cellboy: (36' Buick Business Coupe)
To me, my father was a genius.

Coming from a poor family raised on a Quebec farm, he was the only child of 15 children (he was the youngest), to go to college and earn a degree in Mechanical Engineering (he worked his way through college). He was also the only one of the family to teach himself English (without it, one could not succeed, he said). He made a meager living in Canada, but was able to gather funds with a friend, and as a hobby, or sideline, design and build homes in the small subdivision he created. But he was also an inventor. Had lots of ideas. And actually designed many things, for Hall Machinery of Canada (his employer); ranging from things such as asbestos mining machinery, bottling plant machinery, and military weapons, to the machines that stamp out the Holy Hosts (wafers) that Catholics consume at communion (he would bring home sheets of it for me to snack on, that the nuns gave him. So much for it's holiness). And at home, he would always be doodling something on paper, or on a paper dinner napkin, with a small formulas here or there on the sides.

1. In the 60's and 70's he would sit at the family room table, in CA, drawing diagrams of automobiles, with physics, and geometry formulas everywhere.
2. He had an idea. Why can't there be a system, a radar type system, that would keep cars at an equal distance from each other on the road, to prevent rear and front end collisions. To keep the flow of traffic constant. Or a radar type system (a back up sensor) that could prevent the car (a safety warning system) from getting too close to structures and other cars when parking.
3. The drawings were complete and ready to submit for a patent. But he never did. I don't know why.

To continue his compulsion of invention; this reminds me of the

years he spent, on an off, designing a perpetual motion machine. Something to produce perpetual energy. Starting with a small model, then had a larger one fabricated at his work place in SF, with the remainder constructed in our garage. The water wheel like contraption, attached with flex hoses, springs and such, would be fine tuned in our swimming pool. Standing in the pool, my father would ask me to help him awkwardly hold the thing. To see it run. Oh it worked. But not totally. Frustrated, my father would spend hours trying to adjust this thing, and that thing, to the round machine. And for hours on end, he would be pushing the pencil creating pages and pages filled with calculations of physics, and geometry..... never ending calculations. He kept feeling that he was close to a solution. He never attempted to share this info with many. He was somewhat secretive with this. And he never attempted a patent on the idea either. I don't know why.

He took a break for a few years, and never got back into it. Although, once in awhile through the years, you would catch him scribbling designs, on paper, or on paper dinner napkins, with formulas on the sides. Later, as Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS) took away the power of his hands......the scribbling stopped. But the ideas, old and new, were still very active in his mind. I miss you dad.

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cellboy

April 2017

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