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Parents Who Love What They Do

Updated on May 24, 2019

Not An Ordinary Dad

Born in the early 1930's in /Cleveland, Ohio, identical mirror twins to an 18 year old mother and a 45 year old father who worked on the railroad, were known at Ed and Al.  They were inseparable and even developed their own language for a while and nobody in the family knew what they were saying for the first couple of years.

They graduated high school with good grades, but that is as much school as they ever received.  Everything in their life that they accomplished was self taught.  Both of them married right after high school, and both couples then moved to Santa Barbara, California where they had families and lived the rest of their lives.

Due to job applications that they both filled out, for state and county government jobs, they had to have background checks and their fingerprints taken.  This is when we found out that Ed and Al both had identical fingerprints, which the FBI then informed us that they were one set of seven in the USA that had the same prints.  They spent every single minute outside of work and the weekends doing things together, mostly electronics and ham radios.  They loved to talk on the ham radios to each other, and I can remember sitting in the room out in our garage listening to my dad talk over the radio.  He would say, "This is K6SJC, that sugar jack Charley, is anybody out there, Alf?  No well then CQ, calling CQ, is anyone hearing me?"

They both continued their learning of electronic, and in a few years they were building their own ham radios, transmitters, FM radios, and things that I did not know what they were.  They made many things out of the metal filing cabinets, pulling the drawers out, making it easy to exchange tubes and things.

Ed worked at a gas station for about a year, then moved on to a tv repair shop where he fixed TVs without any training at all.  After a year or so there, he began fixing aircraft at the airport, and again this was a new area, but he picked it up quickly.  It was not long at all before he found a job that he kept for the rest of his life at an electronic firm, where the boss gave him his own area where he just went to work and tinkered and invented things for his boss.  He loved this job and you could tell that it was not even like working for him, he loved what he was doing so much.

It was right about this time when one of Eds best friends got a job promotion and he moved to Japan.  Ed found that because radio waves traveled in straight lines, he was not able to talk to his friend on the ham radio anymore, even with the antennae on our roof that could be adjusted by way of a toggle switch.  What was he going to do?  He tried over and over day after day to some how get a hold of his friend.  That miracle never happened, and it set his mind at work.  How could he get the signal half way around the earth in a half circle shape, when it would only travel in a straight line?

Then one day, not long after that, he got it.  His solution was genius.  His invention not only worked, but it got his boss rich, and he got a fair chunk of change every six months or so, he got his 2% royalty checks for approximately $75,000.  He had just invented the very first cable TV satellite.  He bounced his straight radio waves off the satellite and finally was able to talk to his friend, once they got it up there that is.

He also had a computer at home before that was the popular thing to do.  His computer did not have a mouse, and it was before there was windows so he had to type in a lot of commands.  He made it worth it though, for his computer would allow him to sit and turn on and off all the lights, work the TV and stereo, turn on all the kitchen appliances and it even fed his cats.

Ed had a hard time with women though.  Al stayed married to the same person for 26 years, but not Ed.  He was married seven times, and he cheated on all of his wives with the same girlfriend.  He was afraid to marry the girlfriend because he believed it would screw up their relationship. 

Ed was a very creative and talented man, who was brilliant too.  He had plans to make more gadgets, but he did not have the time for he passed away in 1990 of cancer.  Al did not have health issues, but he died shortly after that.  Ed is missed very much, for he was my dad, and he was not ordinary in any way with anything he did.

© 2011 deb douglas


Submit a Comment
  • Paradise7 profile image


    8 years ago from Upstate New York

    WOW , what a Dad!!! He invented satellite communications???? Holy Crow!! Great hub, I enjoyed reading it so much, he sounds like he was a LOVELY person, in spite of his ways with the ladies.

  • marcoujor profile image

    Maria Jordan 

    8 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

    What a beautiful tribute to your Dad and Uncle... very moving~~ Voted UP, AWESOME & BEAUTIFUL~~ thank you!


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