Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Agapito becomes Petie

My grandmother was a woman who fed her family from the work done by her hands. She was a tortillera, a woman who earned food for her family by making tortillas all day long. Like many other kids whose parents aren't around and who don't have an extended family nearby my dad wandered the streets.
He had the good fortune to become a part of the California Conservation Corp came in 1935. We have photos of him as a 21 year old as he worked on the road to Mount Whitney. He helped form the road and the work on the road helped form him. He was all of 5' 3" and strong as a the proverbial bull.
We have no photos of him when he began working at Douglas Aircraft. But we have records that state that he installed wings, hydraulic lines, brackets, and electrical conducters. He made final mechanical adjustments that led to pre-flight checks.
But we have several photos of him when he was drafted into the Air Force. Some show him in boot camp, sometimes looking about half his age of 31. There are pictures of him in Texas and Illinois, the Phillipines and in Japan.
This photo is without a date but it seems likely that he was already serving as a mechanic on B-17 Flying Fortresses. Maybe this was a day after he had gone up on a flight? He certainly is happy about something.

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