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Early Years

I'm switching the rest of the story to the Flexible Flyer banner.  I have always thought that would be a good title for my memoirs.  My ...

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Go West, Young Couple, Go West.



My room mate, Bill, and I decided to rent a house on the hill in Coraopolis PA.  His old girlfriend, Anita, had moved to Pittsburgh from Los Angeles.  Talk about culture shock.  We needed more room, so the townhouse was history.

I'm not sure of the exact chronological order of all these events, but Doreen said yes.  Because we had both been married before, we decided we did not want a big wedding.  We didn't want lots of people to feel obligated to buy us gifts.  We went to a justice of the peace and Anita went with us.  The three of us went to a bar and had a few drinks.  Anita had to be carried out of the place.  This was September 9, 1982, that I can tell you. ;-D

Let's review.  I was born August 16, 1945, mere hours after the end of WW II.  I was 37 on the day we were married.  Doreen was born July 11, 1953.  (7/11, lucky number)  She is almost exactly 8 years younger.  I'm not going to look up the exact date, but I think I started flying in Sept. 1968, 14 years before we were married.  She was 15 then.  I had always been a little immature in appearance and behavior, so this was working out.

One of my points in all that, is that after 14 years of starting toward my goal, I was finally on the threshold of getting an airline pilot job, but not a very good one.  I was an overnight success.  Get it?

Since we were married, Doreen and I could ride non-rev on USAir, so we flew to San Francisco for a little vacation and honeymoon.  We walked and drove all over "The City".  That is what the locals call it, as if they are not aware that there are other cities in the world.  We loved it and even ate sushi.  We were not ready for that yet.

I think the most fun was hiking in Muir Woods.  This is one of the places you go to see a redwood forest.  We were not 'stay inside the lines' kind of people, so we followed the trails inside the park and when we came to the end, we continued to hike for miles and miles.  We explored the Coast Highway, Sausolito and other places north of the Golden Gate Bridge.  In The City, we visited Golden Gate Park, The Presidio, Chinatown, Fisherman's Wharf and all the other places tourists frequent.  We had a blast.  

Doreen had said she would feel homesick leaving the Burgh and I was trying to show her how much fun we could have in our new home. 

Pacific Express had crews based in three places, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chico.  San Fran was the biggest base and Chico was the smallest.  Living in California is very expensive, especially in San Francisco and Los Angeles.  I was trying to get my self based in Chico, to save money.  We both had some money saved and my income was not going to be much.  I got lucky and there was an opening in Chico.  As I said before, it is about 90 miles north of Sacramento, which is about 90 miles northeast of San Francisco (Chico to San Francisco is about a 3 hour drive, when there is no traffic.  There is always traffic.)

We sold lots of stuff, had the rest moved by Mayflower and I bought a tow hitch for my Trans Am, to tow her old Toyota Corolla Station Wagon to Chico.  Talk about culture shock.


We loaded the wagon with as much stuff as we could and made our way to Interstate 80, The 80, as they say it in CA.

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