If you have ever been an employee in your parents company, you know its a no win situation. I admired my fathers abilities and intellect. He designed, amongst other things, a cooling system for a nuclear reactor without ever getting past the 8th grade. The second world war, put an end to a full scholarship that would have had him skipping high school.
I recall him asking me in front of a room full of senior mechanics and engineers, (I was 17) why I always managed to screw up my first attempts at any new task. My response was that I always like to leave lots of room for improvement. It was funny to everyone except the old man who probably knew that my young reflexes would allow me to easily side step the screw driver he tossed my way.
When I decided to try skydiving later that year he signed the parental permission slip with the warning that there were no second chances for screw ups in sky diving.
“Wrong,” I told him, “there is a reserve parachute!’ My Mother looked at my father as if to warn him, don’t say it.
They came to watch my first jump. My mother was probably on the verge of fainting and my father was there with his bino’s to document what I had done wrong so he could tell the boys at the shop who would never see me again .
It was a few years later that I announced my career change from Forestry to helicopter pilot. My father cosigned a loan to get me started and told me that he thought I would do well. That was nice to hear and he sure as hell didn’t want me defaulting on that loan.
Off to helicopter pilot school.
More stories coming up.