It was a rainy, low-overcast day at Boeing Field when my boss sent me over to Flight Test to fly on a Mexicana Airlines demonstration flight. He didn't tell me who to contact, so I stood outside the big flight hangar door trying to figure out how to proceed.
Suddenly, Chief of Flight Test A.M. "Tex" Johnston walked up, asked my name and what I was doing. I blurted that I had only been on the job at the corporate News Bureau for three days and didn't how to get on the jetliner for the airline demonstration, as directed by my boss. Tex asked how I liked Boeing so far. "It's great and exciting," I declared. He introduced me to the pilots and said, "Take good care of this young man." We took off and climbed to clear air, where the Boeing crew demonstrated a variety of maneuvers before letting the airline pilots fly.
About two weeks later, Tex called me at the News Bureau and asked how things were going. That was the beginning of a 40-year friendship.
In the middle 1960s, after working in the Aerospace Division on Minuteman, I went to work for Tex at the Boeing Atlantic Test Center, Cape Canaveral, Fla. In 1967, he recommended me for public relations representative in the company's Washington, D.C., office.
Later, both of us left Boeing but remained in contact over the years. Similarly, my first boss and I remained in touch for years.
I learned a great deal from working for The Boeing Company, had many exciting assignments and made several great friendships. Only wish I could do it all over again!