Tigard

Around 1973, I quit my job as Nighttime Technical Supervisor at television station KREM in Spokane and moved to Tigard, OR. I had just graduated from the three year electronics technican program at Spokane Community College (SCC) and wanted to get into the electronics side rather than being a Supervisor of people at KREM. I attended school in the daytime and worked a full shift at KREM at night.

There were no openings in the maintenance department at KREM so I traveled to Beaverton, OR and took the entrance test for being a technican at Tektronics. I must have passed that test OK so they offered me a job there which I accepted. In previous years, Tektronix travelled to schools such as SCC and interviewed graduates for a job at their facilities. In my graduating year, they did not come because of the economy. But, they paid to have all our stuff moved down there from Spokane (including all the ham stuff, tower, metal, etc.).

At Tek, I was a technician in powering up standalone computer terminals and making them work. When we were done with them, we moved them to a QA area where other people did a final QA inspection. If they found anything wrong with the unit, we lost half our points in a point system. We got one point for a correct unit and lost half our total with one error. Let me tell you, it was hard staying above the zero total of points. If there was a machine screw with a burred head, that counted as a reject just as a unit which would not power up. Their quality standards impressed me. There were around 10,000 people working at Tektronics so it was a huge place. They had free hourly classes after work in electronics so I took some of those to advance. They had a County Store where their surplus equipment was sold at cheap prices, either priced or in silent auctions. I bought a lot of material such as pounds of machine screws, piles of pegboard, boxes of rejected parts, and so on. What a great price for the hams and electronic tinkers.

We purchased a home in Tigard on a private road at 12921 SW Walnut. I build a rail fence in the front and a solid fence on one side. And I put a big mound of dirt in front with plants on it. Going back years later, I noticed the mound was gone, being replace with more grass on a flat lawn.

I started to rebuild my Rohn 25 tower in the back yard, but only got about 30-40 feet of it up when I was offered a job back in Spokane by a school buddy of mine. He and an engineer had started a electronics maintenance company, specializing in hospital electronic equipment and computers (big ones back then with large disks for storage). They were looking for a third partner in a company called Microelectronics. The challenge of belonging to a small company and owning part of it was too great so I quit Tek and moved to the Spokane Valley (which was not a city then like it is now, but just part of Spokane County). I remember seeing the Milky Way there at night easily, but in later years with the growth of the area, the Milky way slowly disappeared. Anyway, I took down the unfinished Rohn 25 tower and left a concrete base there like we all do when remove towers. We had to pay for the move back to Spokane County.

I don’t think I made any contacts from Tigard. I can’t find any unused QSL cards from that place. I know I had my equipment setup in the house probably with a long wire tossed outside. Since the house had no basement compared to our previous Spokane home, space was at a premium with the kids and all. My ham station was on a desk in the living room – no separate room for the shack there.