2019-08-28 Summer Travels

Dear Joseph and Lucia,

I’ve delayed writing to you since my last post.  The disappointment of not seeing you graduate was pretty deep.  No matter how much I was prepared for it, it still hurt.  I’ve read some other stories of adults who were victims of parental alienation in their youth who have since come to know their fathers.  They are hard to read, but I wanted to find what finally broke the boundary.  It seems that just continuing to reach out is my only hope.  So, I’ll keep writing to you guys.  I’ll keep telling you what’s happening in my life.  So on with the stories of my adventures…

Since the trip down to Woodville and Beaumont, I’ve had quite a few other travels.  Just prior to that trip, I spent a week in Austin at a conference. It was National Instrument’s NI Week 2019.  I’ve been once before several years ago, but then I was just another guy.  This time was completely different.  I have my Architect’s certification and employed by SpaceX.  These two items pretty much put me at the front of my industry.  There is no higher level of certification and SpaceX arguably has the most advanced LabVIEW platform in the industry.  It was extremely gratifying to see the fruits of years of work actually amount to something.

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In July, work sent me out to our headquarters in Hawthorne, CA.  It’s in the LA area.  I got to see where we actually make all the rockets and engines we test out in McGregor every day.  It was incredible. It was so fast paced and busy all the time.  The campus was so large, I had to use a bicycle to get around.  I got to meet all the people I work with over the phone and internet.  I spent the week teaching their people how to use the software we write in Texas.

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And as long as I’m talking about work, we just launched our test prototype down in Boca Chica 150 meters up in the air and landed it back down on an adjacent pad.  This thing is the size of a large water tower and had a single Raptor engine under it.  It was almost surreal to watch.  This is the first step to us building our Starship and SuperHeavy which will eventually take mankind to Mars.  It sounds insane, but every day it gets closer to a reality.  And I have the honor to be in the middle of this incredible adventure.  You guys just don’t realize how exciting it is.  Oh, and I actually got a promotion last month. It was a bit of hurdle since I don’t have a degree, but they made a consideration for my experience and created a new title so I can be on par with the rest of the team.

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So, back to the travels… In August, Michele and I went on vacation back to California.  This time it was to the Bay Area for a week.  Melynda (Michele’s daughter) recently moved out there with her boyfriend.  He was drafted by the 49ers and we timed the vacation to see him play his first professional game.  It was exhilarating watching him score two touchdowns.

Michele and I spent a few days before the game by ourselves in a rented room in the hills near Santa Cruz.  We rented a convertible and drove ALL OVER.  We drove through the wine country, down the beach, over mountains, and through San Francisco.  We flew Rachael out (Michele’s youngest daughter) the day of the game and we all went together.  Afterwards, we stayed in an old house right off of downtown Campbell, a suburb of San Jose.  Sunday morning, they close off the downtown street and turn it into a farmer’s market.  There were fresh fruits, vegetables, pastries, oils, and food from all around the area. The smells alone were intoxicating. We loaded up and made a home cooked meal Sunday night and had everyone over.  In summary, by the end of our stay, Michele and I had: seen humpback whales, climbed a mountain, crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, went to a professional football game, ate at historic restaurants, drove highway One down the coast, ate fresh strawberries and cherries, and spent a few hours laying on the grass in a rose garden reading used books we found at an old bookstore.  I couldn’t have asked for a better time.

Now summer is winding down. I’m sure you two will be heading back to classes soon.  Just two years of college left for you two.  That’s pretty cool. Be sure to enjoy it. Before you know it, you’ll graduate and have to start adulting.  And always be open to new concepts and ideas.  A wise man once said “Once you’ve decided that something’s absolutely true, you’ve closed your mind on it, and a closed mind doesn’t go anywhere. Question everything. That’s what education’s all about.”  And as always, I’ll be waiting for you.

Love,
Dad

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