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Who is Joe Frasketi. Links to other Sites. Space Cover Collecting Basics. Can you identify who is sitting in the barber's chair? Home Page What's New? Can't Find what you're looking for? I now have a Range Rat Sign-In book, to be used exclusively by Range Rats and their famlies that you can leave a comment of your experience on the range, where you worked, etc, etc.
See the other entrys for examples, if you leave a comment or message not relating to the range the entry will eventually be deleted, for instance a "Howdy" by itself does not qualify as an entry! You can give your email address its not required but its requested so that other range rats can contact you.
Perhaps you are looking for someone who you used to work with that you lost contact with, you could include it in your message in the sign-in book, or better yet send me an email and I can include it on this page. It seems like I now go in long spurts, feel good for a while and then bang, my health goes downhill, and I can't concentrate for any length of time and It's murder sitting too long to try and update.
Sorry folks, I just don't know how long I can maintain these pages with the info. I do appreciate your passing info. Tom describes it as follows: A couple of dozen of old timers have been corresponding via E-mail recently and swapping stories and facts about the range. If you are interested in joining us, please send an E-mail to: Many of you belong to facebook now, if so, look for "The Range Rat" group. There are now members, anyone can join. The group was started by Rick Brown in July unfortunately I wasn't aware of it until early It's a good way to meet "old" friends".
Unfortunately as of 01 July , the Topica group, where Tom has his RangeRats mailing list, decided to close. Jack Tolman had his own Range Rat Website too.
We have started a list of RangeRats names which Tom McCarthy is keeping updated, if you are interested check it out, comments are appreciated, I will post pictures as I receive them". I first reported his website in Mar. Larry signed my Range Rat sign-in book, and told about General Electric's GE partisipation on the range at San Salvador, and that is what his website is all about. His website was called "Home of the GE Rangerats", he also had photos of the base and the island.
There was a guest book too however as of Feb. And as today, 19 OCT , I tried to link to his website and found it to be discontinued also. Thanx to all who have contacted me this past year with info.
I've been very slow to update these pages, but haven't given up hope on the updates. Am hoping will be a better year! I say this every year, but it hasn't happened yet. As usual this past Dec. I made phone contact with some old range rats who I've been in touch with for many many years, they include, Joe Makeever; Chuck Hewett; Larry Wenger, and Karl Nehring.
I imagine you have some friends that you touch base with every year too. Now that I am feeling a bit better, I'm going to start calling some of my old range rat buddies that I haven't spoken to in a good while. Hewett and I usually call each other a few times a year. You might know Chuck who worked at telemetry at Grand Turk in the early s, and later was at Ascension probably other stations too.
Chuck didn't have any range news to pass on, other than he had talked to Larry Wenger in GA about 6 months ago, and Larry was doing a lot of gardening in his retirement Larry's a Master Gardener.
He and his wife do a lot of canning and gives away their surplus vegetables. Received a phone call from Joe, we haven't has a conversation for maybe a year now.
I knew Joe from the time I was on Ascension , altho he was there a lot longer than that, and at GBI when he first came downrange. Maybe you knew some of these troops? After looking over my RR death page, Joe corrected 2 things I had wrong I have been known to make misteaks! Which I now corrected. On the correct spelling of Bill Czipulis, evidently the Social Security records for some reason has his name spelled "Cipulis", and so I corrected this entry too.
We talked for about an hour just catching up on whats been happening in our lives since the last time we talked. Plus other range news that I knew of, since I try to keep up with that for these pages. In July , Jim Hagan surprised me with a phone call. I hadn't talked to him in 55 years when we were both stationed at Saint Lucia, working together in the Telemetry section. Jim originally contacted me in Oct. Laid off in ' Worked Harris Corp and several other companies in defense electronics and satellite communications as a design engineer.
Have visited 46 countries and many US cities. Great web site that you have. I did invite him to sign the Range Rat Sign-in Book. However it took him 6 years to sign in! Evidently he found my webpages again. So after he signed in July he phoned me. We had only known each other about 6 months and after all these years he still remembered me, as I did him.
So we had quite a bit of catching up to do, spanning 55 years! I knew there were army folk at ASC but from what he wrote I wanted to find out more information. You can read what he sent me on the GBI Page, see the 12 May entry, however he also sent me some info. We manned the radar sites that monitored the inosphere in conjunction with the International Geophysical Year IGY , but also supported the shots by providing inospheric info to Central Control before, during, and after each shot.
When I was there there was a main gate just after the road rounded Port Canaveral. You had to have a secret clearance to get in and badges were always checked. Our site was maybe a quarter to a half mile beyond the main gate just where the road turned North to go down towards Central Control.
It was a house in a little collection of sites all in houses. They had probably been built for other purposes originally. A missile would be exploded if, and only if, provided it didn't explode on the gantry, all three people pressed their button. This was so some out of control missile didn't go back over land. He was telling me about the time rock and roll music started playing on all the count down boxes we called them bitch boxes - we had one at our Cape site.
I told him about the time we got bored listening to the count down chatter and hooked our radio receiver to the count down box so we could listen to both. In a couple hours the count down boxes in our complex were shut down at a central telephone pole by maintenance workers. It was our radio that was playing not just in our box, but in all count down boxes in the Cape.
Of course by that time we had the receiver unhooked from the count down box and were innocently sitting there performing duties at a high rate of precision. Then they turned our count down boxes back on.
They would blow up on the pad about half the time. The bitch box would be screaming "All range personnel take cover" and we'd be there on the pole where cover wasn't available. There were instances of debris hitting our roof while we scrambled down the pole. I wonder if he is a downranger too. Does anybody know what the record is for the most time downrange, either on the tracking stations or ships or a combination?
The only person I know that had a long record of being downrange was Speedy Collier, but I dont know his total years. In I was living and working at the Grand Turk Tracking Station, when I first thought about writing my first article. I chose to title it: Being technically on a U. There were certain procedures to follow, as outlined in the Downrange Standard Procedure Instructions.
It took 3 months to receive the final approval for public release, as amended. My mastercopy was proof-read somewhere between the time I submitted it and made its way to Washington DC, with revisions for grammatical errors and technical details.
Due to the popularity of this article it was again published in a 44 page space handbook titled: My worn out and much used handbook is shown here 05 DEC.
How many Range Rats can remember the date of the first time they went downrange? I still have the "boarding schedule" that was given at PAFB before the flight. Why do I have it? In those days we had to wear a parachute on the downrange flights. I was thinking maybe this flight wasn't as safe as I thought! We stopped at all the stations, and I got my first look at the islands, sure glad I wasnt getting off at Mayaguana - that was the world's worst as far as I was concerned.
My final destination was the Dominican Republic tracking station. Facker and I went down range on the same flight in Dec and we left the range on the same flight sometime in Aug.
I received this email from Leon: That gave me 43 years on the range. Had the great luck to be assigned to the following stations: Engineer, finishing up with Antenna Maintenance as a Sr. It was one heck of a ride and loved every bit of it. It just so happened that these 3 are all active amateur radio operators. Joe also worked at GBI and maybe other places. Joe signed the RR Sign-in Book in but did't mention what stations he worked.
How about it Joe, make another entry and list your down range stations. He is doing well and still much active in electronics as a hobby and goes to ham radio conventions. It was either in the late s or early s that I met Chuck at Grand Turk Telemetry, he was either a electronic technician at first and later became Telemetry Manager that shows you how good my memory is.
Here is another shy RR who signed my RR Sign-in Book in with just a short entry saying "Retired from Lockheed" but listed none of his range history. Chuck settled in a college town of Albany and was a teacher at one of them.
He still active and goes to the gym regularly. I haven't talked to George in years, so I figured what the heck, let me see if he is still at his old homestead and give him a call. Sure enough he is at the same location.
He used to drop in and see me in Fort Myers FL whenever he traveled this way on vacation. He now has a 19 foot RV camper van. Working on it before he can do any traveling. He is still active in ham radio, the stock market and helps at his church. He later moved on to Ascension. Larry doesn't get on the computer at all, he has no interest in it, but I am in computer contact with his wife Alice. One of his favorite expressions that he still uses is "Good Buddy" that he has used for many years now.
He worked for the state of GA but has been retired now some 8 years. Alice says his garden is his "pride and joy". Larry and Alice are also quite active in their church as Sunday school teachers. Joe was paid a dollar a year by Pan Am and they provided him with a room and meals for every day he was down range. He could select his own travel schedule and also determine how long he wanted to stay at each base.
Joe was a very pleasant and learned man and was a good counselor. I knew of a few instances where he acted as a "match-maker" for two range rats. Both of these matches were solid and stable. Speedy didn't give a time period of when he knew him but I imagine it was in the late 's and 's.
Many times, while I was stationed at Grand Turk, I have seen him come to the rescue of a hungry traveler flying on the range airliner who had stopped there for lunch, and did not have money to pay for the lunch. Pan Am charged some non-range travellers for their meals, and somehow Reverend Joe would find out about their need and pay for it out of his own pocket. If anyone knows what happened to Chaplain Joe Keiper, and when he left the range, or want to add more info about him, please send me an email so I can update this info.
I'm also wondering if the range still has a travelling preacher, can anyone tell me? John Gladden has been working on his article for a number of years, it's titled: It is his non fiction memoirs of U. It is some 77 pages long and well worth the time to read it. Speedy who worked up and down the range since , on the islands and ships, was featured on an Alabama church website in , titled: This photo of the barber was sent in by Don Sklar who said it was taken in the time period of at GBI however I am going to leave it on this page as he travelled the range.
Steve Wooden remembered that Dick Langley was the travelling barber. Now who can identify the Range Rat in the chair? Langley did not have time to cut my son's hair, so taught me a little about barbering and got me a pair of clippers. I cut my son's hair then, and later after three boys all of them until they reached their teens and wanted long hair. He lives in Melbourne and still works part time. He's still the "talker" he always was".
He cut my hair on San Sal in and as late as the day before the reunion. Dick is retired but still cuts some of his friends hair at his home in Indialantic. Somewhere along the line, I also remember a female barber, did she replace Dick or was she a temp replacement? His page can be found by: The editor of this page-[thats me] says: It was constructed in the early 50s and operated through the mids. Today, Club Med has been built in the location of the original base.
You can find a link to Larry Brunetti's website at the 15 April 07 entry below. A Welcome to San Salvador booklet was provided to all that arrived. Travel by Design Website. When the virtual tour window opens click in the "Map" button first. You would not recognize the old base from these pictures. Would have been nice to have something like this when the range rats were stationed there! Ed Ehrenspeck who lives in Edgewater FL emailed me recently for help on the above two subjects, he writes: I also worked on the BU telescope I need to get in contact with anyone that has any information about the BU scope or the project Space Track BU stood for Boston University.
As the birds got bigger, the photo tracking got further from the pad and as the tracking cameras got larger they finally left the Cape Distance and larger focal lengths caused heat type shimmers and the frames on the film were not clear. Boston University built a inch telescope and put it on a large Navy gun mount with four wheels that could be pulled to anywhere needed The telescope was used on many tests. The biggest was flying B, six engine bombers over us.
The bottom of the wings had various types of target boards painted on them. As the plane passed over us, we would take pictures at many different settings and altitudes and film. I was the only tech. The rest were engineers. The story goes on for quite awhile. I worked with him as a tech. Walt Manning was part of the Space Track section and as I gather information now, I am finding that Space Track was an important section of the government and the Cape.
In checking with Patrick Air Force Base information, they told me that they had no information about Space Track and told me to contact there Historian I did and it was some time until he could track anything down, and when he did, he found that all files of Space Track had been destroyed.
He did find a little info and passed it on to me. Tom McCarthy has started a RangeRats mailing list here is how he describes it: It's a good way to meet "old" friends. It is very easy to subscribe and just as easy to unsubscribe. There is no cost or obligation; you can set your preferences so that you receive all messages, or you can set it up so that as a subscriber, you can post messages but choose to simply read the archives occasionally. You must be a subscriber to post to the list.
When a subscriber posts to the list, that message goes to all on the list unless they have chosen not to receive e-mail , and anyone on the list can read and answer to all on the list. It enables discussion among all on the list without having to access a chat room or other web site. To subscribe, send an e-mail to: Be sure to write "Subscribe" in the subject line. Jack Tolman had his own Range Rat Website unfortunetly its no longer available: Here is how he tells it: Larry signed the Range Rat sign-in book, and told about General Electric's GE partisipation on the range at San Salvador, and that is what his website is all about.
You can find his website at Home of the GE Rangerats , he also has photos of the base and the island. There is a guest book too however as of Feb. The donkey keeper shown in the pictures was a power house operator who's name escapes me. Alas, we have a sad ending. The donkey disappeared after a brief time at Mayaguana; it was rumored that the base manager had him executed for persistently using the catchment basin as a toilet.
Sorry the picture quality is so poor. It is ektachrome and evidently doesn't survive too well! Mac" To see the two pictures Mac sent click on these two links below Mayaguana Range Rat with Donkey Mac says it's the same guy in both pictures.
Mayaguana Range Rat with Donkey in the bar. Anyone who has more info about other Base Donkeys send me some info Rodger Fowler wrote in the RR Sign-in book 01 OCT that before the Range began, his mom and many kinfolks either lived on the Cape or surrounding area for nearly 75 years.
His dad started to work on the Cape back in getting the launch site ready for the historical Bumper rocket launch of July 24, Lucia BWI" Did you save yours? This date holds a place in most range rats memory, can you remember what happened on 04 Oct.
I was stationed at the St. We were going to climb one of the Piton mountains. If I could find my packrat notes I would remember who was in our hiking party, but all I can remember is Ralph Cron, and George Fritz, but there were others. We drove to the base of the mountain and started the hike up, it was a rough climb even tho there was a sort of a path, towards the top the path petered out and it was mostly straight up, and slippery because the dirt was moist and muddy.
We had agreed to rendezvous back at the truck at the foot of the mountain. When the troops who had made it to the top came back down we realized that someone was missing. What happened to George Fritz? No one could recall when anyone had seen him last, so back up the trail we went calling out his name, to no avail. George was nowhere to be found. After a couple of hours and still no George we headed back to the base to report him missing.
Once we got back we learned that the Russians has put the first artificial satellite into space, on the very day that we "lost" good ol' George. We were more concerned about finding him and so the Fire Security Chief rounded up a scouting party to go find him. The scouting party didnt have any luck and they returned at night and planned to start up the search at daybreak the next day.
The next morning as we gathered to start our search, here comes George Fritz walking up the road. He got quite perturbed when he learned that there was a search party looking for him. His story was that as he was walking down the mountain path, he stumbled and fell into the bushes and was hidden from anyone else who came down the path.
He had hit his head and passed out and when he awoke it was dark already and so he spent the night in the bush, as he was an experienced hiker and knew how to take care of himself. And so I will always remember the launching of the first satellite with this hike and George Fritz. In actuality, our hike was on Oct. I believe the russians delayed the announcement of their launching until they were certain it was a successful launch and orbit.
In those days there was a lot of secrecy of what they were doing. This special cover was issued by the FMF Local Post commemorating the 20th anniversary of the launching of the first artificial satellite by the Russians. It is postmarked at Russia Ohio. Pages 20, 21, 22, 79 and 80 that were missing from the below entry can now be downloaded by clicking here: Give it a look and why not print out a copy for yourself, as there is much history of the range and plenty of pictures in the pages, heck, you might even find yourself mentioned or a picture of yourself.
I will mention some of the range people that I recognize in each group of pages. Maybe some of them will see their names here if they do a google search, like so many of us do-- seach for their own name on the world wide web-- and will sign the Range Rat sign-in book, of course a few people that I have recognized have since died. There are a few pages missing in the text below and they are noted, but you can now download them see above 22 May 06 entry. Here is a brief summary of what is contained in the pages: Faces that I recognize: Dave Frank; Jerry Simpkins.
Pages 20, 21 and 22 are missing. Graham Walker; Dwight A. More pictures that were in the MTP News from - Wally Tubell; John Facker.
The last pages has information and pictures of uprange activities from - I heard from John Gladden after he signed the Range Rat Sign-in Book, with this additional information, John's pending dissertation on range rat life and experiences sounds interesting, and which I am sure other range rats would be interested in reading also when its finished: Bob Flowers sent me this web address.
Although I had already seen your article on Grand Turk, I did not realize that you had this site set up. I was looking at some of the messages from some of the people that I do remember and am amazed that some are still living.
I have been working on a dissertation about the Range Rats as I remember the various bases I visited or was stationed at. I am up to about fifty pages now and don't know whether to keep going or truncate with what I have.
I'll probably play around with it for a week or two and then decide. Billy Joe Volner emailed me today and gave me this information about himself: I'm working at the Kodiak Launch complex in Kodiak Alaska. Most of the time I'm working out of my home in Mims Florida. This is my 3rd launch since I agreed to help make this a launch range. I have 2 email addresses but prefer the BellSouth one.
We're 6 days from our launch and have been here 2 months. Billy did not sign the Range Rat Sign-in book, but here is his email address if you want to contact him: I received a short email from Ray Edester at the end of Dec.
He was then invited to put his two cents worth into the Range Rat Sign-In Book, but so far has not done so. I guess everyone has their reasons for not signing, as well as some not giving their email address if they do sign in, its all up to the individual.
Anyway, those of you who know Ray, he is alive and kicking in Titusville FL. How many people remember old timer Ralph N. Lucia I knew him at both stations 's. His son also worked on the range at the same time, I dont recall the son's name but he was a Cron. They both had long careers on the range stations and ships.
Does anyone know of other range rat families that worked on the range at the same time, that they would like to report? Course in my days on the range there weren't many females working the range, like there is today, so I only know of the two Cron's personally. First of all, let me say how pleased I am that you have set up this site! Leon Lacy turned me on to it, and I have enjoyed the connection with several old friends, some on an almost daily basis. I recently corresponded with Doug Rogers, who was curator of the Ft.
Hayes museum on Ascension, when I was there in ' My wife, Ann, who was a local hire with Bendix at the time, knows Doug, also.
Well, his name showed up in your sign in book! We both were amazed to find each other, after all these years. Talk about a small world the range turned out to be! Its a fact that he and his twin brother Russell were born there when it was a hospital. Ann Flotte , a local historian in Melbourne FL has supplied postcard scans of the Crenshaw Hotel and some history of this establishment which I have added to my original paragraph below.
Ann says she dated and knew several fellows who went down range, which was in the late 60s and early 70s. How many range rats from the mid s remember the Crenshaw Hotel and Cottages? It was located south over the US1 bridge from the big Melbourne Hotel.
When I got hired with RCA and flew down to Melbourne, arriving in the evening, my accomadations were already arranged by someone in the PAFB downrange office, as someone from Crenshaw's was there to pick me up. In when I saw Melbourne, it reminded me of a boom town but with few modern conveniences. Crenshaw's was more like something out of the s or 40s, quaint but run down for the 50s. I shared one of the cottages with another new hire and remember the place was set back from the main road, where they had a lush garden of tropical plants, a fountain and deer statues on the lawn.
Ann Flotte, a local historian from Melbourne FL supplied this background on the hotel: During the depression, it barely made ends meet.
By , Harry Crenshaw converted it into a hotel. There used to be brick cottages in front of it on US1 with the long hotel and cottages sign next to the highway as seen in these postcard views. It was completely renovated in the s and now operates as an apartment building.
Extremely modern at the time this picture was taken , 27 rooms, steam heat, overlooking beautiful Indian River. Does anyone else remember staying at the Crenshaw Hotel or the Cottages? If you took a photograph of the Crenshaw place or the grounds, I'd appreciate hearing from you and getting a scanned image. Doug Rogers signed in Dec. I have been looking for him for a number of years, I didn't know him personally but a downrange friend of mine, Charlie Elgas, knew him from Ascension and always wondered what happened to him after Doug left the range.
I kept up with many range rat whereabouts since I left the range and have managed to track some down, it became a lot easier too once I got a computer. Check out Doug's entry in the RR sign-in book on Dec. Doug and the Island kids built it from scratch, and he was the curator of the Ft. I started the RR sign-in book in Jan , before that date many RRs signed the guest book since that was all that was available.
So you might want to look in the guest book also to see their entrys but you have to wade through all the other collectors entrys. Any range rat who signed the Guest book after I started the RR sign-in book, have been alerted to the fact that they should put their entry in the other book.
I'll give them some time but eventually these entrys will all be moved over to the RR sign-in book. An easy way to search the whole Guest book or the RR sign-in book is to use the search box at the top of this page.
In the drop down menue select "Range Rat Book" and search for the word "name" this will take you to the search page, just click on the document found. Once you get to these books by this search method you will find all entrys on ONE long page, this is a lot easier that looking at the books that have individual pages of 20 entrys each. Give it a try. One entry in the Guest book of note is from Rhonda Scholl who signed in on Mar 09, , who is currently working at the Antigua tracking station.
There aren't many current RRs signed in but its good to know they are looking in. Here is what she wrote: I've been here for 22 years. Not very many people left from the 80's. In Bob's stepson sent me an email and said Bob was living in Dearborn MI but didnt have a computer. He gave me Bob's phone number and we had a long chat catching up on whats been happening in our lives since our range days. Recently I exchanged emails with the stepson again and here is what I found out about Bob: He likes doing house projects it seems like.
Bob's in great shape, too skinny I'd say and is having his 76th birthday this December 10th He looks 15 years younger to me and can run circles around younger guys. Bob still lives in Dearborn. It wasn't too long after Bud Creech contacted me that he passed away in Aug I knew Bud from my early days on the range back in when we both worked at the Dominican Republic Tracking station.
After that station closed we lost contact. When I started this RR webpage, in May , I listed Bud's name hoping he might do a google search and find my site, and he did. Marty Gilligan Ridgewood New Jersey wrote: I saw your name on the rangerats site and probably worked on Grand Turk the same time as you. You also mention St. I was very friendly with Billy Joe Volner who was both on St.
Lucia and Grand Turk the same time as you. By any chance would have a line on him? Manny Noriega, from Mississauga,Ontario,Canada wrote: Sorry to hear about Norm Shows. I left Antigua Nov. Married 35 years, two daughters, house, etc. Say hi to Larry Smith for me. Where's good ole Leon Wilson Bayles sp?
Jimmy Townsend jwt0 flash. I just found the site. My brother Jesse Townsend, who is also a Range Rat pointed me to it. I have been working in telecommunications all these years. I am currently unemployed, so anyone that knows of a possible job in the Houston, TX area, please contact me. This was in June, hopefully Jimmy has a job by now, anyway see his email address above if you want to contact him.
News from Jack Louthan I contacted him after he signed the RR sign in book, and learned he knew Bud Creech who I knew from Domincan Republic tracking station in and I asked him for further info about Bud and whatever happened to him. Here is what he wrote about Bud: He married a girl from Barbados and eventually bought some considerable amount of property in the Dominican Republic, and went to live there.
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