Monday, December 08, 2014

The Box

The Box

When I was hired at Douglas Aircraft, in Long Beach, back in 1979 I had to go to an in plant school to learn basic aircraft mechanic skills. I can't remember exactly how long the school was, maybe six to eight weeks. At the end of school, and before entering our assigned departments,  we had to build and complete a small box. The box was to be built "Per Blueprint" (a phrase I would become familiar with over the years). We were to utilize everything we leaned during school, including tools and fasteners that are specific to the aircraft industry.

To tell you the truth, it was not as hard as I thought it would be. It has been so long that I cannot remember if we had one day or two to finish. Whatever the case was, I was the second person to finish. The first person to finish was John DiRe. I remember him well because at some later point he became my manager.We were told that it would be okay to help anyone that needed help.The guy who sat ext me, Steve Wallace, was the last or one of the last to finish. I specifically remember him for two reasons. He was cussing and kicking his box out of frustration. I gave him a hand and he finished and got a passing grade. I remember him also because we became lifetime friends. We laughed about that day a lot over the years.

I kept my box in the garage and would forget about it for a while, until we either moved, or I was cleaning the garage or whatever. It would just pop up from time to time. Somewhere in time, one side was covered in blue paint, from one of the kids I suppose, it also got a little rusty and dirty. I never really gave it too much thought but I never threw it away. Also, if you look closely, you can see the faded strip of tape that had my name and badge number on it. My friend Steve threw his box away the same day he finished it. Over the years I found that most people did that.  It's just  a metal box but I'm glad I kept it. My wife wants me to clean it up and use it to keep the backyard BBQ condiments in. Maybe I'll do that.

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