The correct supplies for engine building 

Builders,

We are less than three weeks away from the first college of 2017. Going to the college or not, well prepared builders will use the correct, specified supplies for building their engine. I write about this frequently, but here are all the major items drawn into one photo. I encourage builders to use the comments section to share additional sources for these items. They are commonly available, and there is no reason to substitute other supplies.

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Above, L to R:

Loctite 620, from McMaster-Carr.

ZDDP, comes with our Group 1100 cam kits on shelf. or from Clarks Corvairs

ARP Ultra Torque thread lubricant, from Summit Racing

Shell Rotella T-4 oil 15W-40 from Walmart

ND sparkplug, from Summit, see Critical Understanding Reference Page for your application

Permatex Ultra Grey RTV sealant, from NAPA or other auto parts stores.

Lubriplate  105 grease, used on all O-rings, from NAPA or other auto parts stores.

Champion Spark Plug Lube, from Aircraft Spruce. Read story:Spark Plug Installation.

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The item at the bottom is a tool that perfectly squeezes RTV tubes, many people have seen mine at colleges. Dan Weseman has access to more of these if you want to buy one. Not pictured is Loctite 515, for installing a 5th bearing. While you are at it, please read: List of “back to Corvair College” supplies, it is a list complied by Tim Hansen, an incredibly prepared builder who, no surprise, has a running engine.

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Learn a new idea today: About a decade ago, I invested a number of weeks and thousands of dollars in first rate anger management training. It improved my life. However, I can attest that anger is a disease that training will teach you to put into remission,but it isn’t a cure. In practical terms, this means that there are things people can do or say that challenge my ability to be polite. I am never dangerous, but I do have a sharp tongue which has previously cost me dearly. In the interest of civility, let us avoid anyone saying the following to me:

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“They didn’t have the stuff you specified, so I got this It is just as good”

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“Silver anti-seize is the same as Ultra torque”

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“My local expert says your wrong, he always slathers plugs in silver anti-seize

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“It says Loctite on the package, so the number doesn’t matter”

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“I was going to get the stuff you said, but it cost $14, so I got this and saved $3″

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“But I have always used NGK plugs in my Yogo and Kia

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“You told us exactly what to get, but you didn’t really mean ‘exactly’ did you?”

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“I was going to buy the stuff, but then I realized that I could just mooch it off everyone else at the college, because saving $40 is more important than making friends and being respected.”

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“Don’t you have supplies I can use? what did I pay all that money at sign up for?”

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Thank you, for your part in making the world a better place and lowering my blood pressure.

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-wewjr.

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World’s fastest Simplex

Builders,

I worked in the hangar today prepping a production engine for a test run tomorrow. Although it rained on an off here, it was tee shirt weather, and a good day for getting into a working groove. In the afternoon, Vern stopped by and kept me company, and we talked about all the things we would like to do this year.

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Somewhere in the conversation Vern brought up the my 1955 Simplex, which I keep as a piece of art in the living room. I have had the bike for more than 20 years, it stared as a bare chassis I found at the Turkey Rod Run. Vern asked when the last time I had it running was, and I said about 12 years.  While I was prepping the engine, Vern wheeled  the Simplex from the living room to the hangar and cleaned the carb and the gascolater.  It didn’t take much monkeying, it started on the second pull. After airing up the tires, we took it for a few laps around the airpark.

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Above a 19 second movie of Vern riding the bike. “The Worlds Fastest Indian” is Vern’s all time favorite movie, thus the story title. Original Simplex’s had modest power. Mine has 2 times the output and an asymmetric  Comet overdriven variable speed drive. The originals went about 35 mph. I clocked mine at 56mph on the taxiway at the Spruce Creek Fly-in, but since the tires are dry rotted today, neither of us did more than 30 mph or so.

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Above, the bike beside our runway at dusk. Simplexes were made in New Orleans 1935-60, at the worlds first air-conditioned assembly line. They were the brain child of Paul Treen. The bike only weighs 125 pounds. If you look at pictures all the way back to Corvair College #1, you can see it at our old hangar.

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In 1989, I was offered a running Indian “30.50” Pony Scout for $2,500, but in a decision I have regretted ever since, I chose not to buy it for the shallowest of  reasons: I only had $50 more than that in the bank. I like bikes from the 1920s and 30s, but in the 1990s, they became really unaffordable, so I caught up with the idea of making something of the same flavor. Thus the bike above. It really isn’t useful, but most art has no utility.

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Your Aviation Connection: If you are approaching home building for the best reason, because you want to lean, build your personal skills, and create something with your own hands, you will find that the skills you acquire, spill over into many other aspects of your mechanical world. This is particularly so for people who learn a lot about engines while homebuilding, a much smaller club. Vern and I knew how to start a decade dormant engine on the second pull, because we know how they work. There are a great number of people who can afford to buy any machine, but they live in dread of the moment it stops because they have chosen to know nothing about how it works. That is embarrassing on a bike, it has more serious consequences in planes. By choosing to learn all you can about planes, you are putting yourself in a small group of people….The ones who will know the rewards of homebuilding, not just the surface ones that can be bought by anyone.

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-wewjr.

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Ignition “issues” and I-U-S-F

Builders,

The last few weeks have seen builders with “issues” involving getting their engines to run on our ignition systems. Both of these builders stated that their ignitions were defective, in spite of the fact I test every single one of them before they leave the shop. Jumping to the conclusion that I sell defective stuff is not a rational response, nor one that engenders the better angels of my nature, particularly when both of the units were returned to my shop and tested, and found to be fine.

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Here is a story about  how to wire a distributor, the mistakes people sometimes make, and a example of an unreasonable response: E/P Distributor wiring notes:  A link to our nine page illustrated instructions : http://shop.flycorvair.com/product/3301-epx-distributor/ notice these come with every distributor, and are on line also.

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Several Common threads appear with builders having an “Issue”:

They have a “helper” or a partner, who doesn’t understand how the system works either

They have not been to a Corvair College, even though they would learn the specific elements they are missing.

They are not using information resources we have developed listed here: Outlook 2016 – The Corvair ‘Information Network’ now in gear.

They didn’t follow rule number one of ignitions: DO NOT change the point settings, or anything else in the ignition, just install it following the directions. If you have any problem understanding them, DO NOT ask another person who doesn’t understand, just call us, before taking anything apart.

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I am developing a term called IUSF. This stands for “Insufficient Understanding for Safe Flight” I am not kidding about this, and I am going to write a story about this so when people are not reading instructions, or taking incorrect advice, or jumping to conclusions about tested parts, I am going to reference this story in a formal notice to them, and directly invite them to the next Corvair College for in person instruction. I will be meeting them ‘more than half way’, for free,  in order to offer them an opportunity to develop a better understanding, so they can safely fly their plane. Some people “Don’t know what they Don’t know.” This will be a way of telling people they are not learning practical information fast enough to understand it before their plane is done. I can’t force anyone to do this, but neither will I be responsible for the results of people who choose not to understand the proven ways to install and operate our systems. 

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Above: A General Motors engineering report on distributor advance, specifically referencing the 180HP Turbo engine. One of the builders said  an engine can not be cranked with the ignition advanced. Really? Look closely, the initial ignition advance for all turbo Corvairs was 24 degrees at idle. Before a ‘helper’ convinces you of something about Corvairs, consider that I might just know more about them than he does. All of our DFI distributors : More DFI testing are based on cranking the engine with more than 20 degrees of advance. It works just fine.

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Same report, sitting on the steps of my shop today, with a rear cover from a 180 HP corvair, notice the factory sheet metal timing mark extention, so that the idle timimg can be set to 24 degrees. I don’t make this up, many engines, including aircraft engines without impulse coupled magnetos, are all cranked with full advance.

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One builder had a buddy who said that his engine only ran when he installed the points above in place of the ones we use, because these were better, and noted we should look into using them, implying we sent him a second rate part.

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Same box as above, in front of my parts bin, showing that his helper wasn’t right, as I already use the identical points on every distributor we make. Yes, he took of the same set to replace it himself with the identical part, in spite of the fact the directions explicitly say not to touch the points.

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Distributor in my machine, returned by the builder, with the claim that I sent him a defective electronic unit. Guess what, it works perfectly. But, look at the white points wire: I pulled off a little piece of tape the helper put on, and low and behold, the wire had been cut by being carelessly pinched under the cap. Just in case anyone is wondering, a piece of tape is not an acceptable repair to any piece of wiring with damaged insulation, anywhere on your plane, and particularly not in the ignition system. The owner said he didn’t do this, meaning it was the handiwork of the helper.

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Above, a closer look at the cut wire under the tape. If any person did this on a plane I was in charge of, and hid it, I would never let them in the hangar again. Working on planes is serious business, and you have to take it more seriously than this.

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I fully understand that people are not born knowing these things. But, you have to be willing to learn them, willing to follow the directions, willing to stop taking advice or ‘help’ from people who don’t know what they are doing, willing to use our information resources, and if you still don’t get it, you have to be willing to travel to a college to learn these things in person. That is as plain as I can say it. I do not say these things to offend, I say it to prevent accidents that never have to happen.

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wewjr.

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3.3 Liter Corvair of Kamal Mustafa

Builders,

About two weeks ago, a well known Zenith builder and flyer who has already logged 502 hours on his 2,700cc Corvair powered Zenith 601XL, came down to Florida, picked up all of his previously ordered 3.3 liter upgrade parts from SPA/Panther, and came over to my hangar to assemble and test run the engine. It took him about a day, as he had previously built his 2,700 that ran flawlessly.

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A fez and wrap-around shades are the hallmarks of the man I often introduce as  “Kamal Mustafa, my attorney”. Although he has impeccable manners and a gregarious nature, he is truly a 300 pound bull in life’s china shop of timid people.

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The engine features all my gold system parts, along with a Weseman Billet long stroke 3.3 liter made in USA crank, cylinders pistons and rods. Kamal’s engine started at the tap of the key, and laid down a perfect 45 minute break in run. We tested it with both E/P-X and DFI ignitions. After cool down it was loaded in his car and driven home with haste. This engine will fly to Corvair College #39 in Barnwell SC next month.

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The engine is already mounted on his airframe and ready for its first flight with 25 more horsepower and 14 pounds less weight (the crank is lighter and he upgraded to a 2400-L Starter ) This is a very potent engine: When Dan and myself tested the 3.3 prototype on a professional dynamometer last year, it put down 99HP at 2,700 rpm, The identical full rated output of an O-200 Continental, but it did this as an intentional test running on 5 cylinders. Running on all cylinders, this engine comfortably exceeds 125hp, with no reduction in reliability.

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For more information, Call the SPA/Panther Corvair engine parts hotline at 904-626-7777.

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-wewjr.

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Three and a half

Builders;

The picture below is me at the New Jersey shore in the summer of 1966. It hints at the childhood I wrote about in this story: Thought for the Day: America, 1963 , but tonight the picture draws out a different line of thought.

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The photo was taken by my mother, I know this because my father was 8,900 miles away in Saigon that year.

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In a number of fathers day stories, I have said that without my father, my life would have amounted to very little. I am speaking personally here, I know a number of people who grew up without a father and became far better people than myself, but I am not them, and I have to say that nearly every good thing that happened in my life in the last 50 years bears the fingerprints of my fathers influence. I have never known a world without him, but it takes little imagination to see it would have been a much dimmer world with very few chances, and journey without a guide nor compass.  That is what I think about when I study the face of the little boy that 50 years later becomes the person typing this.

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-wewjr.

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Welcome to Existence

Builders,

My awareness of existence starts at this point: I am wrapped in a blanket, staring up at infinite stars in the cold night sky. I am safely tucked in my father’s arm, rhythmically rocked by his walking. He took my sister and I, each in an arm, for long night walks in the hills outside Pittsburgh. it is 1964. I am 18 months old. Five decades later, this memory is as clear as if it happened last night. I have never looked into the heavens at night and failed to think of it. This was, and remains,  my welcome to existence. 

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Above, My Father’s 1949 copy of “Lucky Bag” the yearbook of the United States Naval Academy. The blanket pictured was issued to Dad when he arrived at Annapolis in 1945. The number 934 was his laundry number at the Academy. This is the same wool blanket which my father wrapped me in, while he carried me in his arms.  The blanket was here in the family home on 2/12 when Dad, surrounded by family, quietly passed from this existence.

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On Friday night the family privately bade him farewell, my mother tucked a small valentines day card in the pocket of his dress uniform.  Saturday morning, a service and words of remembrance were held at the Presbyterian Church in Summit New Jersey. His flag draped casket was at the foot of the altar. It struck me as a very small vessel for such a large life.

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At the conclusion, my brother, his sons, our cousin, our brother in law and myself carried the casket out the aisle, my mother and sisters following. It was life in reverse, as my father had walked each of my sisters down this same aisle on their wedding days. Outside, it was unseasonably warm and beautiful. I laid my hand on the casket and softly said “Goodbye Dad”.

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It was somber, but not sorrowful, as the latter requires an element of unfairness that leaves you asking why or wondering what might have been done. My fathers life had neither of those elements. He accomplished nearly everything we wanted to, and did it on his own terms, all the way to the last page. In the spring he will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. It was a life well lived with nothing to be sorry about.

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The past week had the strange sensation of the timeline of life coming to a smooth stop. I can still remember all the personal things I planned to do, but they all seem far away and unimportant right now. I have long understood that much of my life was conducted in hope that it would register on scale of value my father and his generation knew. I may have made some low marks on the scale, but I feel the contest is over and the score can no longer be improved. The benevolent, but honest umpire has left the arena. Tonight, the only thing that seems more certain than before is this: At some long future date, I wish to have my last cognizant moment of existence while I am wrapped in a gray wool blanket that says “W. E. WYNNE. 934”

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wewjr.

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Stories of William E. Wynne Sr.

Builders,

Below are excerpts from stories of my father. You can read the whole piece by clicking on the blue link. My Father never thought of himself as heroic nor special. He only wanted to be understood as part of a generation of men, who were willing to meet the challenges of their times, no matter what the cost.

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“On this day, I hope that everyone has a chance to reflect on good memories of the men who made us who we are, both the fathers still here and those that now live in the hearts of their children”. – Fathers Day – 2014.

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William E. Wynne Sr. 1925-2017 – “Shipmates of my father, even ones who gave their lives very young, had lives of meaning because they considered it their privilege to have served a cause greater than self.”

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Welcome to Existence – “It was somber, but not sorrowful, as the latter requires an element of unfairness that leaves you asking why or wondering what might have been done. My fathers life had neither of those elements.”

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Patriotism has no Party  – “The dreams are rooted in memories, unwanted souvenirs that followed him home from three wars and 33 years on active duty.  It is a near endless macabre library of images awaiting his eyes to close:”

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Values of my Father – “Father’s unambiguous code of ethics, one that dictated that ethical behavior was done simply because it was right, and any expectation of reward, even as small as public praise, reduced the action to a child’s understanding of right and wrong.”

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A clarification and a century old story. – “He didn’t want his son to see him this way, he didn’t look at my father, he just said “Take care of yourself.” My father, then 26, knowing nothing else to do, followed his fathers words, and badly shaken, got into the taxi. It was the last real moment they would have together”

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A Sailor’s code from the 1940s and 50s. – “There were a few brief years where it looked like my grandfathers one wish in life, that his son would not see what he had seen in WWI, might come true, but this didn’t last.”

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Thought for The Day – Have we squandered the great gift? – “When I can take no more, I put my hand on his, and impulsively say “I am sorry”. For a moment he looks in my eyes to assess if I really understand what the gift cost.”

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Italo Balbo in 1933, an 83 year old family story. – “He was my fathers grandfather, The father of the 34 year old woman in front of him. He had walked out on his own family 30 years earlier. My Grandmother was not there to forgive him. She was there to show him the family he would never know.”

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William Edward Wynne Sr. –  Father’s Day Notes – “My Father’s 33 years in uniform were guided by a single principal: No human being, regardless of race, faith or nationality, deserves to live in a totalitarian police state.

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William Wynne Sr. Turns 89 today – “To our friends fortunate to still have their fathers present, I feel blessed as you must also. To our friends who’s fathers now live in their hearts, I hope the season brings time to reflect on the men who made us who we are.”

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Happy Father’s Day William E. Wynne Sr.– “While all of Thailand’s neighbors, Burma, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, fell into savage rule by communist totalitarian regimes that ran from repressive police states to genocide, the Thai people were spared this trip to hell. My father remains very proud of the role he played in preventing their enslavement.”

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My best afternoon in 2016  – “Grace spent the afternoon pictured above listening to my father recall both moments of humor and sacrifice, names of men who raised good families and those who’s devotion to duty and shipmates cost them all they might have done in this life.”

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Thought for the Day: America, 1963 – “he sat with my brother, then 14, and gave him a short set of instructions; He was to follow my mother, without question or hesitation; he was to remain positive at all times, school and at home, set an example for us; and if my father did not return, he would then be the eldest man in the family.

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MCW is 60 today. – “I carry my father’s name, but truth be told, Michael is much more like my father than I am. In all the ways that count, all the qualities of character, my brother’s life is a much better tribute to the sterling example that our father gave to both of us.”

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Mom and Dad in the 1950’s _ “A while back, a friend who has known me for many years asked why I never buy lottery tickets. I told him it was because I had won once already. He asked “When?” surprised he had never heard this. I told him it was a long time ago, the last week of December ….1962, when I was born to my parents.”

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New Jersey, June 2015 and 65 years ago …  “my father, now almost 90 and somewhat frail, took the last hour of the evening to meet an obligation he finds very important;  I sit beside him and listen while he looks back through the decades to remember and speak the names and the stories of good men”

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Political Reality Check –  “Tonight I share a New York Times obituary and a disturbing souvenir from the Wynne family china cabinet as a reminder of what real political evil actually is.”

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USN sea story. – Dad, powerless, watched a perfectly choreographed maneuver fall apart.  He noticed the Japanese officer standing next to him staring incredulously. Evidently he had a very hard time rationalizing how his nation has just lost a war to clowns like these.

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Thought for the Day: Rickover – Hope is not a strategy – “my father worked directly under Rickover for 7 and 1/2 years, developing nuclear power plants. Rickover was the head of Naval Reactors, an organization that reported to both the Navy and the Atomic Energy commission.”

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How many flying seasons? With whom will you spend them? – “A good look at my oldest friends reveals no pattern nor qualification, bar a single important issue: None of them are negative people. I have a whole page devoted to explaining that it was my Father who conditioned me to detest critics of other men’s works.”

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Dec. 7th  ” my father was stunned to see Frank Ryan, standing in front of him in Passaic. He was emaciated and ill, his uniform hanging on him. He could only say to my father “Billy, they got the Vincennes.” Although it was sunk in August, this was the first word. It was the first moment that my fathers simple pride in the Navy had to confront that the fleet was not invincible. With growing foreboding, my father realized the lack of contact from friends on the Juneau might be for the same reason. In another week this was confirmed on the eve of Christmas. All 23 of the teammates and the 5 Sullivan’s had gone down with the ship. Of 697 crew on board, there were only 10 survivors. This event led my father to Join the Navy when he turned  17. He eventually spent 33 years on active duty.”

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Holiday Hours, shop dates, Family notes. – “They were searching for a shadow of doubt that they would not find. I gently hung up the phone each time and felt a palpable mixture of luck and guilt that I would keep my father and they would probably never see theirs again. Their voices contained a desperation that stays with you even 10 years later.”

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On July 14th 2016, I wrote this note:

“Today was a good day for my family. It was the first day my father was home in three months.  After dinner, where he was restored to sitting at the head of the family table,  we  reminisced over past moments with 3 of the 4 children present. We later put dad to bed, and the last thing he softly said was “I didn’t think I would make it home again.”

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On February 12th 2017, My Fathers one remaining wish in life was granted, and in the early hours of the morning he quietly passed, at home, surrounded by family. One of the last things he said to me was a few soft words, dreaming of a reunion with a man he had not seen in 57 years – his own Father.

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-wwjr.

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