Tech Rep  

Thomas M. Simundich

In the Amber hangar we received a combination radio phonograph player for the rec room. When we turned it on we got nothing. It was busted. This was a big disappointment. We wanted to play the three phonograph records in the rec room. (Schubert's Great C symphony, The Best of Hank Snow and Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma, Bob Kubo said, "I'm in hog heaven. The very records I would've picked to have if I were stranded on a deserted island".) Dick "Riverboat" Reeves asked me to take a look at the player. I was prepared for failure. I started my litany of excuses, "I don't have a schematic. I don't have the right tools." and the clincher, "I wasn't trained on this equipment!" He wasn't buying it and told me to get on with it. I took off the back panel of the player. I peered inside of it and saw that on the circuit board a resistor had sheared in half. I replaced the resistor, plugged in the player and it worked. I looked over at Riverboat and his Raven cronies playing the card game called Bouree and awaited praise. They ignored me. But I could read their thoughts, "Look at the tech rep over there expecting congratulations. Well he isn't getting any. That's what tech reps do, for crying out loud, is repair things!" I thought back, "I hate this f*ing place!"

Most of the leisure time of the flight crew and tech reps was spent in the hangar rec room. There would be games of poker or Bouree which consisted of bidding tricks, trying to take the exact number of tricks bid and preventing the other players from making their bid. Bouree was also called by the players, "Screw your Buddy". One could watch at night the local Shemya TV station. A favorite program was the weekly quotable Charlie Chan movie. ("The mind is like a parachute work best when open.") The uninformed could be educated by hearing W.D. Smith "splain" the intricacies of some curious item. Usually no one stayed to hear the end of these explanations. W.D. would be seen chasing people down the hall calling out, "Hey don't you guys want to hear the end of this story?" Those learned in rhetoric could participate in rec room debates. I recall a particular debate between Dick Hester and Tupelo. They were southern gentlemen and practiced the persuasive arts. Dick posited, "Greenville, Texas is such a metropolis that it has a two lane highway into it." Tupelo countered, "one lane in and one lane out." Then Tupelo averred, "Tupelo, Mississippi is such a metropolis that it has two high schools." Dick rebutted, "one for white folk and one for black folk." A frequent excursion would be to the base theater. The movies were uniformly great. At least that is what the movie reviews posted in the main building of Shemya said. Russ Howard, the Raven, said that this movie reviewer reminded him of that man with sex. The worst he ever had was great!

T. Simundich
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Left to Right:
Ken Nunn (LTV)
Dick Hester (LTV)
Bill Caldwell (LTV)

Kingdon R. Hawes (Webmaster)
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