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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Yellow Floor

Mr. Dave Heyer was the man who was there with his hands crossed across his belly looking at me. I felt like a kid on his first day of school, not knowing what to expect from his teacher. Dave just sat there and stared at me and then began to ask me about myself and what I wanted to do in the aviation business. The interview was a little stressful but I'll never forget what he told me. He said, "Laurie, you want my job." That's your gold! All I could do was nod but later I understood what he was trying to tell me. Strive for something that is within you reach, always have a goal. Dave was a quiet sort of guy but demanded respect. In the years I worked with him I found him to be a fair and just man that always kept his word.
My first job in at NMH was to prep a helicopter for paint. As far as I'm concerned every apprentice should have to do this job, it builds character and if you can do this you can do anything. My engineer was Mr. Bill Linde. At the time I can say from the bottom of my heart that he was a hard ass. He reminded me of Mr. Chambers at Confederation college. This man was also a hard ass but to this day I remember his famous words. "When things don't go well in the field, are you going to go home?" Well, Mr. Bill was like that. Did he cut you slack? No. Did he expect the best? Yes. Did it help me to be a better engineer? Yes. Do I remember him? Yes. Do I remember all the other mediocre engineers out there? No. Sometimes hard learnt lessons are the ones best remembered. Jesus, I can tell you that I sanded till my fingers were raw and then sanded some more, but in the end, we had a might fine paint job and I was a proud apprentice! It was a great day when all the painting was done and I finally go to go work on a helicopter with my friend Simon. (To be continued)

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