Revealed Entity………………….#72 (the 50’s)

Canoga Park - home to Rocketdyne

Canoga Park – home to Rocketdyne

       The view from Pismo Beech was redundant,  especially in early morning fog,   the avenue from sea level in no way matches the panoramic composition experienced from the escarpment when venturing on Highway #1.   After packaging their repose selection and utilizing the full equipped sanitary station to cleanse the curtains of sleep, the travelers again mounting the Cushman,  hasten for a conveniences depot to partake of a cup of  hot coffee and some solid dietary substance.   Gary and Dale not being familiar with Southern California,  a map presiding on the table of the diner, conspiring a course of travel,  the challenge of course to be decided
     Exiting San Luis Obispo, the two adjudging it best to remain on the conservative two lane highway #1,  the busier four lane #101 could  be accosted later where the two highways junction north of  Santa Barbara.   Traveling on the four lane #101 was deceiving,  once leaving Ventura,  Gary’s dead-reckoning reflected them going south,  but actually they were headed east out of Ventura.   He was aware that if you were to transit due north from Los Angeles to the Oregon border,  because of the coastal shape of California,  you would cross the border 75 miles inside Nevada.   Another 90 minutes of continuous travel,  the two youths  ascending their destination,  Canoga Park. 

Conoga Park Exit

Conoga Park Exit

Gary's cousin Bud's Missile -  A Nike - Ajax

Gary’s cousin Bud’s Missile – A Nike – Ajax

      The Canoga Park arrival, with dwelling directions,  the two travelers  finding the O’Toole’s at home,  Gary’s Cousin Bud,  wife Gayle,  youngsters Alan and Patrick.   Gary’s childhood memories of his cousin were those of admiration, Bud was the one that provided him with cap pistols and took the time to indulge in fast draw shootouts.   When young Gary’s interest spiked about World War II and the reading of the Dave Dawson books by Bowen, Bud having joined the National Guard upon high school graduation would bring the youth old flight instruction manuals and a supply of K and C rations,  an example of a soldiers battle field  provisions.  As a member of the initial military when the Korean War began, he      also intrusted Gary with his treasured collection of classical music records.   Bud now a career military person,  posted as part of UARADCOM,   an acronym for United States Army Air Defense Command,  deployed at a supposedly undisclosed location,  but known to the community as LA-88, Oat Mountain,  in the Santa Susana Range six miles from  Canoga Park and  assigned to a Nike-Ajax Firing Battery.  Canoga Park being a close-knit community with most of the resident  incorporated in furtive government projects.   Gary’s  raising to a higher echelon of interest with many questions being stationed for his cousin to  answers.

The Rocketdyne complex in the Santa Susana Range

The Rocketdyne complex in the Santa Susana Range

Rocketdyne static test stations

Rocketdyne static test stations

Rocketdyne static testing of rocket engines

Rocketdyne static testing of rocket engines

  It started with a sound, then a  rumble,  the house beginning to vibrate,  Gary immediately concluding it was an  Earthquake,  but the rumbling  endured,  not for seconds but minutes, the sound was directional from an outside distance source.   He glanced up catching a ‘know it all’  grin on his cousins face as he beckoned for Gary  and Dale to step to the window.   A condensed orange-red glow was reflecting on the bare mountain backdrop of the Santa Susana range to the west.   The question in Gary’s mind was  Where and What?   His cousin answering, it was Rocketdyne,  Pratt and Whitney’s,  North American Aviation’s,  having 18 static test stand,  at their jet and rocket engine developing testing  facility,  established  five miles from Canoga Park.  His cousin reflecting it was an ongoing program of the Redstone,  Thor and Atlas missile engines along with other classified static tests and included a nuclear program  all entertained at the 2558 acre complex.   Gary dramatically impressed with what was taking place, a desire to explore this new-found discovery, but the realization that in all probability it would be for not.

Almost realized

Almost realized

     The morning bringing forth the continuation of the planned tour of the Hollywood Hills and the  acclaimed residences, Gary finding this new position of sitting on the back of the Cushman alien,  previously being perched upon two bundled sleeping bags during the interminable three-day voyage,  the perch enabling him  to see over Dales head,  but now with the sleeping bags removed he was slung low in the saddle,  having to survey the road around the body of the motorized operator.   It was a sight-seeing day, but Gary knew that this occasion would not provide the scenic wonders like the majestic overture performed by the coastline and the sea.  Dale was more rhapsodize in this venture to Hollywood and Beverly Hills than Gary and it became apparent that Dale’s promulgation was over extended and the exhibited billing was aggrandized,  Beverly Hills was a mainly an interest for those mired in luxury and the presences of such, Gary bore little   interest.   The journey beginning but the evoking venture was short-lived,  the scooter suddenly in regression,  the motor revving  as if the transmission was in neutral,  the Cushman slowing coming to halt.  The two disembarking, Gary not being a two-wheel motorist enthusiast immediately reflecting the worst.  Dale remaining calm manifesting  confidence with little concern  the drive chains master link having come off.  Gary was relieved, Dale having included amongst his possessions,  drive chain  master links, the scooter operator having experienced this equation before, not with the new Road King,  but with his first older Cushman, his resourcefulness having provisional foresight.
    The incident finding both of the traveler somewhat disquieted,  never while on the journey had the concern of scooter problems been consigned and now this minor event  causing a  distraction in their planning, the touring journey no longer a priority.    The itinerary time schedule was for a three-day stay,  but when the newly installed link also departed leaving the chain in-operable for a second time,  a decision was accorded to limit the mileage and bid a farewell a day early.   The two boys thanking their host, griping for the journey north,  Gary concluding , the journey south having revealed an important entity,  it was called resolve.

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