After my flying duties for the Air Force, I learned to repair offset printing equipment in our shop when we had trouble finding someone to repair that equipment.
After years of this extra work I did, I got pretty good at it. The General sent me to the Pentagon to repair some equipment. I did such a good job, he ordered me to stay and be in charge of that large shop. They changed my duties to printer.
I had many books I would read, and I would sometimes stay at night, take a press apart, and see what made it tick, so to speak.
In the years to come, I was named one of the top printers in the Air Force.
In the beginning, if a repairman failed to come to our shop to work on a press, I would repair that piece of equipment. If the repairman showed up, I would watch him very closely. I would pitch in and help him repair that piece of equipment.
When I retired from the Air Force and was living here in California in charge of the Travis Air Force Base printing department, while playing softball with the best team of older people, I ran into the person I would work for the next 30 years. He owned one of the largest construction companies in California
I set up a print shop in the basement of one of our large buildings for a one-man print shop.
He was like a father to me, and one of the richest men in the state. He had a small plane he took up once a week and he always took me with him. He always said at his age, if something happened, he knew I cold land the plane.
When he died at 93 years old, I would retire again. I did not want to work for his son.
I really miss him, and I made a lot of money there.
(Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in California.)