flag.gif (8382 bytes)flag.gif (8382 bytes)Work History

lbs.jpg (6400 bytes)My earliest job as a teenager in about 1966 was as a concession vendor at the Liberty Bowl Stadium in Memphis.  This was very hard work for not a lot of money.  I netted $0.60 for each tray of 24 Cokes I sold.  Cold, miserable, strenuous work.  I did a little better the times I got the concession for popcorn or hot dogs.  The dogs were served out of a metal Sterno heated box and sold so fast that it was hard to keep stocked.  A few times there was a bunch of popcorn or hot dogs left over and we took some home.  Hot dogs do not want to be frozen and thawed again after cooking.

af.jpg (7372 bytes)The summer I turned 18 I got a job as a technician for Arthur Fulmer, an importer of electronics and other inexpensive stuff, notably motorcycle helmets.  The facility was at 260 Monroe, noe the site of the new Memphis downtown ball park.The products I services were 8 track players.  My test tape was by Donovan, so you can imagine my familiarity with that.   I still remember the trick for fixing an 8 track tape that had run outsid the cart - a sharp tug on one side caused it to suck the take back inside.  Sometimes for lunch we would cross the back alley to eat at Rosie's (perhaps of Honky Tonk Women fame).    We had contests with the other technicians to see who could fix the most units in a shift - not hard to do 50 or so because it was mainly board swapping.  The guys took me out for a beer when I turned 18 - legal then.

lre.jpg (25751 bytes)For about one year, 1969, I worked as the service technician for the Lafayette Radio store located in Whitehaven Plaza Shopping Center, now in Memphis.  I had to work one week at the Summer Avenue store as a  sort of audition before I was turned loose in Whitehaven.

ge.gif (10649 bytes)In 1972 - 1973 I worked full time for Mahaffey Communications as a service technician.  Here I was able to use my FCC license to install and service General Electric and Motorola two-way radios and IMTS telephones.  Mahaffey also operated both a mobile telephone and tone-sequential paging service and I worked on the pagers and terminals.  Ed and John Mahaffey expected his employees to work hard, which I did, and he had the nice habit of giving many small raises which he applied to work already done.  My sister Marcia later got a job there, eventually handling accounts receivable.

wmps68.jpg (6929 bytes)rca_logo.gif (2903 bytes)In 1973 I worked part time on weekends and vacation relief as transmitter plant engineer for WMPS AM/FM.  Here I actually made use of my FCC First Class Radiotelephone license.  After being shown the ropes for a few hours by fellow engineer/DJ Harry Simpson, The next weekend I was all by myself running the plant.  As I began my shift, I had to go to the base of each of four AM antenna towers and read the base current meters, which got interesting during electrical storms.  The AM and FM transmitters were monitored aurally - 10 seconds each switching back and foorth between top 40 AM and classical FM - which messes with your mind.  I once let my wife press the button that changed to daytime power/antenna pattern.  The RCA BT-10 transmitter chose that moment to blow two modulator tubes (892R type - let me know if you can help me find one for my nostalgia collection).

shoneys.jpg (21841 bytes)Harry Simpson, the DJ/transmitter plant enginner for WMPS, also worked for Shoney's South, which opend two large seafood restaurants in the Memphis area known as "The Hungry Fisherman".  One of the boat-shaped salad bars there was christened the "Cissy" after my wife's nickname.  Harry commisioned me to design and construct a device for tracking seat counts as customers entered and left the restaurant.  I built the system using RCA Numetron displays and got $250 for the effort.

regencylogo.jpg (2126 bytes)For the first few years if the 70's I also worked part time for Russ Hellen's Communications (aka CB Center) as a service technician.  I serviced CB radios and monitor scanners mostly.   Brands included all types of CB units and Regency, Pace, Sonar and Bearcat nonitors.  The store was also a dealer for amateur radio equipment from Hygain, Swan and Regency.  My first SSB transceiver was a Swan 270B from the store.  One good memory was going over to the BBQ joint across Brooks Road and bringing back a BBQ plate ($2.25) for lunch.  All the folks at the CB Center were good to me: Russ, John, Tim, Tom and Rita Hellen, Bill Walker, Fred and Don Edwards, Paul Whalen, Waymon Joiner, Ron Milsap (before he hit the country music big time), Bobby Emmons (who co-wrote 1977 CMA songwriting award winner "Luckenbach, Texas" with Chips Moman), Eddie Wood, Zerolybe Jackson, Chuck Walket, Ken Moran (the BAMA/Russell Stover man who gave us a case of apricot preserves and who would leave boxes or outdated but good candy unannounced in our car for us), plus a multitude of hams and CBers.  I know I am leaving out many - I'll try to add more as I remember them.

dipec.jpg (19362 bytes)I began Government service in 1973 as an Equipment Specialist at the Defense Industrial Plant Equipment Center (DIPEC), Memphis, Tennessee.  There I worked with a wide variety of industrial equipment, including instructing the military services on the application of LASER metrology to machine tools.  At DIPEC I made 64 TDY missions, including several as pilot of my own airplane.  My furthest trip was to Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, Hawaii, where I lugged 200 pounds of LASER measuring gear to calibrate a machining center.  I must have messed up the mission, because I had to go back just a few months later!  I became a Computer Specialist in 1985, working as a System Administrator/Application Programmer on three remote VAX computers. 

dscrlogo.jpg (37351 bytes)Defense Supply Center Richmond (DSCR).  DIPEC was absorbed in 1994 by the Defense General Supply Center, now DSCR.   I worked there as an IT (computer) Specialist Team Leader until retirement on 1 September 2006.  I intend to pursue improvements to my home, to intensify my amateur radio activity and to maintain my private pilot currency and ownership/operation of my airplane well into my retirement years.

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