The Book - Bart Beck

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About Bart Beck

LUCKY OLD MAN

I feel like I am one of the most fortunate people in the world. I was born in 1910, only 10 years into the twentieth century. That fact, in it's self, is not spectacular. Lots of people live to be as old as I am. It is the things that have happened during those years that have made me feel so fortunate.

Just think of the things that we did not have in 1910, as well as some of the things that we had then and no longer need. I think of the diesel locomotive that replaced the steam engine, the refrigerator that replaced the ice box, the galvanized wash board and the clothes line that was replaced by the automatic washer and dryer. This could go on and on, however, nostalgia is not the sole purpose of this little tale.

In the late fall of 1938, while our family was living in the tide water area of North Carolina, two of my friends and I went to the Outer Banks with the intentions of doing some goose hunting, on Currituck Sound. None of us had been there before so we stopped at a little country store, in Kitty Hawk, to buy some ammunition and beg some information. During the course of our conversation, with the owner, we found that he, Mr. Tate, had assisted the Wright Brothers in their efforts, and had stored their airplane in his barn..He was a most interesting person to listen to, and in fact, he closed his store and went goose hunting with us.

The story does not end here. In the Spring of 1954 I was assigned, by Clifton Engineering Company, to supervise the installation of the overhead and the underground electrical distribution system on the Missile Base at Cape Canaveral, Florida. This job was started before even the first attempt was made to launch a Redstone rocket. I just cannot believe that there are very many people who have talked with a man who had assisted the Wright Brothers and had also helped to provide the facilities required to put a man on the moon. How fortunate I am.

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