Ed Palus -
KOREAN WAR VETERAN, MASTER MECHANIC,
FAMILY MAN, charter cRc member.
London, Oxford, Dublin, Athens, Marseilles, Toledo, Moscow, Vienna, and Amsterdam are all names of cities in Ohio… Russia, Ohio is also there and it is possible to drive from Russia to Versailles in just a few minutes.
And so right at the beginning of the worst depression the USA has ever known, EDDIE PALUS began his richly rewarding life of 89 years (to date and still going strong) on July 03, 1928. Eddie says he had a normal childhood, growing up on the family farm in Russia, attending grammar school in Russia (we’re still in Ohio remember). But in 1939, the beginnings of World War II changed everything.
Sadly, Ed’s family lost their family farm and as Ed said….” We moved a WHOPPING 4 miles away”. Ed and his family moved to their new home in Versailles (Ohio). Ed attended high school in Versailles, and graduated in 1947. He enjoyed Industrial Arts classes the most. (duh!)
His first job at age 15 was to tie wires on bales of hay,
not far from his family farm.
This lasted a season and Ed decided that working around his neighborhood SOHIO service station was far more to his liking and so until he was 23, he spent every moment pumping oil, washing windows, changing tires and oil, and doing mechanic work.
The automobile was to become Ed’s life’s calling and beyond a few years of dedicated service in the military, Ed has never ventured far from a sure thing. He can still tell you that a 1936 Chevrolet needed an extra 10 foot pounds of torque on the front part of the head, or that they used to have to drill 3 small holes in the right rear door sill to keep the door from rusting out.
Too young for World War II, but just right for the Korean War, Ed joined the Ohio National Guard in the late 40’s and as luck would have it, his unit was activated for the Korean War in 1951. He served with distinction in the artillery at Ft. Bliss, Texas, during the entire war. Discharged in 1952…..but wait!
Did we mention that Ed and Miriam went to high school together? They were married in 1950 and soon son John was born. But war does not respect families and so Ed served his time in the Army, and was discharged in September of 1952 where it was back to the SOHIO station. Late in 1952, Ed landed a job with SWS Chevrolet in Dayton, Ohio and worked in new and used car prep. He worked there for years, and then between 1960 and 1962 owned his own transmission shop. In the meantime the family grew. Gayle was born in 1952, Chris in 1953, and Gene on April 5, 1955.
In 1963 it was back to work for Chevrolet as the SWS group opened their 2nd dealership, this one in Tucson, Arizona. Ed spent 10 years in the service end of the business there, and ultimately a job at Adams Chevrolet in Norman brought the family here. We are all thankful it did!
In 1991, MASTER TECH opened at its current location and the rest is history. Master Tech is jointly owned by Miriam, Gene, and Eddie as partners.
Ed’s first car was a $25 1928 Model A Roadster he pulled out of a farmer's field and quickly had running.
His second one was a 1936 Ford Coupe and then a ’36 Ford 4-door……..if Ed could have any car in the world free of charge, he would pick one within the club. In fact the car is Koy Floyd's 1936 Ford – certainly a compliment to Koy’s fine ride.
Over time he has personally restored a 1970 El Camino, a 1967 Camaro which most of us remember, and a 1974 Chevy Caprice Convertible.
Ed turns 90 years young this next July 3rd......a charter member of the club, we have all grown and profited from his membership in the cRc. Ed still goes to MasterTech every day and opens the shop. Master Tech hosts our annual cRc Christmas party. Ed is a proud member of the singing "DIPSTICKS" the cRc acapella group.
Born Daniel Aloysius Haggerty in Massachusetts, Dan was named for his uncle Aloysius Haggerty who had the unfortunate distinction of being the first American soldier to fall in 1914 during the brief Mexican-American War. This took place in Veracruz, well before Dan came on the scene.
Dan originally hails from Cambridge, Mass, but like a lot of us.......he got here as quick as he could!
Growing up in Cambridge, he attended Rindge Technical High School and after graduating, enlisted in the United States Air Force where he was trained and sent to Vandenberg AFB in California as a high pressure boiler operator.
Following his enlistment, it was back home to the Boston area and 4 years with Western Electric. Remember them? They leased you every telephone you ever had while you were growing up and until the government opened up competition from much cheaper phones. They are long gone now. Anyway, Dan spent from 1964 to 1968 with them, and gave up a career there, dropped everything and moved to Oklahoma where he opened a window cleaning business - and he has owned that business since 1968. ABILITY WINDOW CLEANING COMPANY will celebrate its 50 years in business event in 2018.
Dan's company has cleaned windows in more than 18,000 homes and countless businesses.
Let's talk about cars:
His first one was a 1949 Chevy, followed some years later by a 1956 Oldsmobile and then a 1963 Impala hardtop S/S. Somewhere around 1963, Dan married his dream girl "Flo" and like his window cleaning business - they have been going strong ever since. The marriage did have an early impact on his cars however. After their marriage, a daughter came along, so the 1963 Chevy became history and they purchased a 1972 Malibu station wagon...ummmmm!
This is not Dan's car but I just could not resist! If Dan could have any car in the world, he would have that old 1963 Impala hardtop back again. Recently, he came pretty close with the acquisition of a 1962 Chevrolet Impala convertible.Dan and Flo have a son, who works in the business and a daughter who is a retired U.S. Army Colonel.
Dan is a serious coin collector of U.S. minted coins, and said that he would like to try sky diving - at least once! Dan joined the cRc in 2016, after having some work done on his vintage black Chevrolet at MasterTech. Eddie and Gene wanted to know why he wasn't a cRc member, and the rest is history. We hope Dan stays involved with the club like his business and his marriage....at least 50 years!
Bill McBee: (Photo is of spouse Joyce folks)
You will quickly notice why we picked the blue background for this edition of "know your members".....
but first to Bill....
In Bill's own words he was "born under a large rock in Frederick, Oklahoma in 1949".
He said "Yikes, I was almost a Texan it was so close!"
Bill lived in Frederick and went all the way through high school there. His dad thought working was a much better idea than letting Bill loose on the streets in a hot rod, so Bill was not allowed to buy a car during his high school and college days. Bill attended and graduated from the University of Oklahoma where in 1971, he received a double major and double minor, all in the Finance and Economics areas.
1st car: 1972 Olds 442 Bill says "This was a Cutlass Supreme with a 442 package. The car was Viking Blue with white interior......sound familiar! The car had 350HP coupled with a 400 Turbo transmission and a 2:73 rear end. Bill said that it would really really fly in the top end!
Armed with his BBA from OU, he ventured off to graduate school and spent two years working towards is MBA in finance. He moved to Colorado and worked for Dun and Bradstreet as an analytical report writer. His most interesting company was the Coor's Brewery in Golden, Colorado. Sometime after joining the company and sitting behind the desk day after day - he knew he must get a job outdoors, or he would go "postal".
Sometime along the way he bought his second car, a1961 TR3A white with red interior.....
IF BILL COULD HAVE ANY CAR HE WANTED, IT WOULD BE A 1967 CORVETTE CONVERTIBLE WITH REMOVABLE HARDTOP, 427 4 SPEED WITH AIR. BLUE WITH A WHITE INTERIOR. BILL ANSWERED THIS QUESTION IN LESS THAN A SECOND, HE REALLY DID NOT HAVE TO THINK ABOUT IT.
Over his career, his most rewarding job was working with SW Bell wireless and building out their tower network. Bill has always loved construction projects and today in semi-retirement, manages a group of rental properties around Norman.
LITTLE KNOWN BILL MCBEE FACTS:
He "chopped cotton" as his first real job.
Bill was a DJ at KTAT AM radio in Frederick........1520 on your AM dial.
He built and licensed a radio station in Anadarko, OK.
Bill's third classic was the blue with tan interior 1969 TR6, which many of you in the club remember. I remember it also as I helped him install a new slave cylinder!
Finally, his 4th classic, which is now for sale on the club website is the...get ready...BLUE with WHITE interior 1971 442. Notice a trend here. How DID that little red TR3 get in the mix!
A few other tidbits about Bill you might not know:
1. He is an avid downhill skier......
2. He says he has "the disease of golf".....
3.He is a certified NRA shooting range instructor.
Bill has been a member of the cRc for about 8 years. He and Joyce are at most of the club events. Always smiling, always affable, Bill enjoys everything life has to offer.
Just about as certain as there is to be coffee on Saturday, members will find one of Van Harrington's Corvettes parked at coffee call and Van inside visiting with other members.
Born in Orange, Texas in 1953. (He notes with pride that he and the Corvette were born in the same year, 1953)
His dad was a school principal in Orange. At age 14 the family moved to Waco, Texas where Van attended and graduated high school. At age 15, he bought his first Corvette - a 1961 Vette.
"Dad had one and my brother had a '63, so I just fell in love with them. I drove both my 1961, and also my brother's 1963 all over the area, putting thousands of miles on them. I consider my brother's Vette to be my 2nd Corvette."
Van graduated from high school in 1971 and went immediately into the U.S. Air Force and following recruitment camp, was stationed in Wichita Falls at Sheppard AFB where we worked as a mental health tech.
His 1st son was born while he was stationed at Sheppard and his 2nd son was born while he was at Norton AFB in California. In 1978, he changed from hospital care to data systems and was stationed at the Air force data systems facility in Montgomery, Alabama.
A relocation to Germany brought a top secret security clearance, Nancy his wife and a 3rd Corvette. This one was a 1979 model.
Returning to stateside to Langley, Va. a first daughter was born. Additional assignments in data intelligence , in the D.C. area afforded a stint at Andrews AFB where the Air Force 1 is based.
While at Andrews, a third son was born. Van retired in 1991 and he and his family (his wife was also career Air force) moved to Biloxi for her final assignment) and then in 1996, they came to Norman, Nancy's home.
Meanwhile, a 4th Vette had been purchased, this one a 2000 year model - unfortunately it was totalled in Norman in 2005.
Van and Nancy live west of Norman in what is known as the nine mile flats. A 5th Corvette was purchased , but Van did not like this 1996 C-4 and sold it shortly after buying it. Then there was the 6th Vette - a 2005 and a 7th Vette, a 1971 C-3 (which was the year of Van's graduation from high school).
Van got his mechanical ability by the well tested "trial and error" method.
Some of the interesting things you probably do not know about Van are:
- He has his hang glider license.
- He learned to water ski at age 6.
- His favorite sport is NASCAR racing.
- He likes to race ATV vehicles and has raced on the National ATV racing circuit. He even built an ATV track at his house in Virginia.
An active member of the cRc, Van joined the club about 2012.