Thoughts, Things, and Trivia by Jack – September 26, 2023
After graduating from high school, Eisenhower’s Interstate highway construction was underway and plenty of jobs were available. I got into road construction, starting as a laborer, then as a form carpenter and concrete worker, finally a heavy equipment operator.
I was a member of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local # 9. I became an itinerant, going to jobs wherever the union sent me. I got to visit many interesting small towns in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and New Mexico. At that time, the road construction season started the first of April and ended Halloween with the down time spent drawing unemployment compensation or working for local farmers or ranchers.
I was drafted into the military in 1962 for two years, no off-continent duty assignment, I was honorably discharged from active duty in 1964. I returned to road building.
My first marriage was in 1964 and ended with a divorce in 1980, have two daughters from his union. My second marriage was in 1981 and ended with the death of my second wife from cancer in 2018, have a son and a daughter from this union. I was able to take both ladies on one of my sojourns to the Middle East.
My off-continent sojourns started in 1968 and ended in 1989 except when I returned to the states in 1972 and started my pursuit of a college education which was completed in 1978 when I graduated from Stanford University with a master's degree in civil engineering.
My sojourns took me to 42 countries on five continents. I was a craft supervisor and instructor on projects in southeast Asia and the south Pacific Ocean islands. I was a foundation design and quality control engineer on a project in Saudi Arabia. I was involved in an ecological and environmental study of the Marshes of the upper end of the Arabian Gulf. I was project manager of 250 kilometers (about 155.34 mi) twin sixty-inch potable waterline in Saudia Arabia and project manager of 630 kilometers (about 391.46 mi) forty-eight-inch natural gas pipeline in Algeria. I was involved in a slurry cutoff wall for the subway system in Caracas Venezuela. I was involved in an NPS road project on Saint John Island, USVI.
When I returned to the US in 1998, I became involved in the environmental cleanup and mitigation industry; mine closures and water cleanup systems, fossil fuel production – API remediation of refineries and produced water containments, AFCEE (Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence) projects at several air force bases, demolition and cleanup of retired nuclear energy facilities and groundwater mitigation and remediation.