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Everything posted by ArvinAlP64

  1. Goodby Bill. Thanks for everything. Al Paradowski SCR-2
  2. Hi Scratch, I hope you're doing well. Your D981 signatures are all over my logbooks from the old days at Arvin. I've been monitoring this site, curious about where the younger generation is taking the state of the art. Looks like they're doing some fantastic things. Reading about Louie's death has had me feeling low. The first time I saw Louie was when he and Bob Thompson knocked on my door at about two in the morning one night in early '65. I was crashed on the Murphy bed/sofa in the living room of the garage apartment behind Jim Dann's parents' house in Burbank. I knew Louie's name from the six-man. That color cover shot by Buquor was what got me interested in relative work. I think Louie had been down in Texas for a while. Anyway, the three of us spent a couple of hours swapping stories. I mostly listened. I made most of my last jumps with Louie in the early '70s. I stopped logging them but I think this one was at Perris or Oceanside. The rest of the load was Pete Piciollo, Bob Thompson, Deke Dillon and Ron Richards. Louie backlooped out of the six-man but didn't let go of my wrist. The result was him stealing my air while pulling me over to where his French jumQuotep boots were coming up to collide with my face. Those boot hooks did a nasty job on me plus I almost faded to black. I finally got stable and headed for the target. In those days, I'm sure you remember, if you weren't close to the target when you umpacked a cheapo, you'd be going hiking through the thickets in platform boots. Anyway, I was tracking but I couldn't see because my bubble goggles were smashed and getting really bloody. We landed fairly close to each other so I just unbuckled, walked over and said, "Hey Mr. Smooth, where'd you learn that cool trick?" I must have looked pretty bad because he glanced up and his eyes got real big. He said, "Whoa!! Did I do that? Hey man, sorry about that." Needless to say, he bought me a huge steak dinner that evening on our way back to LA. Everyone in the restaurant was staring at the guy with the hamburger face. Hope I didn't ruin any appetites. Louie always felt self-conscious about his last name. Many Polish-American guys do; unless they happen to live on the south side of Chicago. I should know; mine has one more syllable than his. He always wondered what his name meant. He said that the suffix "ski" meant "son of." I asked a college student to research our names. I was told mine meant, "Son of the Silversmith." When I informed Louie, he looked a little envious until I told him that his meant, "Son of the Knight of the Silver Lance." Neither of us did any further checking. Louie and I exchanged numbers at that twenty-year eight-man reunion at the Travelers in Greenfield in '85. As you know, out of respect, Bill Newell had invited a bunch of the earlier RV pioneers too; Don Molitor and Hoolie Olivia, to mention just a couple. I got into motorcycles in the late '80s and rode up to Ridgecrest to visit Louie where he owned a billiards/beer bar called "Partners." Luckily, I had quit drinking in '72. Even though I lost touch with him in recent years, I still felt close, because you knew you could always see him if you got the urge. Now I feel a sense of loss knowing that I can't. Do you know if he'd been sick for quite a while or was this relatively sudden? I just can't picture Louie in a hospital bed. I'm really glad that Deke and Tall Paul were able to be with him. I'll always remember the way I last saw him in the early '90s; laughing and the picture of health from his years of working in the construction business. Regards, Al Paradowski