Vice President for Advanced Research

Teleregister was a small company — less than 200 employees — but they had made their mark in electronics. Away back in 1951, when the first Univac was being accepted by the Census Bureau, Teleregister had installed a passenger-seat reservation system for American Airlines, serving only Laguardia Airport at New York. This used a magnetic drum for data storage, but electronic circuitry for control. In 1958, they had installed a much more elaborate seat reservation system for United Airlines, serving the whole of the United States including Hawaii. This time the system was controlled by three transistorized computers built by Teleregister and located in Denver. The performance of this system was impressive. In its eight years of use, the system was down less than 2 hours a year. In addition, it provided a response of seat availability to every ticket agent on the main axis of the airline within two seconds. I saw this equipment in Denver on my way back to California after Dad’s funeral in 1962. Teleregister also had systems in operation in Paris for Air France, in Dublin for Irish Air Lines, in New York for Pan American and for the Pennsylvania Railroad (which didn’t last — the railroad people wouldn’t accept it), and several other smaller airlines. In another effort, they had produced savings bank window machines for the Bowery Bank of New York City. A depositor could use any of the bank’s fifty or so branches and the teller would have instant access to all depositor information, could update the passbook with the transaction automatically, and could register that and all other transactions in the president’s office, giving him the instantaneous values of total deposits and total withdrawals for the day. As mentioned earlier, the principal business was the operation of stock boards in brokerage offices all over the United States and Canada for near instantaneous display of the latest transactions on 11 US and Canadian stock and commodity exchanges. It was a real privilege to be responsible for the future products of a pioneering company like Teleregister.

Blake Caruthers married Adele Scott on March 23, 1963, as shown in this photo.

In the two-year period between September 1962 and July 1964 I was involved in three major endeavors. The first of these was the design of a high-speed switching computer, similar in concept to the one being designed at Collins, but using still more advanced electronic techniques. This resulted in a specification for the Teleregister Control Processor, whose official write-up was released in December 1963. Prior to this time, I had made a presentation to Dr. Howie Campaigne, director of research for the National Security Agency. I showed him how this processor could be used in their huge operation at Fort Meade MD to interconnect their whole stable of miscellaneous computers, including several of the world’s largest and fastest. This presentation was made during a time of physical crisis for me, which I will now relate.

Ever since my nervous exhaustion episode in 1958, I had experienced increasing difficulty with my digestive system. Earlier in 1960 I had been led to a Dr. Dreyer in Los Angeles, a German-trained chiropractor who was a genius at remedying physical problems not requiring medication. He had been giving me stomach massages which did some good, but didn’t cure my problem. He loaned me a book to read on fasting, which fascinated me. That fall my stomach got so bad that I was reduced to eating baby food. After six weeks of that, I decided I would rather not eat anything than more of that stuff! So in early November, while living temporarily with Mother in Hyattsville, I went on a total fast. For two weeks I had nothing but a glass of water with a teaspoon of honey three times a day. During these two weeks I was presenting my concept of a switching computer to Dr. Campaigne and his assistants at the NSA. Finally, I completed my presentation and made ready to return to California on a Friday. Marion had agreed to drive me to the Baltimore airport that morning. When she arrived and was coming up the front steps of Mother’s house, I got up from my chair in the living room, opened the front door, and fell flat on my face, nearly knocking her backward down the steps. I had lost 27 pounds in two weeks, and my blood sugar was so low, that simply rising from the chair caused me to black out. Almost as soon as the plane was airborne on its way to California, I observed an excited buzzing around the cabin, and finally asked the stewardess what it was all about. “President Kennedy has been assassinated!” she replied. That dates my fast pretty accurately. Mary Charlotte was appalled when she saw me, and we contacted Dr. Dreyer to find out how to get back on food again. I can still remember how good everything tasted — not that I was hungry, not at all; it was just that my taste buds were fully sensitive. That complete rest for my stomach turned the situation around — I steadily improved and in a few years could eat almost anything once again.

Back to the presentation to the National Security Agency. Dr. Campaigne was sufficiently impressed with it to award our little company a $25,000 study contract to examine in detail just how such a computer would solve their data handling problems. We completed our study on time and within budget, but didn’t get a contract for hardware. Although Dr. Campaigne recommended it, the powers that be decided to update their whole collection of computers, using compatible equipment that wouldn’t require a machine such as we were proposing. Much of the steam was taken out of my chance for developing real hardware as our company had only a small budget, not nearly enough for a major development of this magnitude.

The second major activity for me was to take over a failing software contract at the Pentagon, which had been won by a small software company that Mr. Parker got interested in and decided to acquire. Vince Grillo had founded this company, and had several contracts with the Space Agency at the Kennedy Space Center, as well as this half-million-dollar one for the Air Force Headquarters at the Pentagon. The problem was that too much time and money had been spent defining the problem — half the total budget was gone with almost no software actually produced. Mr. Parker made me the project manager, and so I took up “residence” in the Pentagon for three months, living in the nearby Marriott Hotel. It had been almost 10 years since I had supervised a programming effort, but it was good to get back “in the saddle.” We got the contract finished and accepted, but used all of the fixed price in direct salaries, not even covering our overhead. My status as project head got me a parking place in the generals’ parking lot, while all the lesser lights had to use a much more distant lot. It was my first experience in working directly with government types, and prepared me for a later contract with NASA.

The final activity of this period that I would like to relate is our proposal of an updated computer system for running United Air Lines. United wanted the computer system not only to handle the complete passenger reservation system (similar to what is now used by all airlines), but also to track all the other operations within the air line — freight, flight schedules, pay, maintenance, profit and loss, and even load and balance and fuel requirements for every flight. All this for 1500 flights per day, 250 airports, and 2500 pilots. I had charge of the preparation of the technical portion of the proposal. In order to learn the details, United had me visit their operation centers at New York City, Chicago, and several smaller centers. I had to learn how crews were scheduled (including all union contract terms), how pay was calculated (different rates depending on whether the airplane was at the dock, on the taxi strip, in the air over land, or in the air over water). I had to learn how priorities were handled for the loading of the plane — passengers, freight, mail, special cargo, baggage, etc. Finally, I had to figure out how to get a computer to keep track of all these details in real time, and do so in spite of individual component failures. It was a tremendously interesting assignment, and I was proud of the result. Even with all the experience United had had with Teleregister, their top management felt we were too small to be able to bail them out if a real difficulty came up, and would not give us the contract. Univac got the contract, but were unable to make their system work, practically losing their shirt trying. United finally let them off the hook by buying the computers and doing the programming themselves.

We suffered the same rejection and for nearly the same reasons by Air France, when we later made a passenger records system proposal to them. A team of senior people from our company went to Paris to present our proposal to Air France’s management. Before doing so, Mr. Parker wanted us to stop over in London to set up a British subsidiary for Teleregister and to seek prospective partners in the event we won the Air France contract. Mary Charlotte went with me, so as to visit with her friend Dorothy Emery, and the two of them planned to go to Scotland to see the Loch Ness monster (among other sights). I rented a car for them, which Mary Charlotte had to drive (to her horror — they drive on the left side of the road in England!) as Dorothy had no permit. I met her after my work in Europe was finished, and we had a few days to visit Spain and Portugal before returning to the United States.

The American Broadcasting Company Request

An incident that was hardly worth mentioning at the time, but which was to have a profound effect on my later life occurred at this time. I received a letter from the Vice President for Research of the American Broadcasting Company asking me to write down for him what I could remember of the computer election prediction of Ike Eisenhower back in November 1952, as their company was contemplating doing it for the forthcoming election. I thought to myself, "Why should I take the time and trouble to do this? This guy doesn’t have any right to ask me to do this.” So I put it aside. I had been spending as many week-ends as possible with Mother in Hyattsville, while working at Stamford, and tried to arrange Washington business on Fridays or Mondays to make that possible. On one such Friday, I had an afternoon appointment that was canceled at the last minute, so went out to Mother’s home. Somehow that letter from the ABC VP came to light, and I decided that I might as well accommodate him, so wrote an 18-page description of that event. Several years later I was to be glad that I had done this, as you will learn later.

Will and Mary Francis Go to College

Will graduated from high school in 1961, and Mary Francis a year later. We sent both of them to Maryville College, in eastern Tennessee. Starting in the fall of 1962, I would drive them from North Hollywood to Maryville in September and January, and bring them home in December and June. I managed to find business reasons for being in the East for most of these trips, and we utilized week-ends as much as possible for travel time. On one occasion in December, as we were crossing Oklahoma, we were hit by an ice storm while Will was driving. Not being experienced in such a situation, he soon lost control and we found ourselves on the median pointing the wrong way. I took the wheel then, for the duration of the storm, but Mary Charlotte thought I should have let Will continue, so that he would find out how to drive under those conditions. I was afraid he wouldn’t find out soon enough! On another occasion in January, I was bringing Mother to California after leaving the kids in Maryville. The Interstate was nearing completion between Memphis and Nashville, but before Christmas the section coming east out of Memphis was not open. Where the connection to the completed Interstate occurred, there was an all-night gas station which I had noted on driving East. Returning, however, the new section had been opened, and we didn’t pass that station. As it happened, we had stopped to visit Mary Charlotte’s relatives in the Lewisburg area of Tennessee, and they had kept us until nearly 9pm. All the gas stations were closed as we drove westward. I knew I didn’t have enough gas to get to Memphis, but thought I could make that all-night station I had observed when going east. But now the connection was eliminated, and I looked in vain for its location, the gas gauge sitting on empty, and the time was after midnight. Finally, the car engine sputtered and stopped and we coasted to a stop. The temperature was a frigid seven degrees above zero. I got out and tried to stop one of the very few cars that came along, but in vain. Finally, a semi came along, and I danced up and down on the highway in front of him. He swerved around me but then decided to stop, and allowed me to climb aboard. He told me there was an all-night station on the old road, but he wasn’t going that way, since the new Interstate went straight into Memphis, another 20 miles. I had had to leave Mother with no heat, and knew she would freeze in an hour or so. The driver changed his mind, however, and took me to the station he had mentioned. Here more trouble. The operator was alone, and couldn’t leave the station to take me back to the car. But there was a restaurant nearby where a lot of late workers had congregated. I went there, and offered through the manager to give $10 to anyone who would drive me the seven miles to my car. After a few minutes a man came to do so, and we returned to the car in less than a half hour since I had left it. Mother was still comfortable! Then the man wouldn’t take my money, wished me a Merry Christmas and took off. How we thanked the Lord for taking care of us!

For three years I made those four round trips across our country each year, two of them in winter. On one of the last of them, I had a spare driver. Michael Emery (see right), son of our friends in England (Reg and Dorothy Emery), had decided he wanted to live awhile in the United States, so we had invited him to live with us. He arrived in Washington by bus from New York, and we took him with us as we drove West with Mother after leaving the kids at college. Mother had never been to Mississippi so we detoured south of Memphis to enter Mississippi, and then took a side road that had a bridge across the mighty river and would get back to the Interstate west. Mike was a good substitute for Will, and it was good to have a young man in the house. He stayed for nearly six months, having to leave the US before that time so as not to be liable for the draft! He went East with me on one occasion. Since he had never been to Mexico, I decided to cross over in eastern California and drive in Mexico along the border, crossing back in Arizona. When being interrogated by the US immigration officer, he volunteered the information that he had entered under a work permit, but had not yet received the papers from New York. Since he could not prove his story, the immigration man wouldn’t let him enter, as he said he would have to make up a detailed report which he didn’t have time to do as he was alone. We had to go back 50 miles to another crossing when there were several immigration men and lose another two hours in the resulting paperwork, all because Mike opened his mouth when he should have kept it closed! Mike made up for it on our return from New York to Los Angeles, by spelling me at the wheel, so that we made the 3,000 miles in 2-1/2 days!

In April 4th of that year, Caroline Caruthers married Frank (Speedy) Fee, duly attended by Margaret and Bob (see left). I was not present at the wedding but was able to obtain this photo.

Bunker-Ramo Is Formed

In one of the board meetings of the Martin-Marietta Corporation of which Mr. Parker was a director, he learned of the plans to break out the electronics division of Martin-Marietta and combine it with the computer division of Thompson-Ramo-Woolridge (now TRW), making a new company to be owned jointly by the two parents. It was to be called Bunker-Ramo, after George Bunker, president of Martin-Marietta, and Simon Ramo, vice chairman of the board of TRW. Parker offered Teleregister as a third constituent, and they accepted his offer. Thus on July 1, 1964, the Bunker-Ramo Corporation was born. Learning that the former computer division from TRW was to be located in Canoga Park, only 20 miles from my home in North Hollywood, I put in a bid to be transferred to that division, which Mr. Parker accepted.

My new boss was Milton Mohr, the division president. Actually Si Ramo spent a good deal of his time with the new company, and I became well acquainted with him. My title was changed to staff vice president (whatever that means), and I was given the mission of developing the commercial side of the division’s business, which had become almost exclusively Federal-Government oriented. Several computer-based information systems had been springing up in the US (including Medlars, a diagnostic service for physicians from anywhere in the US, a legal service for lawyers all over the country, and several others, including of course, Teleregister’s brokerage services, which now had competitors). I conceived the idea of combining several of these into a single service, and set up a project to develop the idea. Meanwhile, NASA advertised for bidders to provide a pilot system of remote information retrieval for their many centers across the Nation, giving access to the mountain of technical reports NASA produced concerning the many technical and scientific developments sponsored by it. This seemed to me to be an ideal way of getting started in the broad field I had been proposing, and persuaded our management to bid on the contract. I also persuaded management to do the programming without charge so we could have proprietary rights to it when the contract was completed. Otherwise the government would own those rights. That turned out to be a fatal mistake, as Milt Mohr refused to fund the programming from our research budget. That meant we would lose money on the contract, and I would get the blame. Of course, we won the contract, as our price was so much lower than the other bidders (see below).

Proposed as Computer Consultant to NASA

In 1964, Dr. Ramo had been given the Air Force’s award as the man who had made the greatest contribution over the first ten years of the Air Force’s guided missile program. This gave him considerable prestige in space circles, and he apparently decided to make use of it. In September 1965 he had me present a proposal to the Goddard Space Flight Center for Bunker-Ramo to provide computer expertise to the space center as it installed its $25,000,000 order from IBM of their latest and fastest model 360 computers. One of these, a model 360/95, was reputed to be the fastest in the world, with 1,000,000 bytes of 60-nanosecond memory. Since light travels only one foot per nanosecond, this computer could add two eight-digit numbers in the time it takes light to go across your front yard, when it can go 7-1/2 times around the earth in one second! That is fast! Dr. Ramo had sold the Air Force in 1954 on the idea of an independent technical contractor (the Ramo-Woolridge Corporation) to monitor the guided missile program, which was then badly floundering. Now he was suggesting that NASA could use the same kind of independent expertise in its computer work. I and my colleague in the information retrieval contract (Dr. Dale Scarbrough) were proposed as the super-experts. I learned later that Dr. Ramo had told Dr. Clark, Goddard’s director, that I was one of the most knowledgeable people in the business! Dr. Clark bought the idea, but before it could be implemented he was transferred to NASA Headquarters in Washington, and the temporary director was persuaded by the operating management that such an arrangement would be too difficult for them to handle. However, that plug was undoubtedly the basis for my getting a middle-management position at Goddard two years later.

Will Marries Judy Wasson

In June 1965, the whole family went to Maryville for Will’s graduation. There we met Judy Wasson, Will’s fiancée, who also graduated at that time. Then in August, we congregated in Judy’s hometown, Shelbyville IN, for their wedding (see right). (From left to right:) Herb (me), Mary Charlotte, bridesmaid, Judy, Will, bridesmaid, May Ann Wasson, Herb Wasson (Judy's parents). Will had decided to get a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, and Judy opted for an MA in social services from the University of Chicago. So they spent their first year as week-end bride and groom either in Knoxville or in Chicago. Will took one year for his master’s, and then went to Chicago, to the Illinois Institute of Technology for his doctorate. Mary Francis didn’t want to return to Maryville in the fall of 1965, and elected to do her final year of college at Whitworth, in Spokane. She got married there in Spokane the following year, as described later.

Chuck Corwin Asks for Help

Somewhere along the line while I was working at Canoga Park, I received a call from Chuck Corwin asking me if I could help him get a copy of a film he had seen on television, called “The Bold Men,” a documentary of the kind of people that do such hazardous jobs as putting out oil well fires, building high bridges and skyscrapers, high divers, and the like. He wanted to use it in high schools in Tokyo to capture the interest of students so that he could invite them off-campus to attend evangelistic meetings, forbidden in Japanese schools. I first tried to dissuade him from the attempt, as it was well-known that the movie and television industry was very tightly controlled, and it would be next to impossible to get such a copy. Then I remembered my letter to the American Broadcasting Company vice president. I asked him, “Was it ABC?” “Yes, I believe it was,” Chuck answered. That started a series of letters and phone calls to this vice president that eventually yielded the permission to buy the film. Chuck was very pleased to be able to take it back to Japan with him on his return from furlough. That was step #2 in God’s plan for my later life!

The Information Retrieval Contract

All during the spring of 1966, I labored on the conversion of the database — the information to be retrieved — 275,000 descriptions of technical documents published by NASA contractors and growing by over 2,000 documents a week. These descriptions were produced in Suitland MD (near the Goddard Space Flight Center) on an IBM 1410 computer. I had to take the reels of tape from there to our GE computer in Canoga Park and generate the inverted files to used on our Univac 1150 computer in New York City, which was to provide information retrieval services for the scientists in three NASA centers. Milt Mohr had allowed me to use their business computer during the midnight shift, meaning that whenever trouble developed, the operator would call me in the wee hours of the morning. Often I could tell him what to do off the top of my head, but sometimes I would have to get dressed and drive the 20 miles to the plant in order to get problem solved. On one of these occasions, it was a dark and rainy night. I parked my car in the completely empty parking lot near the door of our building and spent a hour or so remedying the problem. Getting back into my car in the pitch black parking lot, I backed up a few feet to turn around when BAM, I struck a brand-new car of one of the guards who had chosen to park right behind me in an empty parking lot for nearly 1,000 cars! On another occasion, I was driving to Canoga Park on the freeway when the person in front of me made an emergency stop without warning. I could not stop in time and rear-ended him. That cost me my collision deductible, and a lot of hassle. My insurance company must not have appreciated my troubles with that data conversion program!

Two More Marriages

Mary Francis’ graduation day came on me when I was almost finished with the data conversion job of the NASA information retreival contract, and could drive to New York with the 50 or so tapes I had created. I called her on the phone and asked her if she would mind greatly if I came up to Spokane on my way east in the car during the week following her graduation. Then I could stay a few days (she had announced that she was not returning to Los Angeles after graduation, but would stay in Spokane for the summer). She didn’t seem to mind, but I learned years later that she really did mind, and that was the last straw in breaking her relationship with her parents, which still hasn’t been fully healed in the 45 years since. The break was emphasized that fall, when she called us in Los Angeles to tell us she had married Howard Doran more than a month earlier, a man we had never heard of. We invited them to come to California to visit us, which they did, and we had a chance to meet our new son-in-law. Mary Francis told us later that that trip was the start of the deterioration of their marriage.

Just a few days after my visit with Mary Francis, Charles Balch married Carol Albertson (July 2, 1966). I must have known about the wedding plans, but was so tied up in my efforts to get my NASA information retrieval project off the ground that I practically ignored it. At any rate it was a beautiful wedding, as the photo shows.

Invited to Leave Bunker-Ramo

After much effort and many heart-aches, we got the pilot system of operating to NASA’s satisfaction. In fact, they were so pleased with it that they wanted to continue it for some time after the two-month test. But Luther Harr had started up a service-bureau business in the brokerage industry, using the same Univac 1150 that the NASA test ran on, and he wanted to increase that business. He must have persuaded Milt Mohr not to continue the NASA work, because he more than doubled the rental prices on the consoles and communications gear involved, and NASA wouldn’t pay that much. Anyhow, shortly after the contract terminated (at a large loss), I was called into Mitt Mohr’s office, and gently told that he no longer saw any use for my services in his division, and asked me to begin immediately to look elsewhere for work. Several years before, Jim Fleming, of the Goddard Space Flight Center, had offered me a position in his division, and so I immediately sent in my application to him. I also applied to Dr. Campaigne at the National Security Agency. I got personal replies from both very soon therafter. Jim said he was delighted with my availability, but warned that it would take months to get my application processed, as NASA almost never hired from outside at the middle-management level. Dr. Campaigne said he would like to have me but no suitable vacancy existed. I waited several months for word from Goddard, but then Milt Mohr got impatient, and asked Dr. Ramo if TWR could use me. He arranged for me to have lunch with several of their data processing managers, and finally one of them offered me a job, at $5,000 less than I had been making. I decided to take it until an offer came from Goddard, and started working for TRW on January 1, 1967.

Senior Systems Engineer at TWR

Seymour Jeffrey, my new boss, had me look into several projects they were engaged in, including a proposal to a large hospital in Vancouver, BC (Canada) for installation of an integrated data-processing, billing application. Before a decision could be made, an opportunity arose to provide a technical assistance contract to the Navy’s Anti-submarine Warfare Headquarters at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. I discussed my participation with Mary Charlotte, and she was delighted at the possibility of living in Hawaii, if only for three months. She thought she could get one of the older girls from the church to live with her mother and take care of her in our absence.

Three Months in Honolulu

Having lived on the Island of Oahu for 15 months during World War II, I didn’t think of Hawaii as the paradise Mary Charlotte believed it to be (and still does). Mother was visiting us at the time, so I asked her to come with us for a few days, which she did. Our first night was in an expensive hotel, for which I did not get reimbursed, as we were put on a per diem of just enough money to cover frugal living expenses in a one-room efficiency. The apartment was a third-floor one several blocks from the nearest bus line, and on a busy street. Quite a few times while we were there holiday makers on motorcycles would roar up and down the hill beside our building all night long, making sleeping difficult. Furthermore, the bus drivers were on strike, and Mary Charlotte had to walk everywhere she wanted to go when I was at work. We had a rented Daihatsu, a miniature car that suited us, but I couldn’t even park that at the office building where our team finally got space, so I had to walk to work half of the time. Of course, when our work was at Pearl Harbor I would use the car to get there. It rained every single morning for the 93 days I was there! After a little over two months, Mary Charlotte got a phone call from the girl’s mother that she had been taken ill, and Mary Charlotte would have to come home to take care of her mother. That left me to fend for myself — cook my own meals, wash my own clothes, entertain myself every evening, etc., etc. I hadn’t been alone for more than a week before I got a heavy chest cold and could hardly breathe. If we hadn’t had a vaporizer in the apartment, I believe I wouldn’t have made it through that night!

Before Mary Charlotte was called home, we invited Mary Francis and Howard to come to Honolulu at our expense to visit us. They came, and we saw them for part of the first day and once or twice later that week, but it was hardly a visit with us. According to Mary Francis, this was because Howard preferred the company of the younger people at their hotel to us, even though we were footing the bill!

Our team leader was a guided missile expert who had had a heart attack. None of them other than me was knowledgeable in computers, and the Navy computer committee we were advising knew next to nothing about computers. I had to write reams and reams of explanatory material about how a computer could be used in a command and control center, including a large part of the final report. The Navy brass decided we had to be shown the Atlantic and Pacific Submarine Detection centers — super-secret places whose very existence was then classified — and so we took a whirlwind tour of them both. It was interesting to see how accurately the Navy could track Soviet submarines, but the technical knowledge was too dangerous — and unnecessary — for us to have. TRW had provided some of the equipment used, so the team members (except me) were not ignorant of the principles involved.

Before leaving Bunker-Ramo, I had acquired 2500 shares of stock in the company and had an option to buy additional stock. I decided to sell the existing stock, and had placed it up for sale with a broker at $2 a share above my cost before leaving Los Angeles. Shortly thereafter, I got a check in the mail for my stock, at a profit of over six thousand dollars. That made me feel good, and I didn’t find out until returning to Los Angeles in April, that the stock had gone up to triple its value, and I could have made many thousands if I had sold at the peak! The Honolulu paper didn’t carry daily stock market listings. Early in February I received notification that my application for a position at Goddard had been accepted. I was to be the head of the Operating Computing Branch, a GS-15 rating at $20,000 a year. Realizing that I couldn’t just walk out on my team, I accepted as of May 1st, as our job was supposed to be completed before then. Even so, I had to leave before the team, as it took longer to wind things up than planned. However, the per diem ran out after 90 days, and I had to pay all my living expenses thereafter. I got back to North Hollywood about mid-April, and we had to get packed to move, sell our house, and get to the Washington area in just two weeks.

Life goes in cycles! Three times we had left the East to go to Los Angeles to live, and now we were completing the cycle once again. It was different now. The children had their own homes, but Mrs. Chapman was still with us. For the second time in my life, my work aspirations had been shattered (the first being in 1955 when Sperry took over Remington-Rand), although the prospect of being a part of the space program was exciting. I had seen the utter callousness of modern business — the individual meant nothing. There was no gratitude for work well done — one’s value was determined only by what he could produce. My retirement account with Remington-Rand had been spent for our Pacific trip, and I had acquired no retirement rights with any of the other firms I had worked for. I did have my 15 years with the Government Printing Office, but that would bring me only a few hundred dollars a year in retirement benefits. I would have to work at least five years at modern pay rates to look forward to a very modest retirement from Uncle Sam. How did all this fit into my promise to the Lord Jesus Christ that I would allow Him to direct my life? Was the prospect of a one-third drop in income at Goddard the result of my failure to keep that promise, or was there another reason? I didn’t really feel sorry for myself, but I wasn’t very happy at the prospect of watching pennies more closely. It had been so long since we had lived in the Washington area that my only contacts there were Mother, Marion, and Margery Henney and family. It was almost like starting life all over again. Such were my thoughts as we drove across the country to start work on May 1, 1967, at the Goddard Space Flight Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, at Greenbelt MD.
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