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Random Thoughts from a Random Memory

By Edward Master

Little did I know that my first technical writing job would eventually require the same type of work that I would be doing at the end of my career: security investigation.

Just before I got involved with technical writing, I was a physics instructor in the apprentice program at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. I fulfilled the requirements of DoD work and teaching experience for the Planning Research Corporation out of Maclean, VA, on a government training contract for the US Navy. But, I had to have a security clearance of at least secret, because for PRC I needed to handle confidential documents. You always require one class higher than the info you will look at.

The government people (DoD) went everywhere—family, school, employers, friends, acquaitenances. I was home for a visit and learned the DoD had visited my local postmaster, Naomi Sheesley. I had been in the same class as her daughter, Patty. Later, I found out they had interviewed people (instructors/professors) at Clarion U as well as fraternity brothers. I remember being requestioned about one individual, but I had to decline knowing any additional info. I recall the DoD even went to my high school.

I don’t know what happened when I changed jobs and moved to RCA, but my clearance went with me. The one thing I distinctly recall about having a clearance is that whatever document I was working with had to be in custody/under supervision at all times. I took the document with me to the restroom if I couldn’t hand it off to a coworker with clearance. That stuff that went on at Mar-a-Lago is completely unforgivable/a no-no; I would have been fired for a security violation. Enough said.

I don’t recall needing my clearance again for any writing work, even as a free lancer for Boeing. On the Osprey contract for Boeing, the work I did was strictly company proprietary.

Speaking of sports: Well, the Buccos have done the u-turn. Hot to almost, if not, freezing. The Steelers had their draft and now it’s a waiting game. The jury is still out on what if anything is happening with the Pens.

Kudos to alums: A recent post announced the crowning of A-C Valley’s prom king and queen, respectively, James Blauser and Brianna Schmidt. Fortunately, I had the honor of being a coworker with each student’s mother—James (Lori Blauser) and Brianna (Jessica Schmidt). James’ exploits were usually prefaced as J-P, but I don’t recall any mishaps or misadventures on Brianna’s part.

Working with Lori and Jess was a pleasure; I miss seeing/talking to them. I’ve tried to follow what was available on each student’s athletic and academic exploits where I could. The royalty crowns certainly rank as an achievement and serve as a matter of pride for the parents. The apple doesn’t fall far as the saying goes.

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