Boeing

Leapin' Lizards, a Double Birthday!

By Ed Pack

April 2016

I was born Feb. 29, 1916 (a leap-year baby!), on a cattle ranch outside of Silver City, N.M. So I'm turning 100 the same year as The Boeing Company. I wrote to Boeing for a job in 1941, addressing my letter to "Boeing Company, Seattle, Washington." It arrived and Boeing responded, telling me that they had a job for me if I could get there in three days.

I immediately took off in my 1932 Packard Twin Six, a convertible with no top, and $50 in my pocket. I picked up some hitchhikers along the way and asked them to pay for some of the expenses. When I got to Seattle it rained for the first two weeks, but even so, I drove to work at Boeing in my topless car -- welcome to Seattle!

I worked for Boeing from 1941 until 1978 as an engineer on the B-17, B-29, C-97, KC-97, 707, 727, 737 and 747 programs. My favorite was the 727, where I was a senior design specialist. I remember my badge number was 714. By the time I retired in 1978, the badge numbers in the engineering group had reached 10,000.

After 65 years of marriage, my wife passed away in 2012. Now, I live by myself on 5 acres of trees. I still heat the house with my own firewood. I'm pleased to be able to watch Boeing turn 100. The company and I grew up together and I've enjoyed watching how successful it's become during the 75 years since I became an employee.

Ed Pack, now 100, with his wife Bea on one their many trips around the world together. Ed worked for Boeing from 1941 to 1978.

Courtesy of Ed Pack