I got out of the Navy in 1959 and did a little college at Texas A&M until I discovered what an Engineer really was and knew I would never enjoy that type of work. After one year I quit college and went to work on the B-58 Hustler at Carswell in Ft. Worth. I lasted there until they had a strike for more money and I got laid off because I was the new guy. I banged around for a while working on different aircraft and eventually got married in 1962. I ended up in Corpus Christi as that was where my wife's family was from and worked a couple of jobs there until I got hired on at Aradmac in 1964.
Aradmac didn't have any openings in the electronics area so I was hired in as a Sheet metal Apprentice at $2.52 an hour. I enjoyed the work and met a lot of very nice people and with their help, I got very proficient at this new skill. One day I was given a drawing to manufacture some parts I had not seen before so I asked my supervisor about it just to make sure I didn't do anything wrong. He took one look at the drawings and told me to go ahead and make the parts since they were a special order and to bring the finished parts directly back to him and he would have them inspected and stamped for delivery to the customer. I made the parts and did as he said and promptly forgot about them. A few days later, a friend I had met in the tool & die manufacturing area called me over and told me that a certain person wanted to meet me and to thank me for the parts I had made. I had completely forgotten about those parts so was pretty puzzled, especially when my friend told me to come by his house that afternoon after work and we would go meet this fellow. I did go over to Tommy Dean's house and shortly thereafter, we drove over to a residential area and stopped in front of it.
Now I was really puzzled but we went on in and I met George Meyer face to face for the first time. I was very apprehensive as I knew of Mr. Meyer as the main guy in charge of a large area that included the Sheet Metal shop, the Welding shop, the Tool & Die shop, the Fiberglass shop, the Engine overhaul shop and the list goes on and on. I immediately figured I was in deep doo doo and imagined having to start looking for another job somewhere. I was totally wrong though and George Meyer was a very gracious host and took me out to his garage where I got my first look at a Little Toot. It was love at first sight for me. George pointed out the parts I had made and how well they fitted and he told me that I had done a good job on them. From that time on, all he had to do was suggest a part that would help him and I was happy to make it for him. He was particularly proud on the new engine mount he had manufactured and it was fitted with special nozzles to inject an inert gas into the tubing that would keep all corrosion from becoming a problem on down the road.
I believe I met Tommy, either at his parents' home or at Aradmac in later years but he was pretty young and his dad was a very imposing character that pretty much took command of everything. I could tell you stories about Aradmac but in storytelling, I was taught that it is always best to leave your audience wanting more.