Monday, November 30, 2015

Pinto Beans, Ham Bone and Smoked Sausage

Pinto Beans with Ham Bone and Smoked Sausage

We put that ham bone, left over from the ham my daughter Meranda made for Thanksgiving, to good use today. We cooked up some pinto beans, with the ham bone, smoked sausage, serrano chiles and a few other things. Served it over white rice and we were good to go. Perfect for the cooler weather. It was good!

Friday, November 13, 2015

A Few Simple Memories

It felt like just another day driving to work today as my wife Jeri and I headed to Long Beach to see ship #279 leave the Boeing facilities and Long Beach, the only difference was that my wife was driving. We took the 605 Freeway to the 91 West and got off at Lakewood Blvd. It has been a year since I last made the drive and nothing has changed. It could easily have been yesterday that I drove to work.

We passed the Flight Room, a favorite watering hole of the old McDonnell Douglas and Boeing crowd. On the other side of Lakewood Blvd , on Carson, was the Thirsty Isle, perhaps the more popular and my favorite of the two. Both bars were always filled at lunch time. It was a chance to unwind, have a schooner of beer and a game of pool before heading back to work
We passed the Heritage Family Restaurant on Carson just past Paramount, or at least that's what it's called now. Back in '79 when I hired in at Douglas, it was called Acropolis. It was a Greek owned restaurant that had a few Greek items on the menu but mostly served good standard American food. They made their own bread. My favorite was the raisin bread. Big, fresh loaves. I have never had bread that good since. They also made their own apple butter. Every once in while, I would stop there after work and take home both the bread and apple butter for the family. My old pal, the late Steve Wallace, and I ate breakfast there every chance we got, especially on those nights when we closed up the local bars and needed something to eat before heading home. It got so that we knew every eating spot and bar in the area. I was only twenty four then so it was par for the course.

Back in those days I was working on the commercial aircraft, The DC-10, later the KC-10 and later still, after coming back from lay off, the MD-80 line and then further down the line, the MD-11. The C-17 was not yet a concept or at least it was nothing I had heard about.

Memories were flooding my head as we got closer to Boeing. I started to feel some emotion. I wasn't expecting that. Thirty-six years of memories working on some of the greatest aircraft in aviation history alongside the greatest aircraft workers in the industry will never fade. How could it? With all that was good about working at the Douglas Aircraft Company, the McDonnell Douglas Company and the Boeing Company, it was the people, in every capacity, that was the company's greatest asset. I know that the McDonnell Douglas company recognized this but I'm not so sure the Boeing Company ever did. No sour grapes here. Just an observation. It is the people that I miss above all else. Some of them have become my life long friends.

The drive home was the same way. Just remembering the old drive to and from work.

Adios to the C-17 Globemaster III

My wife Jeri and I stopped at the Boeing Facilities earlier today to watch as the final C-17 Globemaster III left the Long Beach Airport. It felt like old times hanging out again, if only for a short while, with some old friends and coworkers. It was a chance to talk about old times with some of the guys that lived it with me. I'm glad that Jeri was there to share it with me. The show is over and Elvis has left the building. I'm not sure if there will ever be another reason for me to come back here again. All things, good and bad, pass

It was an awesome sight to behold as the C-17 took off, passed overhead, circled and came back for one final fly by and a tip of the wing. It was an emotional moment. The photos don't do it justice. 

Seeing the C-17 do a fly by is something that I have seen many times but for my wife it was her first (and last) chance to see this. It was overwhelming for her. Needless to say, it was bittersweet for me. The end of something really special. The end of a way of life. An experience that for me, will never be repeated in my lifetime. We really did something here.

  Final C-17 Globemaster #279 Leaving Long Beach, California

Final C-17 Globemaster #279 Leaving Long Beach, California

Final C-17 Globemaster #279 Leaving Long Beach, California

Final C-17 Globemaster #279 Leaving Long Beach, California

Final C-17 Globemaster #279 Leaving Long Beach, California

Friday, October 30, 2015

Glamorous Maddie Guardian

Mariah Guardian

Mariah Guardian

Mariah Guardian
Giving Maddie a quick rundown on the jab.
Meranda and Maddie stopped by the house this morning. Maddie was dressed up for Halloween for their school party. She 's going as a fighter. It says "Glamorous Guardian on the back of her robe, and she is too! She looks great! Nothing but grandfatherly love for this little girl!

Those boxing trunks are not just any ol' pair of shorts. Those are the very same trunks I wore 39 years ago today, October 30, 1976, for my fight with Eduardo Barba of Mexico at the original Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas. The gloves hanging from her neck are her uncle Andrew's old training gloves.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Classic Photo: Meranda and me 1979


This is from early 1979. I was still new at Douglas Aircraft Company and I was working swing shift. My daughter Meranda learned my schedule real quick. My wife Jeri said she would wake up and just wait for me to get home. I think it was some time after midnight.

As soon as she heard me open the door and walk into the house she would stand up, grab hold of the crib'rails and jump up and down. She would just laugh and make all these baby sounds and wait for me to pick her up. I would lay down on the floor watch a little TV while she fell back to sleep and put her back in the crib. This was every night. That was all she wanted. Good memories!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

It's a De La O Thing!

De La O

I was a little bored today and I was in a creative mood. Temporary art. Brings to mind my family's southwestern roots!



Brunch today at Casa De La O: Huevos con Chile Verde, a la ranchera (ranch style), with potatoes and tortilla. Made with New Mexico Sandia hot green chile. The first bite had a good kick to it and then it was smooth sailing! Jeri said it was too hot but she finished her plate!

Friday, October 09, 2015

Classic Photo: Jeri in the Kitchen

Jeri De La O 1978

We had just recently moved in to the house on Newlin Ave in Whittier on February 15, 1978 when I took this photo of my wife Jeri. Our daughter Meranda was born three month later in May. Some days it seems like yesterday and on other days it was a lifetime ago. Nothing is perfect but God has been good to us. Good memories!

Sunday, October 04, 2015

C-17 Globemaster III

I found these old pictures while cleaning out my garage recently. They are pre-production artistic renditions of the C-17 Globemaster III. The date on the back of one of the pictures says 1987. that sounds about right. I found other items and I will post them at a later date.

More than anything, what amazes me about these pictures is that they began in the minds of McDonnell Douglas engineering. The concept was put on paper and made a reality. It was an honor to be a small part of the history of the C-17 Globemaster III. It was also an honor to work with the finest aircraft workers in the industry.

The photo at the bottom is an early production photo of the C-17 production line in building 54 in Long Beach, California. 


C-17 Globemaster III

C-17 Globemaster III

C-17 Globemaster III

C-17 Globemaster III

C-17 Globemaster III

C-17 Production Line