Saturday, June 19, 2010

Father's Day

The other night I was visiting Dad at the family homestead, 41st, listening to war stories from Boeing days.

Seattle was pretty much a one-company town back in the 1950s and '60s, and it played a constant role in the Averill family. Simply getting on at Boeing required serious mental gymnastics. Dad started at Seattle University for two year's to gain his engineering degree. SU is a catholic school in the heart of capitol hill.

His grades were lousy in high school. Fortunately, Seattle University lost the transcripts he sent from his Illinois High School. If SU had seen those transcripts he never would have been admitted. That bit of luck enabled him to start his first quarter in engineering with Uncle Sam picking up the tab on the G.I. bill.

Meanwhile, by the time SU found dad's transcripts he had proven himself a good student with a 3 point-plus GPA. After a short debate with his SU advisor the man threw the incriminating transcripts away, letting dad off the hook... and probation. In two years time he transferred to the U.W. Now the moral: why did he study so hard and turn everything around? Cuz he had to feed the kids!

Motivating his study to become an engineer was the grinding work and low wages of being a rivet bucker at Boeing, his first job. Times were not super easy in Seattle. And to even get that job he had to apply about 3 or 4 times.

First he applied asking for a wage of about $1.50/hour (things were cheap in 1950!) Boeing response: "we don't have any starting job at that high wage!" The boss put dad's application in the round file. But he needed that job, and so went right back again, filling out another application with a "will take any wage!" He also put down his "desire" to work day shift as a rivet bucker.

Said Boeing: "Don't you have another application already filled out?" Dad: "throw that one away." Boeing: "The day shift? Not willing to work anywhere, anytime? Sorry, no jobs." That application went to the bottom of the pile. Dad went back a third time, and said he was willing to work anywhere, anytime for any wage. Boeing said "Great! You're hired for the swing shift!" Why was he so motivated? He had his first born son on the way!

Kids rarely know what fathers put up with in order to make sure we are fed, clothed, sheltered. We see them come home at night grumpy. What we don't see is the long day's labor earning bread and butter to keep the family going.

Well on father's day, what better time to say thanks dad for all the sacrifices you made. Those spankings were a pain. The yelling matches were something else. But you always had our best interest at heart. Thanks! And to all the dads out there as well a very happy father's day!

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Inky from last summer
Inky left us today. About 5:35PM CDT. We thought he might not make it past our summer vacation last August, but he kept on keeping on until this morning when he couldn't get up, eat, or drink any more. He went out the same way he lived his life. An unusually calm and mellow dog, taking what life threw at him without complaint.

A chart on the vet wall indicated he was 115 in dog years. He'll be missed. Note to Inky - stay away from the chocolate in Dog Heaven - it's not good for dogs. Instead, go chase those durn cats!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Texas Tech

So I decided I would post something to the blog. I got bored what can I say and as much fun as chemistry sounds, this was more appealing.

The end of school is coming up pretty fast and I must say that my first year in college went pretty well. I met a lot of people and learned a lot. I think all of my classes are going to end well, although I didn't get any midterm grades so my assumptions could be wrong. I will find out for sure in May how I did. I was asked to join Gamma Beta Phi. It's an honor society that you are allowed to join if you are in the top twenty percent of your class. I didn't now I had done that well last semester but apparently I did.

What my friends and I do at Tech on the weekends when we get bored. We go to the park and take random pictures. There are some really good ones that I may post later. :D

I hope everyone is having fun in Washington. Well beside my own family which is in Texas, but you know what I mean. I am going to study and get ready for a test tomorrow and a test next week. Probably a better idea then blogging! :D

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Plymouth Duster - I think it was a 1971 model. Three on the Floor. The first new car we had when I was a kid. Twelve years later I drove it to California in 1982, it ran pretty good as long as we put a quart of oil in it every 300 miles.

Here is Dad checking the oil - had to do this alot.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Friday, March 19, 2010

It's a birthday week for Robert!

Happy Birthday Robert! Bad enough to celebrate one day. But when you get older there is more to say, more people who want to celebrate. So you have to be gracious and go along. Robert, aka Dad, Grandad, Bob.

The week of celebration for Robert's birthday began a full week ahead of the actual birth day, March 21. But Robert is the Averill pioneer in Seattle. If not for him none of the rest of the Averill kids and grandkids would be spread out all the way from Seattle to Texas to Colorado. Of course Lucille also gets some credit, along with all the other moms and dads of the in-laws and grandkids, (you get the idea) etc., etc.!!!

But this is Bob's birthday.

The birthday week began when the oldest and only son flew into the boggy, mossy, wet PNW from desert dry Texas. The oldest and only son set up this blog by the way. Is that any surprise? The first born always tend to be leader types. We won't say too much about all middle, in-between kids. But the first born was a dedicated scout, who backpacked 50 miles in the woods. Robert must have had something to do with that impressive feat.

Dad's initial birthday celebration was at Ivars, where the Averill clan and friends set about resolving an urban legend during the birthday dinner. It was definitely concluded that the restaurant did probably bury a billboard in Puget Sound to get some free advertising. Tacky!

Present at the celebration were several luminaries, including William, the first born grand son.

The birthday feast was preceded by present opening at the old homestead, "41st." It went something like this:
A HUGE box wrapped in wild wrapping paper was plopped down on the sofa by the grandson.
Bob: "What's that?"
Lu: "It's your birthday present."
Bob: "Oh, I saw that earlier and I thought maybe it was a bag of dirty laundry."
Lu: "You kept trying to find your present, so I hid it."
Robert unwraps the ungainly box, in the meantime commenting that his birthday is really March 21st and this is all pretty early to be celebrating. One day is enough, really.
Bob: "Wow. I already have a scanner."
Lu: "This is an updated one."
Laura: "Pretty nice."
William: "That's kind of like one I have."
Steve: "You don't have a scanner that can scan 16 photos at one time." (By the way, do check out DFW Point to Point for a full rundown on the great carbon lookalike lid.)

When you have done so many things, travelled so many places, raised so many kids, and influenced so many lives, you have to put up with so many people celebrating your birthday. Bear with us.

Oh, and the very first grandkid came out to celebrate too! And the (probably) very last grand kid decided to have his very first birthday right in the middle of Bob's Birthday week. Now is that special or what!!!???? Tanner is only one and already follows good leadership. Way to go.
Happy Birthday Robert.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy First Birthday, Tanner!

We are all gathered here for Tanner's first Birthday. Steve just made sure that birtday was spelled correctly in the headline. Thanks Steve. Now everone is singing.... can you hear us Tanner?
Now we have to get some quotes from the crowd on this most auspicious occasion.

Grandma says "We love you this much -----------------------(into infinite) Tanner!"

Erin says: "Happy Birthday Tanner, love your favorite cousin!" Editorial comment here is needed. Notice she is moving to the front of the line with this salutation. Of course Tanner, favorite cousins must keep their privileged position by doing you favors!

Grandad says: "Happy Birthday Tanner, plan to be either a great skier or hockey player." Editorial aside: the pressure is on. Oh, grandfather adds, "Love grandpa!"

Steve says, "Hellooooo!"

And Linda Bus Driver says, "Tanner, this is the first day of the rest of your life. Carpe Diem. Seize life!"

And congratulations on just learning to walk. We are all really impressed! Lock down the hatches, here comes Tanner!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Welcome Aboard, Patches Pals

So, who is this person, anyway? Bill Gates was a "Patches Pal" too. Look in the ICU2 TV set!