Granola State

A steel platform supported the sixty-foot, red and white bacon sculpture at Sonoma State. Behind it, ivy and flowering vines tried to climb the prison-esque concrete of the science building. Across a wide walkway, the library sank at a non-geological pace into the campus’s cut rate real estate, a primordial lakebed that grew spongy in … Continue reading Granola State

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Basic Trainee – Fort Dix, 1967

I was sitting pretty. Sure, Johnson wanted more troops for Vietnam, but that spring he’d said no married men. I had been hitched for a year by then. I thought I was safe. My wife and I had bought into the lower levels of middle America. I found a used car and a little apartment, … Continue reading Basic Trainee – Fort Dix, 1967

Electronics Tech, Hewlett Packard, Santa Rosa, 1975

Jim sat at a one end of a long workbench, testing microwave oscillators at HP. He stared at his oscilloscope, turning dials, checking the harmonics to see if they were within limits. I found out later that when you turned on one of the new oscillators, it usually worked or it smoked. If it smoked, … Continue reading Electronics Tech, Hewlett Packard, Santa Rosa, 1975

Satellite Shiner – NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, MD 1966

On my first day, I hitched to the NASA gate and walked in. Everyone else drove through. I found the building listed on the  instructions they sent me. It was a big building, twenty stories or so. But inside, it had only one floor with a ceiling a couple hundred feet above. They told me … Continue reading Satellite Shiner – NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, MD 1966