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Adirondack Lifestyle ™: Jun 15, 2008

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day Tribute - John J. Sandone

This seems a tad indulgent, but hey, this is my blog and my dad is the one who taught me to appreciate the outdoors, which is why I live in the Adirondacks. So, it makes sense to mention my father this Father's Day on my Adirondack Lifestyle Blog. My dad used to hunt in the Pine Barrens of Southern New Jersey. In my childhood, fall was marked by the smell of fallen leaves, boiling jam and burning chicken feathers. I recall spending hours in the basement helping him make arrows for the upcoming archery season. He used a hot wire to shape the feathers for the ends of the arrows. He never once brought home a deer. I asked him once why he kept at it since he never got a deer. He said he just liked to be in the woods. Even though I hardly ever got to do it, I knew exactly what he meant. He was a quality engineer for the Defense Department and actually invented a rotary engine on the side. It was one of the first rotary engines patents, like the Wankel. I could almost take a little credit for the engine patent since I was his helper at the design table too, but I was only 6 or so. He had a neat job. He worked on the Apollo moon project. He would go to the contractor's factories and inspect the material and finished products to make sure they were up to US government snuff. He inspected the lunar landing module and other pieces of the Apollo spacecraft. It was so cool as a kid; I had a ton of Apollo project posters and memorabilia, space toys and gizmos. We were allowed to watch anything on TV that had to do with the space project, any time day or night. We were even allowed to have the TV in the dining room if it was on during meals. I am sorry to say my father passed away before we moved to the Adirondacks, but he would have loved it here. By the way, genetics are something else: my dad was an engineer, my father-in-law was an engineer and now my son is an aero and mechanical engineer. Happy Father's Day to all Dads out there. You sure are important.