Since my job was at the Taipei Terminal (RUAGST), my position was closest to Eric as he entered the tape relay room. It was amusing, but not funny enough to laugh.
His eternal question may not have been heard by all since the place was so noisy from all the machines running all the time around the clock.
There was another part of his entrance. While Eric asked his question, he stood there with a screwdriver in his hand with the blade pointing straight up toward the ceiling. In other words, Eric had arrived.
That's my only attempt at humor when it came to teletype repair and the guys who, just like the tape relay shifts, had at least one guy on duty at all times. They kept us running and helped us avoid a severe backup.
Personally, I knew them all as sooner or later when this heavy-duty machinery went down. During the day shift we all went about our business as tape traffic was at its heaviest and officers and NCOs were lurking.
When the Univac computer went on-line and we broke into 4 shifts, some of us got to know them well. It was just small talk as they adjusted, replaced, repaired or removed the gray beasts.
Recently, the one man I knew the best contacted the blog. Bill Paden was a guy you could always count on. I'd seen him working under pressure as the NCOIC and other NCOs stood over him as he worked.
So, Bill has sent some pictures as well as some stories. I had comments from a couple of his cohorts, but Bill contacted me, which, I'm finding after 2 1/2 years, is rare. The only downside is that Bill had a large collection of pictures which were destroyed by a fire.
So, we salute Bill, Sam, John, Sammy, Eric and others who were there for "The Tape Apes."
|Photo by Jack Delano, 1938|
This picture was just too cool to pass up. This young lady is shown preparing a teletype message to be sent on its way in 1938. She was working for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway.
It didn't run through Santa Fe, NM, but it is a snappy name for a railroad. The two clocks show Pacific and Mountain times. Note how similar the machine appears to those we used 30 years later.
If any of you are Judy Garland fans, (And how could you not be?) you will remember the 1946 movie The Harvey Girls where she sings this Academy Award winning song. She had so much talent and so many troubles. Daughter: Liza Minnelli.
These next few photos were taken one day at the Grand Hotel, located above and behind Club 63. The glossy red paint is similar to that used on the Confucian Temple which is very near the hotel.
|Photo courtesy of Taipics.com|
This is how the Grand Hotel looked when Bill took his tour.
|Photo courtesy of Chris Snyder, 1973|
In order to keep pace with the newer hotels being built, the group who ran the Grand Hotel added this huge addition.
With the addition, this is a present-day photo of the Grand Hotel
Here's Bill smiling after a long day of posing. My abilities and equipment aren't sufficient enough to restore this one. So, sepia tone was used.
In the background is the Keelung River.
Nobody until now has sent a picture of themselves as they look now. Bill looks great! Given a few minutes on a city street, I am sure I would approach him and say, "Aren't you Bill Paden?" Most of us don't look as good as he.