Sunday, January 29, 2012

#50) Next "Has Beens" Luncheon is Wednesday February 8th

I'm forwarding the following invitation from Ralph Simon. Note, the last "Has Beens" luncheon.was described in Blog Post #28 (Click here).

All Libravets:
I have arrangned for the next Has Beens luncheon to be held on Wednesday, February 8, at the Hill Street Cafe located in Burbank. Please join us to share old war stories and current ailments at 11:30 AM at our usual spot at the back of the restaurant.
Please pass this invitation on to other Libravets who are not on my email list. PLEASE RSVP by February 6th; I will need a head count for the restaurant by then.
Please e-mail me at:           
Hill Street Cafe in Burbank
3301 N. Glenoaks  Blvd.

Monday, January 9, 2012

#49) A Voice From The Past - Peter DeYoung

I recently received tthe following e-mail from Peter DeYoung who started at Librascope in late 1959. I think you'll find his history with the Company as interesting as I did. We exchanged several e-mails, which I've also included.

Hi Carl,
My name is Peter DeYoung and I am a Libravet. I am on your mailing list and receive your Librascope Memories e-mails. I started to work at Librascope on 12/17/1959. I was hired as a burr hand in the machine shop. At that time Sonny Somerfield was superintendent of the shops.

Several months later I transferred to the tool crib. During that time I applied for and was accepted to the 4 year machine apprentice program. I received my Journeyman Machinist certification and shortly after was promoted to foreman of Printed Circuit assembly. 

After supervising several assembly departments I was tested and selected to represent manufacturing in the GPSI Rotational Training program spearheaded by Lloyd Kelly. The program plan was to spend 1 year at Link in Binghamton, NY- 1 year at Kearfott in Patterson, NJ- and the 3rd year at my home base in Burbank as a management trainee. 

During my time at Link GPSI was bought by the Singer company and my move to Kearfott was cancelled. Link management requested that I transfer to there Sunnyvale, California facility to work as an Industrial Engineer in place of the Kearfott assignment, which I gladly accepted.

I worked in Sunnyvale for 10 months when Link offered me a supervisory position in the NY manufacturing facility. I accepted and worked as Manager of Fabrication for 8 years, Director of Product Assurance & Test Engineering for 9 years, and Director of Manufacturing for 10 years. In 1997 after dismantling and closing Link manufacturing I retired with 37 years service with Link and Librascope.

During my time at Link, I interviewed with Maury Center for the position Phil Toorvald held, but I enjoyed working for Link and decided I didn't want to move back to California. Librascope and Link gave me the opportunity to learn many new and exciting jobs allowing me to develop and use my strengths and abilities in many different areas. 

I truly enjoyed going through the old Librazettes, they brought back so many fond memories of the people I knew and spent time with. Thank you for your time and effort in keeping the Libravette news and pictures alive.

Hi Peter,
Thank you for writing, and your kind words. I enjoyed reading your history with the Company. Your history sounds as complicated as mine, which I finally published as a short "Sea Story" on our web-site. See Part III on this web page: 

I think many other Libravets would also like to hear from you. Would you mind if I published your e-mail on our Blog? 
Best regards, 

That would be OK with me.........Peter
Hi Carl,
I found your company history very interesting and like mine plagued with mergers and buy-outs. I'm curious as to who was VP of Operations before you, and who was president when you retired.

During my career starting with Librascope and the Singer acquisition of GPE followed by the Bilzerian buy-out of Singer, Link experienced 4 more mergers, (See History of Link). The most difficult was the Bilzerian acquisition. Bilzerian split the military and commercial operations and sold them separately. At that time I was responsible for all manufacturing in Binghamton and Houston with 870 employees. Splitting the operation was a monstrous undertaking plus it disrupted the lives of many manufacturing personnel.

From the time that Bilzerian bought Singer and Hughes made the decision to purchase manufacturing services plus move the company to Texas, the number of manufacturing personnel that remained in Binghamton to support the two remaining secret programs was between 10 and 15. At 57 years old and not wanting to move to Texas I decided to retire. Fortunately, I had 37 years of service and was financially able to retire. 

The History of Link:

The Bilzerian Story:

Hi Peter,
Thanks for the two links. Very interesting history.
Craig Gifford, a parent division import from Manassas, VA in early 1997, was President when I left later that year. The succession chain was: Center, Picker, Center, Hudson, Wilcox, Arnold, Ward, Gifford. Ralph Simon replaced Phil Toorvald who was let go by Hudson, and I replaced Ralph when he was let go by Arnold. Toorvald died of cancer a couple years after he was let go.
I retired at the age of 60, and was happy to leave. With all the turmoil at Link, I suspect you were happy to leave too. Initially I wondered what I would do, but now I wonder when I ever had time to work. My spare time is spent working on the two web-sites, my family history, and keeping several Macs and PC's running. At times, I feel like I need to hire some help. ;-)
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Thank you so much for spending some time with me, I really appreciate it.
I trust you and yours will have a joyous Christmas and your new year filled with purpose.
Have a great day, 
P.S. All in all, Librascope was the best company I worked for. With only a high school education, they gave me opportunities and associated training that would be unheard of in today's business environment.  

My pleasure. Please keep in touch. 

#48) In Memoriam - Ed Lyneis

Ed Lyneis, 1983
John Guarino reports that Ed Lyneis passed away suddenly December 29th in his sleep. Ed started at Librascope in March 1958 as a Parts Mover, and retired in May 1991 after 33 years at Librascope working in Traffic and Stores. A search of the Librazettes on-line indicates that he was a very active Libravet, appearing in over 20 issues. Ed lived in Grants Pass, Oregon.