Monday, March 18, 2013

A Memorable Character Story

We had a real jolt that day
by Barry P.

I was an engineer at Lockheed from 1964 until 1985. In 1968 and 1969, I was transferred from Marietta to Burbank to work on the L-1011. My boss was Gernot Hagganmacher, chief of the finite element analysis section of the stress department. One morning, an earthquake struck the area, and chairs and desks began to shake and move laterally across the floor. Since our group was working in a temporary building fabricated out of numerous house trailers bolted together, most people started heading for the exits. Hagganmacher, a Swiss native who had lived in Southern California for 25 years, poked his head out of his office, looked around, and exclaimed "Ah, 3½ maybe," and was estimating the Richter Scale number  as "no problem." Hagganmacher went back to work. "Do you think he knows what he is talking about?" asked the engineer at the desk next to mine. "Probably,” I replied. "I think I'll go out and get some fresh air all the same."

Stress took on a new meaning that day in Southern  California!