Since The Orphan now found himself with time on his hands for the first time since his enslavement to Boeing, he began to take on other activities and learn new things away from work.
This also helped avoid the boredom of such things as “library” research.
The Orphan and his family learned to tent-camp and hike – using a car-top carrier on The 1962 Chevrolet Impala. The family spent many enjoyable hours together. Some of these adventures, if The Aging Orphan lives long enough, may be told in The Later
Adventures. The avid campers camped in the rain, in the sunshine, in the mountains and – later – at Thousand Trails Preserves.
The Orphan and The Kentucky Woman learned to play contract bridge by reading Charles Goren’s Introduction to Contract Bridge and by being tutored by Calm Charlie and Ruthless Ruth Marsden. Now The Orphan had time to hone his bridge skills.
With The Motto given to The Orphan by his friend, Pepe Le Bell,
“…anything worth doing is worth overdoing…”
The Orphan helped form a Duplicate Bridge Club -- which included Delightful Drew and his spouse, Devoted Dorothy, as well as Valiant Vernon Wagner and his spouse, Playful Phoebe, (the parents of the piano virtuoso, Wonderful Walt). The Orphan and The Kentucky Woman enjoyed many evenings of bridge with these people as well as
Some of the “…others…” included Sloppy Swan, Brilliant Bill, Magnificent Milt Kuolt and Germanic Gerend.
The Orphan even went on with various partners to compete in “Duplicate Bridge” contests and amassed a lot of junior life master points.
None of the bridge stories will be told because The Orphan does not want these stories to bore but to amuse.
As for the “…others…,” Magnificent Milt Kuolt later left The Mighty Boeing in 1969 after twenty years and formed Thousand Trails (The Orphan bought one of the original memberships -- 200000265 -- and had many camp outings with his family at the very first Thousand Trails Preserve -- in Chehalis, Washington).
Milt later formed Horizon Air and later sold it to Alaska Airlines, then went on to Sun Valley, Idaho, to form OMT -- One More Time -- to revitalize Elkhorn Resort.
Germanic Gerend later left The Mighty Boeing to form The Pace Corporation and become an entrepreneur in real estate limited partnerships and other things. The Orphan even bought into some of Pace’s partnerships, and through Germanic bought his timeshares at Rockaway Beach, Oregon, an investment which has paid off in many happy
vacations all over the world.
By early 1966, The Little Orphan Granny had lived in Washington State and been employed by The Mighty Boeing Company for nearly nine years. The Orphan, who had started to dread the gloomy aura of continual Seattle winter rain, had observed that, different from “…it never rains in Southern California…,” it “…always rains in
Western Washington…” (of course neither assumption being predictable or true).
The Orphan also noted that while it was raining in Seattle it was snowing in the Cascade Mountains.
Snow was not gloomy, so The Orphan searched for reasons to flee the rain and seek the snow. While at the places where snow abounded, The Orphan observed people with long boards on their feet sliding rapidly down the mountain slopes. The Orphan learned that this “…skiing…” was much relished by the natives. Skiing was not known
in either Tennessee or in Mississippi.
The Orphan went to ski equipment sales and bought Völkl wooden skis (with no metal edges), cable bindings, lace-up boots, run-away-straps and second-hand ski poles for the family. Ski clothing was made up of any warm thing that existed.
Next The Orphan and The Kentucky Woman and the now six-year-old Blue-eyed Eldest Daughter joined The Mighty Boeing Employees Ski Club – The SKIBACS (The Mighty Boeing had a club for everything and this club was formed when Boeing was called The Boeing Aircraft Company – hence BAC).
SKIBACS had many members who were good skiers and who taught skiing for a nominal cost, so the family “took” ski lessons.
During these ski lessons, The Blue-eyed Eldest Son – being deemed by the Mighty SKIBAC teacher seers to be too “…little…” for ski lessons at three years old -- stubbornly haunted the classes from a distance and learned to ski anyway. Bowing to the inevitable, The Orphan and one Mighty SKIBAC teacher seer relented and let him
in the class – especially when even the threats,
“…if you don’t quit running in circles, I will nail your other foot to the floor…”
“…if you don’t stay in day care, I will unscrew your belly button and let your arms and legs fall off…” did not work.
Both The Blue-eyed Eldest Daughter and Son went on to become excellent skiers and continued it as a sport for a long time. The Kentucky Woman was not a lover of skiing.
(About five years later, the Blue-eyed Youngest Daughter would join the ski training and after sufficient whining and sobbing would become the best and most graceful skier of all the family – except her Dad of course. The Blue-eyed Youngest Daughter – now 37 years old and an Edwards -- still skis with her Dad and has used the
same brutal tactics (used by her Dad) to teach her now 18-year-old son, Terrible (Terrell Thomas), 7-year-old daughter, Bootie (Jazmine Lee), and her 47-year-old husband (Gaunt Garrison) to ski.)
Since that time, The Orphan has been an avid skier for nearly forty years and is planning yet another ski trip in this February of 2005.
The Orphan even went to Zermatt, Switzerland, to ski in the Alps, as is related in The Later Adventures in The Orphan and Pepe Le Bell Ski the Matterhorn.
The Orphan thoroughly learned the never-ending lessons of skiing taught by a Mighty Boeing friend, Graceful Gerry Fraser,
Second: “…balance…”; and
Third, which comes last but lasts forever: “…economy of effort…”
“…Control…” means one learns to slow down or stop by means other than falling down and clawing the snow.
“…Balance…” means that the skier’s weight is distributed correctly to avoid falling on one’s butt, head or back when attempting to make a turn.
“…Economy of effort…” means one learns to ski in the least tiring manner while looking really cool.
The Orphan also taught other wives how to ski (both “…intermediate…” and “…final and permanent…” – read The Final and Permanent Seduction of The Orphan and The Boot in The Adventures of The Orphan and
The Boot), as well as friends and another son, The Blue-eyed Youngest Son.
Many more stories can -- and may be -- written of ski adventures that may someday appear in The Later Adventures.
Also during this time, The Orphan continued to interface with new people from around Boeing.
Germanic Gerend, mentioned already in Chapter Five as the Orphan’s Brochure-posing Buddy and earlier in this chapter as a Bridge Buddy, became one of The Orphan’s many lifelong friends. Germanic’s family played with The Orphan’s family as they grew up – and
Germanic even taught The Orphan to water ski.
Germanic Gerend’s Son, Super Steve, remains a close friend of The Orphan and has used the resources of his company, Dunrite Construction – with a staff consisting of only Super Steve – to remodel everything in The Lair of The Orphan – some several times.
Germanic Gerend also played a key role in The Orphan’s first major adventure, a six-week South Pacific dance cruise.
The Orphan and The Kentucky Woman had learned to dance together (The Orphan had originally thought that dancing was a process of leaping, hopping and flinging oneself around the floor while pushing and dragging a partner). Cavernous Carl and Luscious Louise (Carl and Louise Burtch), using the “Easy Ed Cheney Way,” taught these
dance lessons at the Mercer Community Center.
The Orphan became a superior dancer (remember The Motto) and, after only one year, Cavernous Carl and Luscious Louise came and said,
“…We would like for you to become dance teachers and travel The South Pacific for six-weeks on the Matson Line Steamship named the S.S. Monterey, but you must leave right away… ”
The Orphan demurred by saying that he would never be able to take so much time off from work and there were two children and many chores. Cavernous Carl said they could fill the immediate need and that The Orphan could have six weeks to get his act together – while explaining that this was an opportunity of a lifetime…
The Kentucky Woman said,
“…We will go…”
The Orphan was stunned and so scared that he just gaped and was silent.
The Orphan then warily approached Brilliant Bill, who was still The Orphan’s Propulsion Research Supervisor and told the story. Brilliant Bill said,
“… I cannot live without your skills for so long a time…”
The Orphan went home with his heart in his throat and told The Kentucky Woman that The Mighty Boeing needed him too much to permit the trip and also that there was no one to care for the children. The Kentucky Woman said understandingly and remorselessly,
“…We are going…”
The Kentucky Woman – with The Orphan cowering in the background -- approached Germanic Gerend and Pat I with the dilemma (Germanic Gerend later married a different Pat – so they were named, in retrospect, Pat I and Pat II).
Pat I said,
“…We will care for your children for six weeks…”
Germanic Gerend said,
“…Yes we will -- and now your children will get some good Teutonic direction…”
The Orphan was between a rock and a hard spot and found that the steely determination and focus he used at The Mighty Boeing was less than useful in an arena of stubborn willfulness when the “…willful criminal…” did not work for The Orphan.
Later that week, while at a party, Brilliant Bill approached The Kentucky Woman and said,
“…What a nice trip that would have been…”
The Kentucky Woman replied,
“…Oh, Bill, we are going even if it is the six weeks between jobs…”
The very next day, Brilliant Bill approached The Orphan and said,
“…Granny, I have been thinking about your proposed South Sea adventure and it strikes me it would be good ‘aplomb’ training and I will find a way…”
So The Orphan left on a six-week trip in the summer of 1966 to dance and teach dancing and entertain passengers on the S.S. Monterey.
The story of The Orphan Dances His Way Through the South Pacific is told in
The Later Adventures.
When The Orphan returned, he faced the trauma of finding a six-year-old daughter who would not notice him at first and who looked with doleful eyes at the betrayer of her love, and a three-year-old son who was calling Germanic Gerend, “Dad.”
It took some time to reunite the family into a semblance of the team it had been. The fear remained in the children that when The Orphan left, he may not return.
Six weeks is a lifetime for a six-year-old and a three-year-old.
Eventually The Blue-eyed Eldest Daughter forgave The Orphan – The Orphan thinks.