Klausrl’s Weblog

The World according to Richard Klaus..Trains, Planes, Cars, Wales,Scotland.

About Richard Klaus

Born 1952 in Greenville, South Carolina. That means I’m getting on the old side. Didn’t stay in South Carolina long the Air Force being what it is we were gone within a few weeks. I understand Donaldson A.F.B. is long gone as well, replaced by a business park.

We moved to the San Francisco bay area in the 50s. I don’t remember a lot about the area.  A few flashes of the boats a Fisherman’s Wharf, and the sparks from the trolley cars.

My parents went their separate ways in the late 50s. My mother, brother, and myself moved back to the Portland area , living with my Grandfather on his small farm northwest of Portland.

I suppose it would be fair to say that my early life set up something that I’ve only now realised. I have a tendency to learn life’s lessons, about ten years too late for them to do any good.

After a short and less than pleasant interaction with the public school system, I got bored and stopped going, and nobody ever came looking for me. Had wanted to learn to fly, but even in the late 60s it cost a large amount to take the courses for a commercial rating. Instead I worked several driving jobs, and in 1976 joined the Air Force. Working as an aircraft fueler, at least it got me onto a flight line. That lasted four years, moved up in rank fairly quick, but saw my chosen field as a dead end. Any more moves up would be into the world of office work.

About this time I met June, or should say re met.  We had known each other in high school, although at some distance.  After I got out of the Air Force, and back to the Portland area, we ran into each other, and as they say, the rest is history.  Personally I think I married up on this deal, June could have done much better.  We have two daughters, Avrila, and Rianna.  Avrila is living in the Phoenix area, teaching high school, and Rianna is on the east coast, in Virginia.  One of the few upsides of being owner operators, is that we get to see them once in a while.

Back into the civilian world, I went to work for Lockheed Air Terminals in Portland, Oregon.   Operating a fuel truck, towing airliners, and such. This should have been the last entry in the work category, but management, and a sale to Aircraft Services Inc., ran our turnover rate from 5% per year to near 300%.  Think about that the next time you get on an airplane, the guy fueling you plane probably is working on a security waver as there is not time to process the background checks before that person has quit. In the future there will be a separate page of “Airport Stories”, believe me their worth checking back for.
After 18 years, this all came to an end one morning, when the station manager was being himself, and I had the down payment for my first Freightliner sitting in the bank. I was told I couldn’t quit after all these years. He was wrong.

Currently have a Freightliner that I drive around the U.S. and Canada. That’s what they pay me for. Where does all that money go. Well my interests include: old cars, trains, aircraft, and photography.

In the states, I’ve been able to get to quite a few aircraft museums. Soon I’ll post some of the photos from those visits, although I’m not sure that the photos from the S.A.C. museum can be posted as they have pretty tight rights to images from the museum. Still, I have some good photos from the R.A.F. museum, north of London, Wright Patterson A.F.B., Hill A.F.B. and some old work from the Castle A.F.B. museum, the last needing to be scanned from slides, but great shots as I had unusual access to the aircraft.

My interest in trains is focused on Wales. The Welsh narrow gauge railways are quite interesting, and worth the time to visit. The soon to be complete Welsh Highland will create a 40 mile steam railway when it links up with the Ffestiniog. I have another page dealing at length with railways in Wales.

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2 Comments »

  1. Greetings! I worked @ KPDX for Aircraft Services Intl Group (ASIG) also amany years ago. We probably drove the same Dart tankers and equipment.

    Comment by Brian | September 29, 2010 | Reply

    • That’s been a long time ago. Started with Lockheed in 1980, and went through the sale to ASIG. Never really hit it off well with the new management team although Todd, the current station manager seems an upright person.

      Comment by Richard Klaus | October 11, 2010 | Reply


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