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Interview with Gary Hallmark, June 24, 2005


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Narrator affiliation: Electrician, Reynolds Electrical and Engineering Company (REECo)

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Hallmark, Gary. Interview, 2005 June 24. MS-00818. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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Nevada Test Site Oral History Project University of Nevada, Las Vegas Interview with Gary Hallmark June 24, 2005 Las Vegas, Nevada Interview Conducted By Charlie Deitrich © 2007 by UNLV Libraries Oral history is a method of collecting historical information through recorded interviews conducted by an interviewer/ researcher with an interviewee/ narrator who possesses firsthand knowledge of historically significant events. The goal is to create an archive which adds relevant material to the existing historical record. Oral history recordings and transcripts are primary source material and do not represent the final, verified, or complete narrative of the events under discussion. Rather, oral history is a spoken remembrance or dialogue, reflecting the interviewee’s memories, points of view and personal opinions about events in response to the interviewer’s specific questions. Oral history interviews document each interviewee’s personal engagement with the history in question. They are unique records, reflecting the particular meaning the interviewee draws from her/ his individual life experience. Produced by: The Nevada Test Site Oral History Project Departments of History and Sociology University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 89154- 5020 Director and Editor Mary Palevsky Principal Investigators Robert Futrell, Dept. of Sociology Andrew Kirk, Dept. of History The material in the Nevada Test Site Oral History Project archive is based upon work supported by the U. S. Dept. of Energy under award number DEFG52- 03NV99203 and the U. S. Dept. of Education under award number P116Z040093. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in these recordings and transcripts are those of project participants— oral history interviewees and/ or oral history interviewers— and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U. S. Department of Energy or the U. S. Department of Education. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 1 Interview with Gary Hallmark June 24, 2005 Conducted by Charlie Deitrich Table of Contents Introduction: birth, family background, childhood in Alabama and California. 1 Civil Air Patrol and military service, training to become Army medic. 9 Stationed in Germany, sense of the Cold War in Europe. 12 Returns to California, education, part- time jobs. 16 Talks about work for Douglas Aircraft ( 1965- 1968). 17 Moves to Hughes Aircraft, Planning Department ( 1969- 1970). 18 Takes job at Hawthorne High School ( 1970- 1971). 21 Transfers to City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power ( 1971). 23 IBEW apprenticeship and education as electrician at Los Angeles Trade and Technical College ( 1971- 1975). 24 Work on Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, CA ( 1975). 25 Work on Alaska pipeline, Valdez, AK ( 1976). 28 Moves back to Los Angeles, and then takes job at the NTS ( 1977). 32 First impressions of Las Vegas, NV. 35 Work as electrician at the NTS ( Areas 12, 2, and 6 respectively). 36 Details work as electrician in Area 51, NTS. 38 Activities with German- American Club in Las Vegas and requirements of NTS security. 39 Working at Area 51, NTS and transfer to Tonopah Test Range ( TTR). 42 Work on Fire Storm, Dolphin, and Caboc. 44 Talks about work, gives description of typical work day at the NTS. 46 Discusses post- shot work and his accidents at the NTS. 52 Radiation safety at the NTS. 56 Marriage and divorce ( 1981- 1983). 57 Problems working for REECo, end of testing, laid off from REECo ( 1993). 58 Conclusion: opinion about government’s role in testing, work on Yucca Mountain project ( 1994- 1995). 60 UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 1 Interview with Gary Hallmark June 24, 2005 in Las Vegas, NV Conducted by Charlie Deitrich [ 00: 00: 00] Begin Track 2, Disc 1. Charlie Deitrich: OK, so if you could state your full name, date of birth, and where you were born? Gary Hallmark: Gary Hallmark; June 12, 1942; born in Empire, Alabama. Were you raised in Alabama? I was in Alabama until eight years of age and then I moved to California. Do you have much recollection of growing up in Alabama? Oh, I go back almost annually and sometimes three, four, five times a year. So even though you were only there till eight, you kind of feel like that’s your— That’s still home. Small town? Yes. What was the name of it again? I was born in Empire, but I lived in Jasper. Jasper is the county seat of Walker County, the sixty- seventh largest county in Alabama, and there’s only about seventy counties. That is small. What was it like growing up in such a small town? It was a rural farm community. I stayed with my grandmother and grandfather while my mother went to Birmingham to work. And I did all the stuff kids do on a farm, feed the animals and— So you basically grew up on a farm? I grew up on a farm. Did you like that kind of life? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 2 Oh, yes. I’ve always had a liking for animals. I don’t think I’ve had too many years since I left there when I haven’t had some kind of animal around the house. I just recently lost a cat I had for just about twenty years. I got him out of the pound when he was almost a year old. I’m sorry to hear that you lost your cat. Tell me about your mom. My mom was the second oldest of ten kids and so being up around the oldest, she had to help take care of all the other ones. And of course she couldn’t wait to get off the farm, so that’s why she went to Birmingham and worked. She married my dad in, I guess, about 1940. He did various jobs down there. He was a ranger out in the woods— well, I guess even before their marriage, he went in the CCC [ Civilian Conservation Corps]. On my last visit down there, one of my aunts said, Oh, I’ve got something here you probably want. It was his camp book from the CCC camp. A lot of people would probably find that interesting to go through because, you know, that tells about a lot of people’s relatives that were in these CCC camps. Lists names and home towns. I’ve been into genealogy so— That must’ve been a great find for you, then. Yes. Where did he work? Did he work in national parks or—? He went up to Pennsylvania, right off the top of my head I can’t remember the name of the camp— and near the end of the book he was scheduled to go to Oregon and I don’t know if he ever made it or not. He didn’t really say. But the book, some of it’s hand written, some of it was printed by the camp with pictures of people in the camp. And anyway, after that he joined the Army and spent twenty- four years in the Army. So that’s why you lived with your grandparents, because he was in—? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 3 My mother worked. Yeah, and he was in the Army? Yes. So he was in World War II? Yes. What branch of the military was he in? Was it the Army? The Army. He was in the Timberwolf Regiment. They came up from Italy into Germany. Oh, wow. That���s impressive. I guess while he was over there, he met a German family in Kassel. From that period on, I always had the impression that we were part German. I have a stepbrother who was raised away from me and I never knew until after we were both adults, and he had the same impression. But once I got into the genealogy, I found out that we weren’t German. I guess it was just because of the association with that family in Germany that my father was saying that we were [ 00: 05: 00] Germans, because some Germans think that Hallmark is a German name and it seems to be strictly English. Is that right? So did you have any hobbies, activities as a kid growing up in a small town in Alabama? No. Back there you wouldn’t. You’d go swimming in the river, but usually wasn’t a lot of time for doing other stuff. I went to two years of school there with my aunts and some of the neighbors. But like I say, it was farm life and work and playing in the woods and fields and— So you were outdoorsy, I would imagine. Oh, yeah. And I would imagine the farm kept you pretty busy. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 4 Yeah, we had horses that we’d sometimes ride. They really weren’t riding horses, they were draft animals. My earliest recollection is falling off of one of the big draft horses. I would assume she was a Clydesdale from her coloring and everything. I was on her back and my uncle was leading her. We were walking up a hill and he was leading her by the bridle and she was just following behind him. But she hadn’t been worked for a while, and all of a sudden she made a left turn and headed out across the field and, well, my legs were almost straight out to the sides because she was so big around, so I had nothing to hang onto except her mane and I didn’t hang onto that very long. Did you have brothers and sisters? No. Well, I got stepbrothers- and- sisters but not that I grew up with. So you essentially grew up an only child? Yeah. I had a strange experience, though. I was working out at the [ Nevada] test site [ NTS] in the early nineties and a guy came up to me and asked me if I had any relatives working at the test site. I said, Not that I know of. So he goes on to say that he has a RADSAFE [ Radiological Safety] girl that goes in the tunnel with him every so often to check for radiation, and her name is Hallmark. I said, Is it a little brunette about yea tall? And he says yeah. I said, Is her name Michelle? [ And he said], Yeah, I think so. And it turns out I had a sister working out there that I’d only seen one other time before. That is remarkable! A stepsister, right? Half- sister. Half- sister. Was that mother or father’s side? Father’s side. So did you introduce yourself after that? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 5 Well, yeah, we talked; I ended up getting sent to the same tunnel that she was working at, and we went underground one day— it was just four of us, a laborer and that same electrician and myself and her— to check for the radiation. That is remarkable. I don’t know. Because my father never told them about anything, they never had much interest in getting to know me. Do you still have a relationship with her now? Her youngest brother, he and I correspond by e- mail; he’s the only one that seems to be interested in the family tie. Sure. That is a crazy story. And the oldest two— she’s got, let’s see, she’s the third or fourth of the older ones— and the oldest two, a boy and a girl, they just absolutely do not want anything to do with me. I called the oldest girl at her home one time and I said, This is Gary Hallmark. Click! You’re kidding! I mean that’s all I said. I wonder why that is. Well, they’re Italian on their mother’s side, and I think she’s only a first- generation Italian- American. So basically she wasn’t even supposed to marry my father, the way the Italian culture is, because he was divorced and still had a living spouse and another family. So I guess that— you know, in the suburbs of Buffalo, they just don’t want anything to do with me. That’s too bad. Yeah. [ 00: 10: 00] That’s too bad. So up until eight, you’re living in Alabama? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 6 Yes. What leads you to California? My mother decided— she had met somebody in St. Louis [ Missouri]. She worked in a factory in St. Louis for, I don’t know, six months or a year, and then she met a lady from California, and they kept corresponding afterwards. And then they said, Oh, you should come out to California, wages are better. And so we went out there and we lived with her for about six months till we found our own— got our own place. OK. Where at in California? The Inglewood- Lennox area. Were your parents still together at this point? No. He was still in the service, and by then he was, let’s see, I’m not sure where he was at the time. Three years after we went to California is when they— she finally filed for divorce because he hadn’t seen us since ’ 48, so after five years, she just went ahead and filed for divorce. So you lived in Inglewood. What’s your mom doing for a living? She started out working as a waitress and then she went to a bookbinding place; part of the time she even did both of them at the same time. Then somebody got her on at Northrop Aircraft and after working a few months at Northrop Aircraft, she quit the restaurant and worked twenty- five years for Northrop. What did she do for Northrop? Secretary? No, she was out on the line. Rosie the Riveter. Where was the Northrop plant? In Hawthorne. Between 120th and Broadway. So that’s a pretty good job. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 7 Yes. I worked aircraft for five years. Is that right? Who’d you work for? I worked for McDonnell Douglas and Hughes Aircraft. So your mom’s working for Northrop. What’s it like growing up now? I mean there must be some sense, even though you’re a fairly young guy, what’s the culture shock like going from Alabama to Inglewood? Oh, it was quite a bit. And of course kids aren’t always the nicest. I mean I was different because I spoke different and that was pointed out to me several times, even to the point it almost went to fights. But it was pretty nice. We lived in one place about three years and I had a couple good friends in junior high school— or not junior high school but elementary school. I got into a square- dancing group and we had kids from about three different schools in that. And unfortunately, too many of the friends I ran around with all died fairly young. Oh, that’s too bad. The one boy that lived on the same street that I did on Greenwood Avenue, he must’ve passed away ten, fifteen years ago, maybe even longer than that. I’m sorry to hear that. Then another friend, I kept looking for him after I came out of the service, and finally through some of the stuff on the Internet with this Classmates. com and stuff, I found out that he had passed away. That really surprised me because he was always such an athlete. He was only five- foot- eight, I believe it was— or five- foot- seven, something like that, fairly small, but he was chunky— he played football even up into junior college. But like I say, he only lived to be about, I don’t know, I imagine somewhere in the vicinity of forty- five to fifty years old. Ah, that’s terrible! UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 8 Yeah. Was the square- dancing club, were there other Southerners in it that kind of— did you find people that had similar backgrounds? No, most of them were all born in California. We’d go around to different square- dance conventions, and dance at them. We went down to one, I think it was Sunnyvale, California, we went down and danced. And at the same time on television there was, I think it was, the Spade Cooley Show and they had the “ Y- Knot Twirlers.” They used to perform [ 00: 15: 00] one or two dances on every show. But these were for probably anywhere from eighteen to twenty- one year olds, and we were down in the twelve, thirteen, fourteen- year- old bracket. We went to this convention, we got out on the floor and they were dancing, and we went in and cut their male partners out, and we ended up finishing the dance with— Is that right? Did that cause a stir? No. It was just— Part of the show? Yes. Well, there’s ways to do that. Square- dancing was fun, and it’s a real social group. I just found out recently there’s a big, huge square- dancing group here in the valley. That must’ve been a great experience as a kid, to get to travel around and do those conventions and stuff. So you liked performing and stuff like that. Well, I was always kind of bashful, so sometimes it was pretty hard. Is that right? Yes. I even joined a dance class and it was some of the same people that were in the square- dance class. We went to make a local performance and they scrapped the dance routine and we UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 9 just— because we were dressed up like sailors and we were singing “ Anchors Aweigh” and we sang it rather than danced it. Is that right? What propelled you to get into the square- dance club? Did you do some of that in Alabama and you—? No, there was somebody, some friend of my mother’s knew these people that danced, and then I knew some of the kids that were in it from school. There was this one lady, she kind of pushed my mother to try to get me to join it. She acted kind of like a surrogate grandmother to me, and I think she was next door to one of the families where they would sometimes practice. And at this time, it was just you and your mom living together? Yeah. That sounds like a great experience. How long did you do that, the square- dancing? Probably only about two years. When I got ready to go into junior high school, I moved across town and went to a different junior high school than all of those kids did and just got away from it. Did you have any, you know, during junior high or high school, did you have any life goals? Was there any sense of what you wanted to do? No, I didn’t even have that after I got out of the service. But I did join the Civil Air Patrol [ CAP] while I was in high school, so that gave me a little bit of a military pre- training, I guess you’d call it, before I went in the service. And it paid off, some of the officers and stuff recognized it right off. But I went in when the Berlin Wall was going up— Yeah, this is like the late fifties, 1958, something like that? I went in in ’ 62 or— yeah, June of ’ 62, I think it was, or ’ 61— and while we were in basic training, they cut basic training short by about three weeks and sent a bunch of us to Fort Riley, UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 10 Kansas to build that up to combat strength. And then things kind of cooled down in Europe a little bit, even though the Wall went up. Then [ Nikita] Khrushchev with his shoe at the United Nations, well, then they started practicing for amphibious landings in case we had to invade Cuba, so we did that for a while. And then after we did that training, got our basic training finally finished, and our secondary training finished, they split the unit up and I ended up going to Germany. So you joined the Civil Air Patrol while you were still in high school, is that right? Oh, yes, that was an auxiliary of the Air Force and it was for fourteen- to- eighteen- year- olds. And what kind of propelled you into that? I knew some people that flew and had a couple of real good, close friends. One was from Alabama and we used to go flying with him; I think he was a captain in the Civil Air Patrol. And he mentioned the cadet program, so me and two of my neighbors went down and joined it. So you had friends in there and it just seemed like a— Yeah, so pretty soon we had a whole group in there that we ran around together with through most of the four years of high school. And so after high school, it was just a natural thing to enlist? [ 00: 20: 00] Well, I went college and I wasn’t ready. I thought I wanted to be a vet, but then I started looking at the curriculum and I said well, four semesters of biology, four semesters of anatomy, and two semesters of psychology: just a real heavy load. I said oh, well, I’m not ready for that. So after one year in college, I joined the Army. Where’d you go to college? El Camino. El Camino. That’s a JC, right? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 11 Junior college, yes. And that just doesn’t sound like it was your bag at the time. No. And I went in the Army still thinking about the vet, I enlisted to try to get into the Veterinarian Corps in the Army, but the Army had greater hopes for me to be in the Medical Corps so I was a medic for three years. What was that experience like? That was quite something, and most of the time I felt like I was inadequately trained for it. I mean I had a few incidents that happened and luckily most of them turned out right. I had one guy, we were in a very bad section of Germany: Grafenwohr. It’s where they go for most of their winter maneuvers and stuff, and its high rugged mountains; In the wintertime, there’s snow, it’s colder than— I had this one buck sergeant come to me and he just wanted some antacid. And he was complaining the next day. They were supposed to go out for some artillery practice. So generally thinking just before a field trip, a lot of people trying to get out of it, you know, saying, well, I got this, I got that. Well, he was the other way around. He just wanted something temporarily for the night. And I tapped around his body a little a bit, a couple times, and he flinched, and I says, No, I ain’t going to give you any antacids. I think you need to go over to the dispensary. When he went to the dispensary, they put him in an ambulance and sent him down to Nuremberg, to the hospital. I’m not sure if his appendix didn’t rupture on the way down there, but I know if I’d given him something to take and he’d have gone to bed, he might not have woke up. Wow. What was your training like to become a medic? It was five weeks’ training at Fort Riley, Kansas, and I think we practiced more evacuation than we did actual patching people up. But we did have a few weeks of classroom where we would UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 12 talk about different types of— it’d be a lot stronger than just a first- aid class but it was still, some of the stuff you ran into. I was in the barracks or maybe even in the dispensary on night standby and they had a softball game going and one of the guys took a wild swing and he took the bat and he hit the catcher across the femur. That is probably the most dangerous bone to be broken, I think; it can ruin you for life. Or the femoral artery, you know, if it starts bleeding and you don’t get it stopped, you’re dead in a real short time. And so anyway, I got out there to the guy and I splinted it to make sure it didn’t move and we got him to the hospital. It turned it out it was just a bad bruise, but it was something to scare you half to death. Then we had a training exercise with some National Guards that came down from Ohio, and some of them were Air National Guard. But one guy comes in with his airplane and he buzzed a tank and he buzzed too low. He went into the mountainside and last I heard, they never did find his head. And we had two of our oldest and highest medical sergeants, they went out to the scene, and [ 00: 25: 00] these are guys that have been in combat, and they come back about the color of this paper [ white]. I’m glad they didn’t call any of us to go out there. I guess that was not a pretty sight to see. Yeah, it sounds terrible. How long were you in the Army? Three years total. And you were a medic the whole time? Yes. And you said you were there right as the Berlin Wall is going up and the Cold War is kind of, you know, particularly tense with the Cuban missile crisis. Did you have a bigger sense of the Cold War and kind of the larger world during that time? Yeah. When we went off to Germany, we were very limited in our travel, especially towards the east. I wanted to go visit Berlin but first I had to get permission to go, and I thought with getting UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 13 that permission I was ready to go and I went up to the train station to get onto the military train. But no, you got to have advanced reservations to get on the train, even though for a week or two weeks before you’d put in for this authorization to go. So I never even got to Berlin until 2003, I think it was. Oh, you’re kidding. Did your father keep in touch with the family that he met in Germany? Was there any sense of that connection for you? Oh, he lost touch with them after the war because a lot of people moved around quite a bit after that. I had once tried to make a little bit of effort to try to find them and— but especially being new over there, it was very hard. I even tried to find one of my buddies from Civil Air Patrol, he was in the MPs [ Military Police] over there and I spent a whole day traveling around on the train and never did find out where he was at. So you never did make it to Berlin, but what other places were you stationed? I was stationed in Hanau am Main. Say it again. Hanau on the Main River. This is just twenty kilometers from Frankfurt. So Frankfurt, Offenbach, Wiesbaden, Kassel. We traveled all the way down south into Nuremberg, and six months before I got out I went all the way up into the Alps. I went down to the casern that the 10th Special Forces trained at, to the NCO [ Non- Commissioned Officer] Academy, and to me that was nothing but basic training all over again. So you spent the majority of your time in Europe and Berlin— I mean not in Berlin but in Germany? Yes. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 14 It must’ve been quite an experience for somebody that went from Alabama to Inglewood, then to Germany. I mean you’d come back, you know, with quite a bit of experiences for a young man. Well, I tried learning the language and I found an Army class in German. I put in for it and they allowed me to take a half- a- day off every day for two weeks, I think it was, or a half- a- day for four weeks. And I went to this class and came out pretty good in it. Our first sergeant, he was a very— well, he was a twenty- some- years veteran and unfortunately very heavy on the bottle. He saw a class that was cut in half because it was all day, so he figured that since that was half the time as the other class but twice as many hours a day, it must be an advanced class, so he sent me to that. I tried to quit after the first day because this was exactly what I took already, and of course that was the equivalent of two days’ classes the way they worked these things. So he says, Well, nobody can catch up. If they replace you, they won’t be able to catch up. So I continued and finished the class out. So did you become fairly conversant in German? Yes, I did real well. Then when I came back to the States, I was real active in some [ 00: 30: 00] of the German events here. I went so far as to end up being in the German- American Club and on the board of directors in their carnival group. Impressive. Because German, that’s a tough language. But I enjoyed it over there. I enjoyed the people. I went into France and I tried to behave the same way in France as I did in Germany and it didn’t work. Why is that? I don’t know. I think the French are just too arrogant. Is that right? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 15 I’m supposed to have a little bit of French blood and I kind of deny it most of the time. I tried to speak what little, you know, French I could to the people and mostly all I got was No compri, no compri. If it wasn’t perfect, they didn’t want to even hear you try. So I ended up a few times having a few words with people in German over in France. I can’t imagine they appreciated that too much. No. I said, well, if they can’t understand my French and they don’t want to act— unless they speak English, then they can listen to my German. What else really led you to leaving the service? Is that what you said, three- and- a- half years? No, just three years. Three- year enlistment. Did you ever think about maybe staying in, you know, re- upping? I tried for a couple different things. I even volunteered to go to Vietnam in Special Forces, but they didn���t take me in that. I tried helicopters and they didn’t take me in that. I spent my time and got out. What possessed you to want to go to Vietnam? Just the additional training. When you go into Special Forces, you’re trained in two to three different specialties. I was already a medic and they may end up making me a communications specialist or some other. And so I said, well, I’ll do that and get a little more training in a little more gung- ho type outfit. But it was denied, so I said, OK. Do you have any idea why? No, I don’t. You ever think about what would’ve happened if you had gotten in, you know, the different direction your life would’ve gone? Well, I’d probably be an entirely different person if I made it back. UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 16 So were you a little— when you were turned down? Is that one of the reasons why you just decided not to reenlist? Well, I wasn’t real happy. I tried to go in the Navy first and they didn’t want to train me in what I wanted to be trained in, so that’s why I ended up going in the Army and ultimately they didn’t train me in what I wanted to do either. But then they did it a different way, they turned me down after I got in, rather than before I got in. Right. So about what year do you come home? I came home in ’ 64. Sixty- four? And did you go back to Inglewood? Yes. And to kind of pick up your life again, what are you doing at this point? I went back to Inglewood, went back to junior college, and did a few part- time jobs for a year. What kind of jobs? Delivering chicken, delivering pizza, [ driving a] moving truck. Just anything to pay the bills? Yes. Then I got on at Douglas Aircraft and I worked there for a year. I finally decided I wasn’t going to make it as a veterinarian— I just couldn’t hack all of those hard- core classes— and so I started studying the languages. I studied German some more in college and then I even took a Spanish class, which my German teacher chewed me out for. Why is that? Taking two languages at the same time. Little bit too challenging? UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 17 Yeah. And it was because I ended up drawing a blank on my test in Spanish and when I couldn’t come up with the Spanish word, I ended up writing the German word in there. I was trying to translate and when I translate, the word that came easier was the German word than the Spanish word. Now, this was still at the community college? [ 00: 35: 00] Yes. I stayed there for a year and then when I started studying the languages, I decided to take a trip back to Germany. I’d promised some Germans that I would be back in two years. I got a deal on a charter flight for six weeks or seven weeks in Germany, or in Europe, so I put in for the vacation and the aircraft plant turned me down, of course. And I tried in different ways. Finally, I got a three- week vacation approved, but I was supposed to telegraph back for an extension every week after that three weeks were done. I think I telegraphed back once or twice. So I came back: they said I quit and I said I was fired, but they took me back. After they let my seniority expire, then they took me back; put me back in the same department, more or less. I stayed there about forty- five days and they lost a contract so I got laid off again. Well I went out the door, around the corner to the employment office, and right back in again. Two weeks later I was right back at it. What are you doing at Douglas? What’s your job? I started out in the cryogenics lab. What is that? Tell me more about that. Well, cryogenics is dealing with liquid and gaseous nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen. This was stuff on the missile propulsion equipment. Then I worked on the Saturn and the Thor missiles and all of the stuff in the testing area. After a while there, I got into inspection. When I left the first time, the long vacation, I was in inspection. I came back to inspection and that was, like I say, lost UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project 18 because of the loss of the contract. Then I came into the planning department and I was considered a mechanical engineer and planner. We would write out the worksheets telling them how to assemble different parts, what tools to use and what dies or whatever they needed. I did that for a short time and then I went onto swing shift as a liaison planner where I’d make changes. If they could not do it according to the plan that was sent down for them to work on, the foreman would call me over [ to look at] the blueprint— we can’t do it this way but we can do it this way— and so I would ink in and make changes and send the changes up to the Planning Office. Help me understand how, because it seems like your resume up to this point is fairly unrelated to what you’re actually doing at Douglas Aircraft. I mean you were a medic, you studied languages, now it seems like you’re into mech