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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Rear View Mirrors

Little more than a decade after this
expansion, the plant closed.  Now just
a big concrete slab.
In the mid 1980's Hubby and I both worked second shift for a company named Litton Advanced Circuitry. This was a small firm owned by a corporate giant, Litton.  No, we did not make microwaves.  We manufactured circuit boards used in everything from computers for TI, IBM, HP to cruise controls for the big three auto manufacturers.  There were boards for testers for the Schlumberger Corp. that were shaped like the Starship Enterprise, not 3 D.  There were airliner safety lights for airline walkways, CAT scan boards and early gps type guidance systems for small aircraft.  NCR was a major client providing main frames for WalMart's stocking computers.  That one board was 24" x 42" x .48".  It pushed the company into bigger buildings and improved technologies.  I interfaced with the engineers and our CAM group.

Layer being processed for
multilayer circuit boards
in our facility.
The Star Trek board in inside the
round portion.
The job was more interesting in later years as I began working more closely with the engineering departments of the various firms.  But in the mid 80's the most fun was going out for a meal after work with two work friends, Bear and Anna.  We would frequent a bar and grill named Casey's that was just a couple of miles from the manufacturing plant.  It was a bar that had the best little Blarney burgers.  The booths were well worn, private and comfortable.  To look out of the booth, one had to lean around a wing similar to one on a wing back chair.

Bear, Anna and I would get off work about 30 minutes before Hubby.  I was keeping an eye out for him to arrive.  I heard the door of the bar open so I leaned out to see if it was Hubby.  Bear and Anna were telling me not to look.  I did not listen and managed to put my face directly into the crotch of a stranger.  I almost whiplashed myself pulling my head back into the booth.  For Christmas Bear gave me a rear view mirror to use when we went to Casey's.  Bear had gone to a junk yard to find the mirror.  That mirror sat in a prominent location of my homes for several years.  I smiled each time I moved it to dust remembering it and the two friends.

Anna died of a sudden heart attack in the mid 1990's.   Litton sold to Northrup Grumman a couple of years later.  After 9/11 business dropped off as more of the circuit board industry moved off shore.  In 2002 several of us were laid off or given buyout packages.  In 2006 the plant was closed.  It is now a vacant lot of concrete slabs.  We lost contact with many of our work friends, one of them was Bear.  We still had the rear view mirror on our bookshelves in the living area.  Casey's is a Mexican food place or Rent to Own or something else these days.  Life like a river moves on or dies.

In 2010 a friend was diagnosed with Paget's disease of the vulva, a type of invasive cancer.  She had extensive surgery which is the only treatment for this cancer.  I took her a homemade beef pot pie and the rear view mirror.  She and her sister laughed till they cried over the silly gift.  Last time I spoke to my friend, she still had the fun evoking rear view mirror.

Sorry for the blurr.  Hubby wanted to know why they are not longer.

Just a little of the past in the Now.
I spent last week at my sister's home working on a valence for her casual dining area.  My Mom was with us much of the time thanks to my sweet Hubby going to get her as she no longer drives.  She spent almost all of the hours with us talking about the past.  This is not new for our Mom.  She has spent so much of her life believing the things in the past were best, that the present, well, just sucks.

At 95 staring into an unknown number of years of living in assisted living in a single room Mom is even more obsessed with the past.  The last few years of life seem to be terribly difficult for so many who lived independently most of their lives.  I call her obsession with "wishing for the past" living life through a rear view mirror.

It is fun to remember friends and times past.  Those cherished memories and friends are what make us who we are.  I have a "Now" with grandsons, son, sisters, Mom, friends, family and Hubby.  There are new friends to be made, places to visit around this wonder-filled orb I call Mother Earth.  How I hope I never live my life looking constantly in the rear view mirror.  Never failing to appreciate the joy of Now.

Enjoying the Now of a lacrosse game!

For more Adventures in our world this Tuesday join in the fun over at Our World Tuesday.

Our World Tuesday Graphic

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