Avionics News October 2015 - 72

Three of Jerry Gordon's children in the shop:
(from left) Cyndi, Russ and Lance.

MY LIFE IN AVIONICS PART 4
Continued from page 71

manager. I panicked a little prematurely as I was only
about $7,000 in debt. The shop was moved to Pontiac
Airport where I rebuilt it again to fit the surroundings.
This shop didn't meet the expectations of the purchaser. Without any notice, a U-Haul truck appeared
with two men from Cincinnati, who immediately loaded
all the equipment and headed south, leaving me with
an empty room and a few puzzled employees. Before I
realized what happened, my landlord approached and
said he always wanted an avionics shop. He asked
me to price a new one and let him know, along with
my employment requirements. I quoted $35,000 for
the shop and a salary for me, plus a percentage of
the profits along with a company car. I no longer had
given him the figures and he told me to come with him
to choose the car.
That was a great deal for both of us, and we prospered. But I realized how far we were from friends and
family. I decided to quit avionics and move back to our
hometown of Newaygo, Michigan. We sold our house
and headed back home where we rented and I started
my own TV service business. It did well for a while
until the large wholesale warehouses popped up everywhere. Anyone could buy a TV cheaper than I could
buy them at my distributor. The beginning of the end
of the TV repair and sales shops made me think about
avionics again.
I accepted a managerial position at Pontiac Airport
with a Beech distributor. I managed to get myself fired
again by my insubordination. I didn't like to work for
anyone else who thought they knew more about running an avionics shop than I did. In one meeting, I was
asked by the chief executive officer what kind of warranty I offered on avionics repairs. I answered that I of72

avionics news

*

october

2015

An aviation shop operates from what used to be the men's
restroom at Willow Run Airport after the airlines moved.

fered the standard physician's warranty. Nobody knew
what I meant, but it was assumed by the CEO that
physicians didn't give a warranty. If you felt bad after
being treated, you came back and the physician tried
to cure you again, charging you for each visit. I was
trying to say we didn't make the darned boxes, we just
fixed them. That afternoon I was called into his office,
and his secretary handed me an envelope with a final
check. I walked across the ramp to the competitor's
avionics shop and was hired on the spot. I rolled my
toolbox to my new place of employment and finished
the day fixing radios.
I got tired of the Michigan winters and longed for a
warm climate. I was unsure of just where we wanted
to move but narrowed it down to Florida and California. It was Halloween and about to turn cold, so
we were ready to go with no definite prospects of
employment.
We reduced to living in a motor home and drove a
new pickup. I did not know where we were headed but
decided to drive south before we had to make up our
minds. We hitched our pickup behind the motor home
and decided we could go as far south as Indianapolis
before going straight to Florida or turning right toward
California. I stopped at a rest area by Indianapolis
and called a California company for an answer. The
place was run by two brothers, and I was able to talk
to one of them. I told him where I was and wanted to
know which way to go. He asked for the phone number and said he would talk to his brother and call me
back. So I went to the motor home and waited within
hearing range of the pay phone. After quite a while,
the phone rang. I ran to the phone, picking it up on
a run. It was a wrong number. Finally, it rang again.
Sure enough, it was California calling. As I answered
it, a voice told me to get my kicks on Route 66. There
was my answer, and we were California bound. q



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News October 2015

Avionics News October 2015 - Intro
Avionics News October 2015 - Cover1
Avionics News October 2015 - Cover2
Avionics News October 2015 - 1
Avionics News October 2015 - 2
Avionics News October 2015 - 3
Avionics News October 2015 - 4
Avionics News October 2015 - 5
Avionics News October 2015 - 6
Avionics News October 2015 - 7
Avionics News October 2015 - 8
Avionics News October 2015 - 9
Avionics News October 2015 - 10
Avionics News October 2015 - 11
Avionics News October 2015 - 12
Avionics News October 2015 - 13
Avionics News October 2015 - 14
Avionics News October 2015 - 15
Avionics News October 2015 - 16
Avionics News October 2015 - 17
Avionics News October 2015 - 18
Avionics News October 2015 - 19
Avionics News October 2015 - 20
Avionics News October 2015 - 21
Avionics News October 2015 - 22
Avionics News October 2015 - 23
Avionics News October 2015 - 24
Avionics News October 2015 - 25
Avionics News October 2015 - 26
Avionics News October 2015 - 27
Avionics News October 2015 - 28
Avionics News October 2015 - 29
Avionics News October 2015 - 30
Avionics News October 2015 - 31
Avionics News October 2015 - 32
Avionics News October 2015 - 33
Avionics News October 2015 - 34
Avionics News October 2015 - 35
Avionics News October 2015 - 36
Avionics News October 2015 - 37
Avionics News October 2015 - 38
Avionics News October 2015 - 39
Avionics News October 2015 - 40
Avionics News October 2015 - 41
Avionics News October 2015 - 42
Avionics News October 2015 - 43
Avionics News October 2015 - 44
Avionics News October 2015 - 45
Avionics News October 2015 - 46
Avionics News October 2015 - 47
Avionics News October 2015 - 48
Avionics News October 2015 - 49
Avionics News October 2015 - 50
Avionics News October 2015 - 51
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Avionics News October 2015 - 53
Avionics News October 2015 - 54
Avionics News October 2015 - 55
Avionics News October 2015 - 56
Avionics News October 2015 - 57
Avionics News October 2015 - 58
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Avionics News October 2015 - 60
Avionics News October 2015 - 61
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Avionics News October 2015 - 63
Avionics News October 2015 - 64
Avionics News October 2015 - 65
Avionics News October 2015 - 66
Avionics News October 2015 - 67
Avionics News October 2015 - 68
Avionics News October 2015 - 69
Avionics News October 2015 - 70
Avionics News October 2015 - 71
Avionics News October 2015 - 72
Avionics News October 2015 - 73
Avionics News October 2015 - 74
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Avionics News October 2015 - 76
Avionics News October 2015 - 77
Avionics News October 2015 - 78
Avionics News October 2015 - 79
Avionics News October 2015 - 80
Avionics News October 2015 - Cover3
Avionics News October 2015 - Cover4
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