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I started my working life finding out that high school did not provide me with any marketable skills so I marked time as a dishwasher, painter, mechanic, and I think a couple of other things before the Army discovered a need for me and sent me half way across the world to work as a door gunner in helicopters. After learning this highly useful occupation I returned to the US and started all over again with no skills that anyone seemed willing to pay me for. I discovered that all the guys that spent their time in the Air Force, Navy, or Coast Guard got all the good job training skills! I did have the advantage of letting Uncle Sam pay for a few years of college while holding the family together with factory machine maintenance and warehousing. Somewhere about that time I discovered that becoming a police officer fit fairly nicely into my “no marketable skills” resume, and was slightly more socially acceptable than becoming a politician, so I jumped at the chance at hopefully becoming someone useful.


I spent the next bunch of years maintaining the same skill levels and spending my spare time raising kids and preparing for retirement, (Without kids).  Eventually the retirement came but the kid thing didn’t progress quite the same way, so after remarrying and starting over and much later adding a couple of more, (Grandkids) I find that I still have a few more years to go to reach that “Empty nest” status people keep telling me about.  On the other hand the Admiral reminds me that since I’m now retarded, the only thing that keeps me from being totally useless, other than the  possible use as a bad example, is the raising of another set of kids.  I figure I will be done at about the same time that it is time to bury me or possibly use them to drive me to all my required doctor’s appointments. If I had known that old age was coming so soon I would have taken better care of myself!


So now that I am old, still don’t have any marketable skills, can no longer do the stuff of my youth, and am on the verge of becoming nothing better than a bad example, I decided that I would look back at one of my more youthful pastimes and start modeling again. Kind of starting out in fits and spurts but finding this site has made it better and more positive.



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  • 3 weeks later...

I am what's called a COA, that is a Certified Ophthalmic Assistant. 

Been doing it for 15+ years now. 

Prior to this, my job was drinking beer. I did it very well but have since moved on, life does that. 

A lot of my fellow modelers may have met someone like me if you've ever needed cataract, retina or glaucoma surgery. I even do regular eye exams with the Optometrists when needed, glass prescriptions and the like.

But I mostly work with the surgeons. 

I'm the guy that gets you ready prior to meeting the surgeon. 

We do a pretty thorough exam, especially if its cataract surgery, as a lot of what is done to correct the eyes is based off that exam. 

So be good to the assistants in ANY doctors office!

We earn our supper everyday! 


Tom E 


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Mr Cheevers.


I was part of the pre-com units on the US Aircraft Carriers Eisenhower and Vinson CVN's-69 & 70. I think I remember a Cheevers back then maybe in shop 48. Probably to long ago to be you but then again I married a Gal from Newport News who had a long line of Brothers, Uncles and Cousins that worked in NNSB&DD.


Also spent many a weekend at Mariners Museum in Newport News.

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Glad I could take you down memory lane. Unfortunately, or fortunately, up until about 2-1/2 years ago there has only been one Cheevers that I know of at the yard and he's been there for 41 years--today--almost all of it in the Mold Loft. I worked on Eisenhower and Vinson as new construction and mid-life overhaul. I'd be real interested to know who you married from Newport News as I may know some of those Brothers, Uncles, and Cousins. 


I volunteer at the Mariners' Museum ship model 's shop on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month. If you're in town, love to have you stop by and chat.




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To start out with my name as you would have known me is Machinist Mate 1st Class Art Smith. I married my Wife Pat 35 years ago this Friday in Newport News. Her maiden name is Lane and her brothers Charles, Bobby, Alvin, and Chris all worked at the shipyard. Bobby's wife's family was named Mingen and quite a few of them worked there also. I don't know all the rest of the familes names all that well.


We still go up every summer for a sort of family reunion at Cherrystone Campground across the bay from you. We will be there over July fourth next year. As it gets closer I will let you know and will definitely stop in. That place was really a marvel back in the day and I am sure it still is. I remember sitting all afternoon watching a fellow carve figure heads with pretty much nothing but a draw knife and a couple of chisels.


Wow memories I must be getting old.


PS. I see you are building the Dorothy wasn't she out in front of the admin building?

Edited by Osmosis
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Hmm. I see I did not update my job status since my Big Move. Sharp-eyed members may have noticed that my location changed from Mariposa, California to Greenville, South Carolina, which is almost as far as one can go from Mariposa and still be in the continental U.S. (for our European friends, it is roughly the equivalent of a move from Madrid to Moscow). I'm now a writer for the secondary science pod at BJU Press, currently working on the 5th edition of our life science product line (7th grade). I love my new job, since I'm still involved in education but without all the headaches -- er, joys -- of lesson planning, classroom management, helicopter parents, endless IEP meetings, and teaching four subjects per day with only 2.5 prep periods per week. :)

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  • 1 year later...
On 3/22/2013 at 8:32 AM, AntonyUK said:


Me and my wife have been foster parents for the last 12 years and we look after a severely disabled young person that require 24 hour care.

I am an engineer by trade(Toolmaker). Did a lot of steeple jack work when first left school then Life told me enough is enough so I quit that to do engineering.

Made my first model boat @ 12 solid hull curved and painted.

We live near Plymouth UK and there are many ships down this's end of the UK.

So modelling ships is a natural choice for my leisure time.

It's so interesting to read the about the type of people that are on MSW.


Regards Antony



Now retired and daughter has given us a grand child. So still semi occupied. 

Just got a new workshop bigger and better. Taken 3 months to do from start to finish.. 

So back to my ship in the next few days.


Regards Antony.



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  • 2 weeks later...

     Well, here goes nothing.  First job was two summers while in High School where I worked with my father in a local title company where he worked at and then at a title company that he started.  Next summer I did maintenance work on rental properties owned by local attorney. The last High School summer I worked with a local land surveyor as his assistant and draftsman. 

    After High School it was on to U.W. Platteville where I worked part-time in the University’s’ food service as a dishwasher and summers for my father again to help pay for college.  Mid-junior year I left school to volunteer for service with the U.S. Army Artillery Corps.  Leaving the Army, I got married and did some spotty jobs drawing for local building contractors while on the job hunt.  Having little luck there, I returned to finish college while working part time and summers again as food service dishwasher and part time as School of Industry maintenance worker. 

    Upon graduation we returned to Madison and I could only find work at a local restaurant as a dishwasher (of course) again. After a year and a half of that, I finally got a break in the job market. :) I answered a blind Ad in the paper and ended up being hired as a construction estimator/draftsman/salesman at a lumber yard on the east side of town.  I worked there while drawing home plans on the side for a group of local builders, and drew up the plans and built our first home.

     After eight years there I took a job at another lumberyard doing the same thing (also drew up and built our current home) until a forced retirement after 27 years there.:angry:  I continued drawing for my local contractors for a few years more, but they all started retiring and that business pretty much dried up.

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