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Voices of the Past


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  #1  
Old 10-04-2017, 05:33:25 PM
JohnnyC JohnnyC is offline
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Default Voices of the Past

While eating dinner today, I decided to randomly go back in time and read postings on this forum from different time periods dating back to the beginning of time up until 2013-ish. Lots of GREAT postings with very useful information from very knowledgeable people. While viewing multiple threads from some of the old timers, they seem to suddenly drop off the face of the earth and vanish -POOF- into thin air never to be heard from again. What happened to some of the once popular old timers from the past? I basically joined this group when Ed Sparks passed away, but what about the others? Another question - who is the longest active member currently in this group? Billy?

Anyway, can anyone shed some light on some of the brilliant members of the past that are no longer here? I'm sure Billy, Jim M, Leon, and others may have good stories from the past. OK, back to eating dinner for me - 1 more BBQ rib to eat then off to the garage.

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Old 10-04-2017, 07:23:50 PM
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Billy J Shafer Billy J Shafer is offline
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Default Re: Voices of the Past

I think I am the oldest active Onan member. Forgot the first time I joined. Some passed on,some stayed long enough to learn what they needed. Some come around now and then.

I have a few stories after 48 years.
Worked on a transfer switch that wouldn't transfer for an hour. Noticed the transfer motor turned off.

Sleeping at a tower site out west. Getting woke up by buzzing B1 bombers out of Dyess AFB.

Getting puked on by buzzards. Brownwood GTE site.

Worked at the BUFF hangers at Carswell AFB. While the APs had fifty cals pointed at us.

The hardest place to work at. Was the mental homes for kids. I had a real good helper at one. He was 11 years old and would meet me at the door. When saw me coming. Would carry my tools for me. Knew what I needed before I did some times.

I can recall one time the director came out and ask me what was wrong. Before I could answer. My helper looked at him and said. It's F##kin broke. I had to get on to him for talking like that.

But I never could get out of those places without crying. Saw a few other service techs having the same problem.
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Old 10-04-2017, 08:12:59 PM
Gunny Gunny is offline
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Default Re: Voices of the Past

Went to do some work at a mental hospital. Co-worker warned me to keep my truck locked, Billy knows how big of a pain that gets t be, unlock it, get a tool, lock it, do it gain a few dozen times.
The part I missed was keep the cab locked. I went to get something and there was 3 of them in the cab, took me a good while to get them out so I could leave. A trip to the candy machine did it, cost me $2.00 worth of candy. Some of the folks that were here they kept locked up, some roamed the grounds.
After meeting some of the doctors there, think that some of them were on the wrong side of the care thing, they firtright in, hard to tell if they were patients ot care givers.

Went out one morning while a nice snow storm was starting up, sent to change a water pump on a Cummins NTA, seems that they usually lost a water pump when it was real cold out.
About the time I got there, another customer called, generator won't crank. This was at a data center, not so critical. It wouldn't g for a weekly test,I asked what he meant by it won't crank, does it turn over? It won't crank could have several different meanings, do I need t bring batteries, a starter.... He said it won't crank C R A N K, got real ill at me. I told him I'd be there as soon as I could, as soon as I got this water pump on at a water treatment plant. A few minute s later he called again and that's the day went, he must have called me 10 times. Finally finished the water pump and headed his way and called him and told him that I'd be there as soon as traffic and the storm allowed, was snowing like crazy now. He was really ill by this time. Finally got there and within a few minutes he called again really ticked and asked if I had it fixed yet. Told him that they won't C R A N K if the switch was in the O F F position. A few minutes of silence and he said to send him a bill.
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Old 10-04-2017, 08:39:16 PM
Leon N. Leon N. is offline
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Default Re: Voices of the Past

You mention Ed Sparks. I recall many very interesting discussions with Ed on the Stak. In fact I even stopped by his home in Harpswell, ME area one time. I brought my loose leaf note books with all my original Onan literature mostly on the j-Line, and specifically the JB. He showed me his new JB generator shed and the propane fuel supply set up. Very nicely done. We had a lot in common, besides his JB. He had an old Corvair Monza car under a tarp. He was going to restore it along with a 10 CW Onan. I also had a brand new 1962 Corvair as I left college and traveled to Waco where I under went navigator school training at JCAFB. I loved that Corvair. If anyone is interested I could tell you a lot about that car technically speaking.

I went to Ed's wake and met his wife Collete. She later contacted me to see if I wanted the old Corvair. I had to decline because I no longer had the facilities to restore a car. Boy, I wish I had kept my Corvair. In spite of all its bad press it never let me down (full speed across the hot Southwest) on my way to CA for B52 orientation and subsequently back to MA where I was stationed in the 8th AF. Funny story, I pulled into a gas station somewhere down South and the attendant said: "You want Hi test for that car, why you will burn out the motor?!" Little did he know it was a high compression engine and required Hi-test gas. Those were the days you could purchase white gas.

We have many relatives in Maine. I also visited Ted Cool in China Lake, Me. He had a JC and a spare but burnt out magneciter on the shelf. We had many discussions and I gave him a packet of brand new Onan decals since Onan sent me two copies. I recall he was big on I think, converting wood into a gas supposedly to burn in his JC. Wonder what ever happened to Ted.

I can't recall a Stak member who lives on Cape Cod and refurbished a JB. He was so interested in my set up he dropped by and is a nice hospitality fashion brought me a cake! I showed him my JB and started it up and I recall him saying :"gee it runs so smooth with little vibration"! That got me thinking maybe his JB had a broken tooth on the flywheel, but I never followed up on that. I know his name is in the Stak kind of lost interest in his endeavors because he seemed to drop off the radar just like Ted Cool.

Geeze don't get me going because for some reason it gets me thinking of my demise.
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Old 10-04-2017, 08:42:38 PM
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Billy J Shafer Billy J Shafer is offline
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Default Re: Voices of the Past

Another PIA was prison units. Go through the security checks every time you needed something. Then there is Rusk mental prison. All the generators were in the kill lane. I wasn't sure who was who at some units.

Then you had the ones that call you out at night. Then want to know if it will be overtime.

Leon I didn't you were at JCAFB. Most of the base is still there. Now a trade school and some business location. Except now it is in the city limits of Bellmead I believe.

Ed was from Mesquite Texas. Moved when he was a kid. We both knew some of the same people. Went to the Mesquite rodeo when it was way out in the country. Now citified.
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Old 10-04-2017, 08:48:39 PM
JohnnyC JohnnyC is offline
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Default Re: Voices of the Past

Well, I have no credits as for professional experience since this is a hobby for me, but a serious hobby after 2 hurricanes. However, I will say the two highlights of my 3 years on this forum are 1) hosting the Death Match - Onan vs China's Champion, and 2) Totally amazed to learn that one of my Onans ran perfectly while drizzling human piss down it's carburetor as it was running on gasoline. What else can I say

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Old 10-04-2017, 08:53:28 PM
wxyoung2008 wxyoung2008 is offline
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Default Re: Voices of the Past

BobbyZ did some work for me a time or two via mail-in of the part. I don't see any posts from him anymore.
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Old 10-04-2017, 08:56:37 PM
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Default Re: Voices of the Past

I just got a CW from bobby. He is very busy these days. I had a hard time keeping up with him. But he is still out there.
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Old 10-04-2017, 09:02:19 PM
wxyoung2008 wxyoung2008 is offline
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Default Re: Voices of the Past

[QUOTE Ed was from Mesquite Texas. Moved when he was a kid. We both knew some of the same people. Went to the Mesquite rodeo when it was way out in the country. Now citified.[/QUOTE]

Been to that citified version of the Mesquite Rodeo a few times myself. They had to move to the city...Those Drug Store - Rhinestone Cowboy patrons wouldn't show up for fear of getting their 4WD pickups dusty.
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Old 10-04-2017, 09:22:03 PM
Leon N. Leon N. is offline
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Default Re: Voices of the Past

I went to JCAFB in June of 1962. I still remember very vividly the room, the class, the desk I sat at and the door when someone entered and told us the president was shot.
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Old 10-04-2017, 10:54:27 PM
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Default Re: Voices of the Past

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Originally Posted by Billy J Shafer View Post
Another PIA was prison units. Go through the security checks every time you needed something.
In 1960's, I worked as an electrician for co that serviced the county jail. No one wanted to go there, and as the new man, guess what - it was one of my jobs.

I was told to only bring the bare essentials. They logged everything I took in. Each door was opened and locked behind me, and an armed guard went with me- to watch the tools. When I left, they logged everything I took out, and it better match what went in. The guards were very concerned about screwdrivers.

Most of the work was replacing light fixtures in cells and corridors. They handed me the fixture on the way in, and I gave them the bad one as I left. All parts had to be accounted for.

The prisoners never acknowledged my presence. They looked like they were waiting to pounce or steal anything unguarded.

Radios were very important to the prisoners. Once, I was working in a cell block where the radio was broken. The prisoners kept begging the guard to have me look at it. It was a transistorized radio. I told him I would need to take it to the shop, where I had tools and a meter. I asked if I left with it, would it be allowed back?

A guard handed it to me as I left the jail.
The traces on the board to the 120 volt cord were melted. I have no idea how. I temporarily jumped them, and the radio worked!

I cleaned everything up, soldered in copper wire, and bonded the wires to the PC board with clear epoxy, so the wires would stay in place if the radio was dropped.

It was several weeks before I went back to the jail. I handed the radio to the guards at the entrance, and told them what cell block it came from. I was working in another area, and could hear cheers when they got it.

From then on, everybody knew me, and had a wave or smile for me.
I did get another radio to fix. It had tubes. One was bad. I was asked to buy the tube, and the prisoners would pay for it. A guard gave me the money.
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Old 10-05-2017, 05:24:22 AM
armandh armandh is offline
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Default Re: Voices of the Past

besides "learning" to drive in a 1962 Corvair where the center of gravity was
behind the center of aerodynamic resistance [shooting arrows feathers first]
my personal experience was coming in to a corner a little hot for the
reverse banking only to discover a fellow washing his car on the high side,
and a nice stream of soapy water running across the road.
not unlike the Disneyland tea cup ride.

my first experience with onan was my dad's first boat and wondering
where the starter was. [no clue about exciter cranked] and no time to look.
1964 spring break, Ft Lauderdale FL, Bahia Mar
when dad died in 1988 [then living in Stuart FL]
the first thing mom did was sell the last boat [aka the money pits]

my second [and so far last] onan experience was rehabbing a 1978 6.5 NH
motor home pull out for my daughter's stand by use.

my green disease is in remission but by looking and posting here
the danger of relapse is ever present.
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Old 10-05-2017, 08:37:04 AM
AngrySailor AngrySailor is offline
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Default Re: Voices of the Past

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leon N. View Post
I went to JCAFB in June of 1962. I still remember very vividly the room, the class, the desk I sat at and the door when someone entered and told us the president was shot.
No one is actually buying Leon's alibi are they???
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Old 10-05-2017, 09:21:29 AM
Graycenphil Graycenphil is offline
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Originally Posted by armandh View Post
my first experience with onan was my dad's first boat and wondering
where the starter was. [no clue about exciter cranked] and no time to look.
1964 spring break, Ft Lauderdale FL, Bahia Mar
Wasn’t that Travis McGee’s marina?
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Old 10-05-2017, 01:06:23 PM
Leon N. Leon N. is offline
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Default Re: Voices of the Past

Hey Billy, just curious, but what was your association with the BUFFs at Carswell? SAC had a two-man policy and no-lone zones at many locations.

Yes, the CG of the Corvair was towards the back and the design included swing axles which if you cornered too fast it would start to fishtail.

AngrySailor what are you implying? Yes indeed I recall the JFK assignation vividly. For that matter in a similar manner I recall exactly where I was and what I was doing at the time I heard about 911. I will never forget those two incidents in particular.
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Old 10-05-2017, 02:46:24 PM
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Billy J Shafer Billy J Shafer is offline
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Default Re: Voices of the Past

Leon since you were Air Force. I think you will understand this story.

Install and load test on a hanger generator. My section only covered the genset and exhaust fans. Was not allowed to know what else it ran.

I was one of seven picked to do this job. If we passed the security check. I already had a top secret clearnce being in the National Guard. But they still checked me. Two month emergency check. We all checked out and reported to Carswell at 5 am for the days briefing. Taken into a room and was told what my red section would cover. Given a red badge and was told not to go outside my section. Deadly force could be used. My truck had the load banks and was escorted in under armed guard. Was told not to cross the lines.

Everything was going fine until one idiot thought it was funny to jump the lines. And touch a BUFF. They clubbed him and made everyone grab the floor don't look up. I could hear weapons cocking and more APs coming into the hanger.We were on the floor for an hour while they searched our trucks. They let us get up and stand in line by the hanger door. While a pissed off Major told us what they could and would do if it happened again.

They kept the idiot for a month while they checked him out. Needless to say he lost his job and had six guys very pissed. We learned the Air Force protects the BUFFs
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Old 10-05-2017, 02:51:47 PM
len k len k is online now
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Default Re: Voices of the Past

Not unexpected. Serious stuff contained in it. Besides he may have splashed acid on joints.
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Old 10-05-2017, 03:01:44 PM
Leon N. Leon N. is offline
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Billy yes I can believe that. I was on combat crew status from 1963 to 1967. That was during the so called mutual assured destruction or MAD policy. We flew 24 hour missions from take off to landing loaded for bear. Very serious stuff. Being 29 years old it did not bother me except you had to watch your P's and Q's. I racked up about 1600 hours in the B52. Strip alert was another matter, no-lone zones were the norm.
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Old 10-05-2017, 03:10:43 PM
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My brother retired from the Air Force. Weapons Sgt E 8 I believe. Told him about it. He said he was amazed they let the guy live. Touching a loaded Buff was a good way to get killed.
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Old 10-05-2017, 03:37:27 PM
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Default Re: Voices of the Past

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graycenphil View Post
Wasn’t that Travis McGee’s marina?
and still there, right across A1A from THE beach !!
http://www.bahiamaryachtingcenter.com/
just another marina but LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
in the days of "SPRING BREAK"
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