In 1946, my father, Daniel, came home from the war. He went back to Kenworth, Wash., to get his old job back -- but there was no job. So he marched down to Boeing and told the hiring manager that he would do anything if they would employ him, even mix paint. And that's just what happened -- he started to mix paint out on the flight line in Seattle.
My dad loved working for Boeing. He would tell me about meeting the Blue Angels, and one of his favorite stories to tell me was how he was standing on the flight line as a 747 was about to take off. It was a typical cloudy Seattle day, and when the plane reached the clouds it punched a hole through them and the sun's rays shone down upon the runway. It was a beautiful sight he never forgot.
My mother, Leona, started working for Boeing when I was in junior high school. She worked on the 757 as an inspector of galleys and seats. She loved her job and the people she worked with. Every April Fools' Day, Mom would come into work and they would have a Happy Birthday sign up for her and a birthday cake! Her real birthday was in August. They all became great friends and knew how to keep up the fun at work. She also was honored with a trip to Japan on business for Boeing and she was given a beautiful kimono, silk stockings and a print of a geisha. I still have one of a couple of certificates Boeing honored her with for suggesting work improvements.
My sister, Janyce, also works for Boeing. She has spanned her long, dedicated career through two children and two grandchildren and found the love of her life at Boeing -- and is almost ready to retire soon.
And, at long last, I joined Boeing in June of this year. I've been in the aviation industry for many, many years. I retired as a flight attendant with Alaska Airlines in 2010, and took college courses for flight dispatch at Green River Community College just for the love of aviation and aircraft. Hopefully I'll have a long and exciting second career -- I'm aiming high and taking off.
I'm so incredibly proud of the legacy my family has made here at Boeing. It truly brings tears to my eyes. I call myself a Boeing brat because the company fixed my teeth and kept my family employed so we could have a beautiful home and food on the table. And now I'm working here myself!
I've had a close member of my family employed by Boeing since 1946 and counting, and not a day goes by when I don't think about that. It keeps me focused and dedicated, just like my loved ones before me.