A Baby Boomer's Scrapbook


meaning.jpg (2110561 bytes)   Life's Meaning...

Arts & Letters...

Max always had a small talent for art but never really did anything with it...

(As usual, click on the pictures to enlarge them  ;-)

This is a sketch he made at the age of 6...

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At Phoenix College in the early 70s, Max took a "Life Drawing" class...

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Also in the early 70s, there was an annual Bathtub Boat race at San Diego's Mission Bay. Though he never made the race, the following sketch was Max's proposed entry...

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At the end of his stint in the Air Force, Max moved from Cheyenne, Wyoming to Phoenix, Arizona with a friend who went there to build race cars for a living (as well as warm up from the Wyoming cold). While attending classes at Arizona State University, Max would often spent make sketches of cars to help relieve the boredom of some of the lectures.

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Max was also interested in airplanes...

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While in college, Max migrated from automotive technology to engineering to psychology and then finally to industrial design. The following is a photo of one of his industrial design class projects. It's sort of a marble game designed to test a students ability to meet a customer's design requirements.

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Whitman Elementary:

McLaren Elementary: 1st and 2nd grades

Mills Center Elementary: 3rd grade

Mills Town Hall: 4th grade

Mills Central Elementary: 5th grade

Sanford Elementary: 6th grade

Cady School: 7th grade

Northeast Junior High: 7th and 8th grades 

Midland High: 10th grade

Meridian Senior High: 11th and 12th grades

Utah State University: Automotive Technology

Delta College: General Studies... dropped out when drafted

Phoenix College: Engineering, Psychology

Arizona State University: Psychology, Industrial Design

Mesa Community College: Humanities class to complete Associates Degree requirement and, later, some electronics courses.

Embry Riddle: Helicopter Design class

University of Phoenix: Business classes





As with most kids, early entertainment consisted of playing with toys, brothers, friends and cousins, mostly outside.

MAX_TER1.JPG (232764 bytes)   Neighbor, Terry Mashue and Max in Grandpa Bishop's Towsley Street yard with tricycles and a pedal car.

As one of the earliest of baby boomers families, we had TV. It's small round 7" screen insured that Dad, Mom, Roger and I would remain a close family because we all had to sit so close to it to watch. At first, only 3 channels were available, ABC, CBS and NBC, but we could only get one of them (I don't remember which). For the first several years, programming was limited to day time hours and all you saw late at night and early in the morning was a test pattern... 

nbc-320.jpg (36980 bytes) ...or "snow". 

TV was also not really reliable so Dad seemed to spend a lot of time tweaking knobs to stop the roll or to straighten a crooked picture. Dad was also handy with a soldering iron so replacing a tube or bad resistor or capacitor was not an unusual event. Dad's acquired electronics skills were also useful in helping friends and neighbors with their TV or radio problems.

1948-Hallicrafters-T54-7in-Metal_cropped.jpg (23304 bytes)  Purchased in the late 1940's, our first TV looked something like this.

After the first one died, the next TV was not much bigger but it did have a rectangular screen and, if I remember right, was a bit more reliable. By the time brother Randy was born, we had acquired a second, bigger TV and we no longer had to squint to watch from a distance. Favorite programs in the early 50s for us kids included Roy Rogers, Hopalong Cassidy and The Lone Ranger. I also remember that Arthur Godfrey, I Love Lucy, Amos & Andy and Red Skelton. Jackie Gleason, Milton Berle, Jack Bennie , Ed Sullivan, Perry Como and George Gobel were also family favorites.  Later on in the 50s there was Dragnet, Walt Disney, Gunsmoke, Wagon Train, Wanted: Dead or Alive, Cheyenne and The Rifleman. Just listing all of those programs here after all these years is a reminder that there sure were a lot of Westerns.  So many Westerns that ran for so many years... I wonder what that says about our 1950s values?

1958-Emerson-1259.jpg (40959 bytes)  Our second TV looked something like this.

TV continued to be a major source of entertainment as Max grew up but there was also bicycle riding and 4H and Boy Scouts and camping and hunting and fishing and all sorts of other entertaining things in his life... 


The kids Max grew up with were his schoolmates and neighbors. Although there was some occasional animosity or bullying, he considered most as his friends. Even though he moved from one school to the next fairly often, after he started riding the bus in the third grade, Max was lucky to be with most of his friends all the way though high school...   Follow the link for more...


Money is a big part of all of our lives. If you click on the money link above, this page shows how it has played a part in my life...

Nostalgia Road...

FOOD STORES:  In the 50s...

I remember the small IGA grocery store near the corner of Eastman and Bombay Roads. It had wood floors and the lay down water cooler with pop in it. They butchered their own meat and would sell it wrapped in brown paper tied with a string.  They would also butcher animals for the local farmers for a fee. If he got a deer, Dad would take it to the IGA to have it butchered as well. Us kids didn’t like venison so Dad would have a few steaks cut for himself and, to reduce the gamy taste, have the rest ground up and mixed with beef or pork to make hamburger or sausage. I still didn’t like it much but when that was all that was on the table, I ate…  ;-)

I know there were more but the only types of stores I remember in Midland were IGAs and Krogers. Except for meat, Mom and Dad did almost all of their shopping at Krogers…  I remember many payday Thursday nights sitting in the '58 Ford station wagon at the Kroger parking lot with the other kids waiting for what seemed like hours for Mom and Dad to finish shopping (it was probably only half hour to an hour but it seemed longer to a kid    ;-)

After we got a freezer, Dad would borrow money from the credit union and buy half a beef and have it butchered by Grandma and Grandpa’s neighbor lady on Towsley St.  Mr. & Mrs. White converted their unattached garage into a freezer and would hang the beef on a monorail conveyer that went from the garage to a door in the back of the house and down into the basement where the butcher shop was. I think they sold their meat for about 30 cents a pound cut and wrapped.  I doubt if anybody could or would do that today.


benson_big.jpg (171239 bytes)  The Benson Street Bridge, Midland, Michigan

21_towsley_05.JPG (400553 bytes)  Towsley Street, Midland, Michigan 2006

sanford_el_05a.JPG (268207 bytes)  Sanford Elementary School on West River Road in Sanford, Michigan 2006

The 4H Club had a monthly night at the Roller Rink that only cost 50 cents. Max really had a good time there but never did learn to skate backwards...

116-1679_IMG.JPG (284276 bytes)  Roller Skating Rink in Midland, Michigan 2006

When Max was in the 9th grade, the school had a design contest for a large wall mural near the front entrance. Max didn't enter the contest but did participate, along with others in Mr. Hopfensberger's art classes, in the assembly of the colored ceramic tile panels that workman would later install on the wall with cement and grout.


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Wall Mural at Northeast Junior High School in Midland, Michigan 2006


An student designed this mural. Over  the school year, other students in art classes cut and assembled the colored tiles with glue in a reverse pattern on butcher paper. The butcher paper was then cut in sections,  installed on the wall with cement and grouted by a contractor.

116-1605_IMG.JPG (291973 bytes)  Meridian High School (now Meridian Junior High) on Highway M-30 in Sanford, Michigan 2006

The summers of '63, '64 and '65 were the best in Max's young life.  He spent many summer days on the beach and as many weekend summer nights as he could on and around the concrete dance pad in front of the bandstand.

04_francis_grove_05.JPG (390754 bytes) Francis Grove in Sanford, Michigan 2006

About the time Max became a teenager, his family had begun taking a weeks vacation each summer camping in tents at the Little Wolf Lake campground near Lewiston, Michigan. 

  116-1693_IMG.JPG (276509 bytes)  Little Wolf Lake near Lewiston, Michigan 2006


Political Parties:

As I think Will Rogers once said; "I'm not a member of any organized political party, I'm a Democrat"...



A little perspective...

Defending this nation against illegal immigration since 1492

Abortion: There are too many people in the world. I wish that people were more responsible and would use birth control but, failing that, I am in favor of abortion in the first trimester for those who could not or should not raise a child. Abortion in the second trimester should only be for the health, both physical and mental, of the mother but I would leave that decision to medical professionals. Abortion in the third semester is bad and, except for the health and safety of the mother, should not be allowed. I would go so far as to say, as soon as healthy baby is at the point of a live and successful birth, abortion of that child should subject both the mother and doctor to prosecution for a crime...


Voting: I was concerned about Vietnam at the time and I think I've voted in at least every national election since 1968.


Making Laws:


Making Judgments: From personal history and experience, I have been right more often than I have been wrong. I've learned to accept that ratio.


Leading: I have been a leader off and on for most of my life but I know my limitations. As the oldest of seven kids, I've learned I can't handle supervision of too many more people than that...


The Constitution:

The Bill of Rights:

The World:



Any time with friends is recreational

Building and rebuilding airplanes


Computer surfing



As a child, Max grew up assuming that there was a God and that he was good. After learning a bit more about the world around him, Max became an agnostic.  But, when trying to learn how better to talk to his very Christian sister Barbara, he began to study the Bible... After a bit too much study, he became an atheist...


Devil's Advocate or Advocate's Devil?


"Reason and free inquiry are the only effective agents against error. Give a loose to them, they will support the true religion by bringing every false one to their tribunal, to the test of their investigation. They are the natural enemies of error and error only. Had not the Roman government permitted free inquiry, Christianity could never have been introduced. Had not free inquiry been indulged at the era of the Reformation, the corruption of Christianity could not have been purged away." Thomas Jefferson

"I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world." [Bertrand Russell]

'What makes them so dangerous is that secular Humanists look just like you and me. Some of them could be your best friends without you knowing that they are Humanists. They could come into your house, play with your children, eat your food and even watch football with you on television, and you'd never know they have read Catcher in the Rye, Brave New World, and Huckleberry Finn.... No one is safe until Congress sets up an Anti-Secular Humanism Committee to get at the rot. Witnesses have to be called, and they have to name names." Humorist, Art Buchwald,

"One man's religion is another man's belly laugh." Robert A. Heinlein. Contributed by Larry Reyka.

"There is one notable thing about our Christianity: bad, bloody, merciless, money-grabbing and predatory as it is - in our country particularly, and in all other Christian countries in a somewhat modified degree - it is still a hundred times better than the Christianity of the Bible, with its prodigious crime- the invention of Hell. Measured by our Christianity of to-day, bad as it is, hypocritical as it is, empty and hollow as it is, neither the Deity nor His Son is a Christian, nor qualified for that moderately high place. Ours is a terrible religion. The fleets of the world could swim in spacious comfort in the innocent blood it has spilt." Mark Twain, "Reflections on Religion"

"To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today." Isaac Asimov

"Man is a Religious Animal. Man is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion -- several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn't straight." Letters from the Earth_, Mark Twain

"In spite of all the yearnings of men, no one can produce a single fact or reason to support the belief in God and in personal immortality." Clarence Darrow, The Sign, May 1938


Typical male... Yes


Work at what you must do for others as long as you are able...  Retire to work at what you want to do for yourself as soon as you can...


As the oldest of seven kids, Max was expected to be good babysitter so, through Jr. High and High School, he did that for a few dollars a week.

In his High School years, Max also mowed a lot of lawns and did a lot of yard work.

For a few days while at Utah State, Max picked apples and potatoes.

In the summer of '65, Max helped to spray insecticides and herbicides for Joe Hansen. When that work ran out, Max took a job as a gas pump jockey at Harold Alexander's Bay Station on Saginaw Road in Midland, Michigan.

Max Joined the Air Force and reported to the induction center in Detroit on February 6th, 1966. After basic training in San Antonio, Texas and Technical School in Rantoul, Illinois, Max served as a Minuteman Missile Maintenance Technician in Cheyenne, Wyoming until his release from service in December of 1969.

Max moved to Phoenix, Arizona and took a job as a Cartographer (map maker) for Maricopa County in January of 1970 until he left that job for Phoenix College in the fall of 1971.

During school breaks, Max worked again at the county for two summers and then a third summer as a delivery van driver for Dave Reiff Printing.

In 1975, Max left school to take a job as a draftsman at a small airplane company called Varga Aircraft. He eventually became the Engineering and Quality Control Manager and was Engineering Manager when the doors to the factory closed in June of 1982.

After Varga Aircraft closed, Max was unemployed until September of 1982, along with friend, Al Wilson,  he started his own metal fabrication business called "Tech Fab".

While still operating the fabrication business, Max took a job as a Project & Process Engineer at Binswanger Mirror Products in Chandler, Arizona until he left for McDonnell Douglas in Mesa, Arizona, just before the Binswanger factory closed.

Max started a job as a simulator crew station designer (title was Engineer/Scientist) at McDonnell Douglas Helicopters in December of 1984. 

At McDonnell Douglas, Max eventually became the supervisor (Technical Area Chief) of a 10 person engineering team until, in December of 1987, He moved to Montana to design and build small airplanes again for a company called Montanair. After working 9 months to design and build and fly a prototype airplane, it was decided by Montainair's owner that the business climate was not right to go into production so Max returned to McDonnell Douglas as a crew station designer in January of 1989.

Max was still a crew station designer when McDonnell Douglas merged with Boeing in 1997, but in 2001 became the supervisor of Boeing Mesa's simulation facility maintenance team where he remains today.

In memory of...

Other Things...