The Little Orphan Granny also lived a life apart from The Mighty Boeing, but not much.
In 1958 The Orphan bought a 1954 Forest Green Plymouth Sedan for $700.00, and traded the rusted aging black 1933 Plymouth Coupe with the garish yellow top for a Winchester Model 1894
30-30 Carbine (for a related story, see The Orphan Goes North to Alaska With Masterful Masterson in The Later Adventures).
The Orphan's Winchester Model 1894 30-30 Carbine
The Orphan and The Kentucky Girl drove the 1954 Plymouth Sedan to Las Vegas to celebrate their first anniversary on June 1, 1958.
After one year in the Rainier Beach Apartments, The Orphan and The Kentucky Girl moved to Seattle to be near The University of Washington so The Kentucky Girl could resume being a student. They lived in another furnished apartment on Capitol Hill in a private home for about six months and then moved to The Seafarer Apartments
on Lake Union for a year – but no longer furnished. The Orphan had bought furniture.
In early 1959, aided by The Orphan and some “thyroid pills,” The Kentucky Girl began swelling into The Kentucky Woman, gave up her plan to resume being a student, and began to prepare for motherhood.
On November 19, 1959, in Seattle’s Swedish Hospital with The Orphan watching at her side, The Kentucky Woman gave birth to The Blue-eyed Eldest Daughter.
The Blue-eyed Eldest Daughter -- Deborah Jeanette Frazier -- was two huge light blue eyes with feet. To The Orphan she was a small doll-like toy, a little-angel Daddy’s Girl who let him demonstrate his lack of skill at being a parent.
The addition of The Blue-eyed Eldest Daughter caused The Orphan to buy a home in Kent at the end of 1959. The new home at 10512 SE 232nd Street was a small two-bedroom rambler located in a development called Park Orchard – and would be the home of The Orphan and his family for approximately eight years.
So The Orphan was promoted to Family Man and Homeowner in his home life.
This Blue-eyed Eldest Daughter was only unhappy when her Daddy had to put her down to go to work. As soon as she was old enough to toddle, she would wait expectantly at the window each day looking for her Daddy to come home so that she could again have her playmate.
When she was little, The Blue-eyed Eldest Daughter would balance in The Orphan’s hand until she lost her balance and would then leap into his arms in a hug.
And when she was a little older, while The Orphan was driving the 1954 Plymouth she would stand next to The Orphan and wedge herself in behind his right shoulder with her left arm clasping his neck (there were no bucket seats or seat belts or children’s car seats then).
Deborah Jeanette Frazier
The Orphan played with Blue-eyed Eldest Daughter all the time he was home – which was not as often as it should have been because of the demands of The Mighty Boeing.
The Mighty Boeing had decided that they would build many flavors of Commercial Jet Airplanes, and launched the 727 – which had three engines because The Mighty Boeing did not yet know how to make airplanes with only two engines.
The Boeing 727
Designed to use runways too short for the 707, the popular 727 -- one of the most successful jetliners of all time -- brought jet service to smaller airports worldwide.
Lawless Lawler and Vigorous Vetter were sent to be the Supervisors of the new 727 Power Plant Staff and Power Plant Project for the 727 (only later would a new Mighty Boeing Seer named Sloppy Swan rename the “…Power Plant…” to “…Propulsion…” for more dignity). Lawless and Vigorous lusted for The Orphan to join them.
Swedish Jensen of the Power Plant Staff wished The Orphan to remain with the 707 team.
A serious but tongue-in-cheek rivalry already existed between Swedish Jensen and Vigorous Vetter that became even more heated when Vigorous Vetter bought a Volkswagen Beetle and began to extol its virtues and sneer at people (particularly at Swedish Jensen) who did not also buy a VW Beetle.
Swedish Jensen drove an Austin-Healy with a bad electronic fuel pump that had to be pounded occasionally with a 10-pound lead weight to make the pump restart after fuel flow had stopped. Swedish Jensen did look rakish with the felt cap he wore when driving this convertible British sports car.
Vigorous Vetter continuously needled Swedish Jensen by accusing him of being too cheap to buy a new fuel pump or a real car like the beetle – an argument with some merit.
Swedish Jensen decided to teach Vigorous Vetter a lesson in humility – a task that was probably impossible since Vigorous Vetter had infinite humility because he had never used any of his.
For several weeks, Swedish Jensen would regularly bring a gallon of gasoline to work and sneak out and add it to the gas tank of the VW. When Vigorous Vetter had marveled that his VW was exceeding 100 miles per gallon, Swedish Jensen told him that it wouldn’t last since “everyone” knew a VW wore out quickly – a fact rebutted strenuously by
Vigorous Vetter with facts and data.
After Vigorous had proudly and confidently touted his beetle’s exceptional mileage, Swedish Jensen went out daily to siphon gas out of the VW gas tank for several weeks.
The VW mileage dropped to single digits with Swedish Jensen saying,
“…I told you so…”
Only after Vigorous Vetter had driven the VW dealer and his shop insane did Swedish Jensen ‘fess up. Vigorous never again extolled the virtues of his beetle – but he did look for revenge.
One piece of revenge was to attempt to entice The Orphan to join the 727 program (another game he did not win).
Swedish Jensen had inherited The Orphan in the 707 program after the escape of Lawless Lawler to the 727. The Mighty Boeing had also pardoned Stolid Syltebo from his exile in Derby, England, and returned him to Renton to the 707 Airplane Power Plant Staff.
Swedish Jensen and Stolid Syltebo wooed The Orphan to stay with the 707 by saying,
“…We really need you…We are going to put a turbofan engine named the JT3D-1 on the 707, call it the 707B and since there is only one inlet and two nozzles we need your expertise to figure out how to measure and calculate thrust…”
(The Orphan now had “…expertise…” and was a seasoned veteran of nearly two years.)
Swedish Jensen and Stolid Syltebo also promised there would be no Sound Suppressors (still called thrust suppressors by The Orphan, – much to the annoyances of The Mighty Boeing Seers).
Because the straight jets moved a small amount of air at very high velocities -- thrust being essentially the product of mass times velocity and, since “Lighthill’s” equation said noise was a function of jet velocity to the 8th power (don’t you just love that kind of talk!) the straight jets were noisy and therefore had needed Sound
Suppressors, and had already met the airport noise requirements established by The Port of New York Authority.
The new turbofan engines moved a lot of air a low velocity and therefore Sound Suppressors were not needed to meet the noise requirements since the turbofan engines were naturally quiet – except for turbine whine. The turbofan was a much better plan than a turbojet engine with Sound Suppressors! (Don’t you really love this kind of talk!)
But the new turbofan engines did need two Thrust Reversers.
Swedish Jensen and Stolid Syltebo offered The Orphan the position of Lead (a title, not the metal) Engineer for The 707B Power Plant Thrust Reverser.
Swedish Jensen and Stolid Syltebo also said,
“…you will grow in skills – and salary. But first you must obey a quaint Mighty Boeing Custom which requires you, no matter how well you have performed in a previous job, to prove yourself all over again to your new bosses (remember The Orphan’s problem with bosses – they were required to be smarter than he was if they
were to manage him) … and now we need you to forthwith invent the way to measure and calculate which part of the thrust comes out of each nozzle…”
So The loyal (and ambitious) Orphan accepted their offer and was promoted for the first of many times in his career at The Mighty Boeing.
When the Orphan decided to stay with the 707 team, was the 727 team ever pissed off – but not for long. However, the 727 team did say that the job they had offered was that of a Lead Engineer – but this declaration was after the deal with Swedish Jensen and Stolid Syltebo was done.
This first promotion was a really big deal as Lead Engineers were the “…non-coms…” in The Mighty Boeing and were the ones who really ran things – or so The Orphan thought.
The Orphan was to learn for the first time – but not the last – that some of his previous peers felt as if they were lessened by The Orphan’s promotion and exhibited resentment and envy. The Orphan was too busy to pay attention to this bullshit and led everyone in sight aggressively until the new position became “…the natural order…” of things.
Brassy Bauermeister transferred from Mighty Boeing Wichita and was the new lead engineer for the 727 Power Plant Staff under Lawless Lawler and held the record for being one of the biggest assholes ever to be at The Mighty Boeing.
Meticulous Morrison had replaced Vigorous Vetter in the 707B Project. (Meticulous had a jaw bigger than Jay Leno’s – but his jaw was developed muscle from clenching his teeth while attacking everything that did not agree with him. The Orphan and Meticulous were much alike except for the jaw.)
Wimpy Wendell was also added to the Project and, to the delight of The Orphan, Delightful Drew remained.
Brilliant Bill had been promoted to Supervisor and moved out of the 707B Project to the fledging Mighty Boeing Supersonic Transport program to futilely beat his brains out dealing with the government and Senator Proxmire (proof that The Land of Assassins encompassed more than just Boeing). Brilliant Bill would return again later to be The
Orphan’s boss during his years in Research.
Sometime in this time period in 1959, Dandy Don Nordstrom also showed up from Wichita. Starting in 1967, Dandy Don was to play many roles in The Orphan’s life – the greatest of which was in 1978 by completely changing The Orphan’s life and career in The Mighty Boeing.
Throughout his entire career at The Mighty Boeing, The Orphan had to work hard on the strange phenomenon called resentment when he was promoted within the same group. His workmates always seemed to feel that they had failed because The Orphan was promoted. This irrational behavior caused them to be sullen for a time until The Orphan’s sunny
disposition – and his ability to do anything – lulled them.
The sad thing – or maybe it was a good thing – was that the workmates mostly saw only The Little Orphan Granny and did not know of The Real Granville – but workmates like Delightful Drew, Brilliant Bill and Stolid Syltebo kind of guessed!
Over the next 38 years, The Orphan faced this resentment phenomenon again and again each of the many times he was promoted – but, while almost always overcoming all of the resistance by using his charm, when charm did not work, The Orphan was not afraid to make hard decisions – decisions that usually had a startling and instantaneous effect on
any remaining holdouts.
Delightful Drew, Buoyant Bohm (also new to the 707 Project) and The Orphan formed a team that traveled to the far corners of America to learn from the airline companies what problems existed with the 707 Sound Suppressors and Thrust Reversers.
This team would periodically depart Renton, travel to Western Airlines in San Francisco, United Airlines in Los Angeles, Braniff Airlines “…somewhere…” in Texas, Eastern Airlines in Miami, Pan American Airlines in New York and TWA in Kansas City, Kansas.
(Count on one finger of one hand how many of these then “…regulated…” airlines still exist in the “…non-regulated…” world of today – with the lone remaining airline nicknamed “…Untied…” living from day-to-day in Chapter 11.)
Armed with new knowledge from each airline’s Maintenance and Overhaul shops, this august team would return home, design fixes and – after a while – repeat the trips – with some variation – to see if the problems were fixed and to find any new problems. The Orphan received copious quantities of valuable knowledge from that team.
The Orphan was to continue to come into significant and intimate contact with the anesthetic called ethanol a lot of the time with that 707 and 707B team. The Orphan had learned the many pitfalls in the use of ethanol since his introduction to it at 21 years of age (see
Chapter Nineteen of The Early Adventures) but had to continue to learn to be careful.
The Orphan continued to meld well with The Mighty Boeing, because The Mighty Boeing needed people who thought all thoughts newly, many different ways and quickly.
Unfortunately this “…need for thinking all thoughts newly, many different ways and quickly…” conflicted with The Mighty Boeing’s discomfort with “unauthorized thinking.”
So although the “…need…” was always there, the various leaders at any given time – especially Seers -- were only sometimes aware of it. When the need was known, The Orphan flourished, and when the need was not known, The Orphan languished.
After more raises and more increases in responsibility, in 1961 The Orphan finally bought his first new car – a bright red four-door 1961 Chevrolet Corvair.
On November 6, 1962, when the Blue-eyed Eldest Daughter was just about to turn three years old, The Kentucky Woman, again with the help of The Orphan and “thyroid pills,” gave birth to a second child, The Blue-eyed Eldest Son, named Phillip Alan Frazier.
He also had huge light blue eyes and was a robust son who was the apple of his mother’s eye. The first son of The Orphan was The Mother’s son, and for most of his years she never stopped holding him. It was mutual love at first touch.
The Blue-eyed Eldest Daughter and The Blue-eyed Eldest Son
The Blue-eyed Eldest Son found himself in the same position with his mother that The Blue-eyed Eldest Daughter was in with her father.
Also in 1962, partly due to the ranting and raving of an idiot named Ralph Nader but mostly due to a noisy set of valve lifters, The Orphan traded the Corvair -- plus considerable money -- for another new car, a 1962 Chevrolet Impala two-door hardtop painted anniversary gold.
The Orphan kept this marvelous car for seventeen years and only had it put to sleep in 1979 after two children had abused it and its doors fell off.
The 707B with the Pratt & Whitney JT3D-1 Turbofans -- with one Inlet, two Nozzles and two Thrust Reversers -- was finished, certified and delivered.
It was time for The Orphan to find new adventures.