Russell  Bastian
PO Box 1058
Claremont, NH 03743

Upon leaving Stevens HS with diploma in hand I was  guaranteed aircraft maintenance school with the Navy at Naval Air Station in  Memphis, TN. Five of us from the  class of '61 joined and went to boot camp together. Three of us went to Memphis.

After school I was  stationed in Brunswick, Maine for the rest of my four year term. During the Cuban crisis I was sent to  live and work with the Marines on base.  After the crisis I was put in charge of a DC-3 aircraft and made a lot of  flights on the east coast.

Returning to greater  Claremont in 1965 I worked for the Fellows Gear Shaper Corp. In Springfield, VT,  until the spring of 1966. Very  dissatisfied with wages and the social life, I sold my car and rode my 1952  Harley Davidson out west and settled in Edgerton, Wyoming. It's a small oil field town of 500  people. Edgerton had no running  water and water was purchased by the barrel. I worked six and a half days a week in  the oil field and later worked on a drilling rig up in the Fort Reno area. This paid good but was dangerous  work. With winter coming, working  outside was harder and living alone I found myself up in Kaycee in the bars most  nights. It was time for a  change.

In November, I disassembled  the Harley and put it in the back of my 1950 Mercury and drove forty eight hours  straight to get home.

I went to work for the  world famous Bryant Grinder Corp. in Springfield, VT, as an electrical assembler  and tester. Early on I was laid off  several times and worked with dynamite in Derry, NH, and Sharon, VT building  I89.

At age 27, my long search  for the girl of my dreams came to an end. I married a pretty 20 year old widow named Mary Lou Hagen from Greenbush,  VT.  We've been together for 35  years.  Just after we married we  sold our toys: my '62 Corvette, '52  Harley Chopper, and Mary Lou's '70 Mach 1 Mustang. With the money I bought an old D2  Caterpillar and logged enough lumber off our 80 acre hillside farm to build a  chalet.  It took me 2 years to  finish.

We have 3 great  children. Jim was born in 1974,  Amber in 1975, and Ross in 1980.  We  now have 4 granddaughters, the oldest is 5 years old.

After working many years at  Bryant Grinder, at age 58 I was offered an early pension and severance pay as  part of down sizing. Since retiring  I've finished building our 1932 Chrysler Street Rod, powered by a 440 cubic inch Chrysler V8, bought a custom Fat Boy model Harley Davidson and 2 bigger than life 20 ton D8 Caterpillar tractors made in 1950.  And then there's the ever-changing antique shotgun collection.

Life is good!!