Wednesday, January 04, 2006

I recently stumbled over the following website which should be of interest to all former Long Beach employees.

http://www.dougloid.com/

Although I've been using the screen name "Dougloid" on an aviation related chatboard since July 4, 2005 it was the first I'd heard of it and I've sent an email to Ruben Wong which is as yet unanswered. Nonetheless I figured that it was worth a hypertext link to see some photos of the old plant.

I also found the following link: http://www.douglaspark.org/

If you can keep from gagging over Boeing's pathetic, self serving and ultimately insulting attempts to co-opt the Douglas legacy, there are some good pictures and a movie that shows the inside of building 12. I mean, it wasn't enough that they bought the company and gutted Long Beach, now they act as if they're some kind of historical preservation society or keepers of the flame. They're not-they're pimps putting the old girl down at the corner to turn a few more tricks.

When you think of it, what did Boeing accomplish? They got the T-45 and the C-17 and the military stuff and the missile and space stuff, but they let the commercial lines bleed to death, and the C17's days are numbered. In doing all this, they cleared the way for Airbus to achieve parity in the order race by eliminating the only other heavy aircraft manufacturing plant in the western world devoted to commercial programs. They also eliminated a major contributor to America's balance of payments that put a lot of people-myself included- in jobs where we could make a decent living. The MD11 and the MD80 series aircraft were rugged, no-nonsense, overengineered aircraft that all of us were proud to be associated with. The MD11 had a brilliant future as a cargo hauler-in fact, the demand has never been higher for MD11 freighters. But they let it bleed to death.

What they now have is real estate that housed a major industrial concern for more than half a century. G-d only knows what's in the ground water underneath the place but it can't be good.

And that could be the sweetest payback.

There is another Dougloid who has posted some thing but he seems to be mostly interested in low fat diets and losing weight. I suspect he may have been a devotee of the lunchtrucks that lined up on Faculty Drive after dark. Thai beef en brochette at a dollar a hit, a/k/a monkey meat, was always good.

In fact the first time I ever heard the term "Dougloid" was back in 1989 when I was introduced to Ron Williams by David Montoya. Dave pointed to a fat black guy with the biggest and thickest glasses I'd ever seen. He said "Do you know Ron Williams?" Of course I said "No." Dave said. "Well, he knows you." Ron, as it turns out, was a compulsive collector of information on people in the plant and over the years had developed a dossier on a lot of people. He could point to a guy who'd crossed a picket line during the seventies and say "That fucker's a scab. Don't have anything to do with him."

Later that day Dave said that I had the makings of a good Dougloid. I hope I lived up to his expectations.

So....what does it mean? A person who worked at Long Beach? A badge of honor? Does it make me a marked man?

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