipping a day of school sounded like a good idea to me. I literally picked a bus at random. The college I visited was La Verne College (now the University of La Verne). It was a fun day, getting to see a college campus. When I returned, I threw away all the materials I had received.

   I was tentatively scheduled to start at the Academy in the summer of 1956, after graduating from High School. You can imagine my alarm when, just days after High School Graduation, I received a letter from the Air Force stating that the size of my incoming Academy class had been cut and I was being dropped.

   Zounds!  There went my life plan, up in smoke. It was too late to apply to other colleges -- I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do. Then, out of the blue, came a letter from La Verne, noting I had expressed an interest in attending there (Hah!) and stating they had an academic scholarship which no one had applied for. If I could qualify, it was mine. Was I interested?

   Was I interested? Does a duck quack? Suddenly I had a burning desire to attend La Verne College. Which I did. It helped that La Verne had an excellent reputation at a training source for teachers. My life plan was back on track.

Other events: After driving a series of American convertibles, I purchased my first foreign sports car -- a 1951 SM Roadster, manufactured by Singer Motors, it was a knock-off of the English MG. In fact the only visual means of differentiating between was that the Singer's doors opened the opposite of the MG, the spare tire was under a fairing and there was what was charitably called a rear seat.


Singer (New)

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