Sunday, December 11, 2011

An engineer in England

Dad travelled a little for work.  I liked going to the airport to see him off and to pick him up.  Walt got sick when dad was gone.  When mom understood the cause she quit worrying, and said he was home sick for his father.           

The airport was by the Goodyear air dock, the Akron Fulton airport, built in the ‘20’s by Bain Fulton, who was also a pilot during the Second World War.  The building, beautiful art deco, fell into disrepair in the seventies and eighties, but has been restored and remains in use as an international airport. 

We never went into the terminal; dad drove up to the chain link fence and went through the gate to the plane.  We wrapped our fingers in the links, stuck our noses through and watched him leave.  When we picked him up, we sat in the car and waited for the plane to come in.  Looking back, travelling on Navy planes on Goodyear business may have been the reason for coming and going from the tarmac.  Perhaps commercial aviation operated similarly. We picked him up once in a blinding rainstorm featuring strobing lightening flashes.  That was a wet one.

In the spring of 1953 dad went on a two month trip to England, together with three other fellows from Goodyear.  I know they were engineers, but that’s all.  Dad didn’t talk about nuts and bolts of work and I’m sure I wouldn’t have been interested in any case.  I do remember a story he told years later about visiting an installation in Texas, in the middle of nowhere.  There was a problem with prowlers going over the fence to see what they could see until someone posted big signs:  DANGER.  KEEP OUT.  RADIO WAVES.

Dad went to England as an engineer, but he brought back pictures of sights we would not have seen otherwise.  He bought his trusty 35mm Kodak for the trip, the camera he used for the next twenty some years, and packed a kit bag of film, together with his drip dry shirts.  Late that summer, after the slides were cataloged and mom had typed up his note cards there was an outdoor picture show in our back yard and the entire neighborhood saw Dad’s England.  Jan was born six weeks later.
 The Cornination Procession of Princess Elizabeth

The bird nest in the window above the procession

"Keep off the Grass", if not planned, was typical Dad humor.

I wonder if it rained once while he was there.


  1. Did all this fuel a thirst for travel in you?

  2. Nice old photographs and lovely memories. It was a very fine year, but I am biased as I was born in the Spring of 1953.

    I think the typical English weather would certainly have included rain, lots of it, probably, back then! Without the dreadful weather to discuss we Brits are lost for conversation!!

  3. Beautiful pictures! So he was there for the coronation?! Exciting!