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  • John Fox & Clemon Williams vs. Kern High School District, Whistleblowing to the FBI Re: Garland Purchase Orders, Bakersfield, California, 2013
  • GSA vs. Tremco, Qui Tam Suit, 2013
  • Los Angeles vs. Garland, Re: Bid Collusion, Racketeering, etc., Los Angeles, California, About 1997
  • Quality Tile Roofing vs. Tremco Roofing, Re: False Fraud Charges leveled at Tremco Certified Contractor for not bidding Tremco products at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Boise, Idaho, About 1997

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Pardon the Personal Note: A Tribute

If you are wondering where I got my tenacity, you are looking at him.
May he rest in peace. Ovid Sylvester Campbell, II
June 19, 1928 - August 17, 2008 (b. Grafton, W.Va., d. Atlanta, Ga.)

Named for:
One of his father's brothers, Dr. Ovid Sylvester Campbell of Grafton, West Virginia. Graduate of Johns Hopkins in the early 1900's , he practiced medicine until he was 94 and passed away at 97.

Nickname while he flew at Eastern Airlines in the late 1950's and early 1960's:
Henry Fonda

Favorite Hobbies:
Gardening & Cars

No. of wives:
Two - one our mother, for 27 years, of Swiss/German heritage from Southwestern Pennsylvania, and whose family has contributed much to the United States

The second, a Swede from Chicago, for 26 years, was an artist from the Chicago Art Institute and who ran the Art/Advertising Dept. at Rich's - over 100 year old high-end Department Store in Atlanta, and who passed two years prior to him.

No. of children:
5 plus 3 step (located in 4 states and three countries)

No. of grandchildren:
4 grandsons, two of which speak two languages fluently
4 granddaughters, who speak two languages fluently and live in Europe
All very bright - and one already playing as a professional musician, working out of New York City. That grandson, the oldest of all of them, got into Julliard....
He's on the right, the oldest grandson.....Evan Mazunik....and the Wings' Drummer is on the left.
At a recording session in New York City, Thanksgiving week, 2007.

Ovid passed along the bright genes in the area of arts and technical problem-solving skills; the music and writing talents of some of us come from our mother's side, also just as bright. We are humbly grateful for those gifts, and strive to use our talents to everyone's benefit - and to pass what we can along.

Lockheed Georgia tested him in 1961 at 166. Speaking slow deliberately and putting on a hillbilly accent, they didn't believe it. Second time, he tested at 167. He also had a very fast, imperceptible and smart, witty sense of humor.

Strongest Personality Traits:
Survivor, tenacious, brain that worked like an extremely fast Rubix cube - flying, in fact, to solutions no one else thought of - and funny. Staunch Republican, like the whole family, he kept a Union Civil War rifle that belonged to his great uncles out of the Philippi, W. Va. area in the Civil War - in Atlanta. Under his bed, in fact. Later, he told us that two of his Great Uncles, Union Soldiers from West Virginia, had died at Andersonville, Georgia, during the Civil War.

Influence on our Careers:
Every year, he would take us from Atlanta across the Mason-Dixon Line to West Virginia and Western Pennsylvania to see our considerable family.

One of those first years, when I was 7, he took us to Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia, where our family came from and had been while Thomas Jefferson lived there. He showed us the remarkable inventions of Thomas Jefferson beyond the tour, including some outside of the house and servicing functions within. That was when I knew I wanted to become an architect.

Work: Air Force:
Flew nine passes through the mushroom clouds for Sandia Labs out of New Mexico, at their Nevada test site, C-47 Crew Chief, early 1950's

Martin Aircraft:
Working on research teams, he found himself working circles around guys with Ph.D.'s He left when the owner's son wanted him to help "spirit" supplies out past the guards. (Sound familiar?)

Eastern Airlines:
Pre-Jet Era First training flight up, the 25-year veteran pilot came in 600 feet short of the runway in 6 feet of snow, in a Lockheed Constellation (a "Connie"), at MacArthur Airfield, Long Island, NY, January 1958.

Dad was pinned up against the dash (Flight Engineer) and the firemen got him out just before the flames took hold.

The next day, Eddie Rickenbacker stood by his hospital bedside for the NY Times Photographer to take the picture - for the front page of the paper. Eddie Rickenbacker offered to have him taken care of for life and never having to fly again - and Dad looked at him like he was crazy and turned that offer flat down!

Turned out the photographer, John Radosta, was the son-in-law of Dad's uncle, the Dr. for whom he was named. John Radosta later became the NY Times Sports Editor, and we saw him and his wife whenever they came through Atlanta.

Photos Courtesy of the New York Times

And then there was a second incident, while taxiing for takeoff at LaGuardia Airport on Long Island, New York (now JFK Airport for the younger guys), the left landing gear collapses on them in a Lockheed Galaxy.

Photo Courtesy of the New York Times

Yes, the plane all of a sudden sat down on the ground, when ready for takeoff!

Photo Courtesy of the New York Times

He later told me that the "Queen of Egypt" was on the flight. Well, if there was one, I would believe it. If not, it was his usual wit, as he could have been describing sooooome kind of lady on that plane! (And some of you wonder where I got the wit from!)

Lockheed Georgia:
One of their 72 Worldwide Tech Reps for their C-130's, and partially during the Vietnam War

Posted internationally to:
Capetown, South Africa, during rioting Jerusalem, Israel during the Six-Day War - and turned both down for his family's safety

Posted domestically to:
Wright Patterson AFB (Dayton, Ohio)
Lackawana AFB (Buffalo, NY)
Pope AFB (Fayetteville, NC)

One incident at Pope AFB stands out - other than watching the jado rockets on the backs of C-128's taking off in short runway lengths.

One day, my Dad took us to meet the General at the Base. We walked into the hangar, and met a lot of folks along a very long table, facing us. The General was introduced to each of us. When it got my turn, I looked at him and said, "Are you the man giving my Daddy so much trouble?"

Everyone cracked up as much as they could with those uniforms on, and my Dad almost passed out. I was only 12. Portents of things to come.....

Another incident surrounding his work at Lackawanna AFB really stood out. He brought us up from Atlanta for the summer to Buffalo, New York.

Now if you have lived in both places, you would instantly recognize that this was not a move up. It was the summer of 1971, and we were definitely living way too close to others in those Archie-bunker style houses. We thought we had hit the slums.

He was terrified that we would say the word "Mafia" and we were strictly forbidden from doing so. He said a lot of the civilians at the AFB were - they thought - involved. And he said that they kept trying to get him to join........

Worse, we lived about two blocks from the Western New York Mafia Chief's Funeral Home, where shortly after arriving, a casket shipped from that Funeral Home was found to have two, not one, bodies in it when it arrived in Ohio.

But one day, he took all five of us kids on a trip to the outside of the home of that Western New York Mafia Chief. He drove up in front of that home, with a long white picket fence and a long white frame house set up on the hill (escarpment), lots of green yard up to it....and told us to be quiet and just sit there and look straight ahead.

After about 10-15 minutes, he drove off. And I knew what he had done, later.

He was saying, "I have a family and will not be involved."

In West Virginia-speak, that meant "butt the you know what out" and don't even think about family comes first.....

Never ever mess with a West Virginia hillbilly!

Federal Aviation, Southeast Region:
Retired as a GS 17 - was an Air Carrier Maintenance Inspector.

Delta VP's were screaming bloody murder at the fines levied by the FAA after one of his inspections ($300,000 in the mid-70's) - he could listen to a jet engine and tell what was wrong immediately, brought in on crashes.

He found himself assigned to "tough guys' " airlines...if you get my drift.... the only one willing/able to do it, apparently. They probably had heard about what he did with the repeated invitations to join the "tough guys" at Lackawana AFB............

A number of times, he had to listen to tapes of planes crashing, some of the guys having been ones he had known or flown with at Eastern. It was crushing. He could usually tell what was wrong with the plane if mechanical issues were involved, from the recordings.

But one time, in the late 1970's, he checked out a Southern Airways flight, No. 242, before it took off and headed northwest from the Atlanta Airport to Huntsville, Alabama, turned around and came back to Atlanta. He went across the highway to the FAA Southeast Region headquarters, started typing up the report, and heard it had crashed in bad weather northwest of Atlanta.

I was just getting out of Georgia Tech, last quarter before my first job, and he called, sobbing, at about 3 am. He said that he got to the site and found people walking around, dazed, with their skin peeled off and no clothes...some of the ones who survived. He said he walked over to the engines and looked and knew immediately what had happened. He saw that the moving parts - the fans - in the engines were melted together, not moving.

He suspected what the subsequent investigation showed: without a Flight Engineer on the plane, the Pilot and Copilot did not see that the engines were heating way too much when they applied more fuel and tried to force them to start back up - melting the parts together so that they would never move again.

The problem was that when they flew through the hailstorm, the engines got ingested with hail, stopping the fans from moving, causing the engines to stop in mid-air - and then the parts got melted from the overheating by applying more "fuel to the fire". 

The FAA findings on the same is located on the Aircraft Owners and Pilot Association, here:

Oprah has had the TV reports on air that actually show him walking around at the crash site in a yellow slicker - the same report that he pointed himself out on to us at the time.

About 30 men came to his funeral from the FAA that had been trained by the Tuskegee Airmen - a great honor.

Favorite sayings:
"I never met a vegetable I didn't like!" and could he grow some of the best anyone ever tasted! (He used chicken you-know-what on his tomatoes, the tomatoes called the best-tasting ever by those who ate them!)

His gardens & land:
At the home in Dunwoody, Georgia where he lived (northern suburb of Atlanta) - the tiny azaleas in the yard with 15' diameter azaleas (not shown), and Dogwoods laced through the pines on 2 acres:
Copyright 1991-2009 by Janet C. Campbell
At his farm on the top of a mountain in the lower whip-tail end of the Appalachians, in North Georgia, Fall, 2007:
Copyright 2007 - 2009 by David K. Campbell

With one of his five siblings in the early 1950's:
This is him on the right, to the left in the picture is John Campbell, his younger brother, who had just made the major leagues in baseball out of the Virginia farm teams as a pitcher.

John got very ill with a life-altering disease shortly thereafter and had to leave the game.

They are pictured on the farm they grew up on, where the family were the first white settlers in this area of Virginia in the 1780's, now the eastern part of West Virginia. The farm was sold to family in the 1990's.

Much of the family is buried there, for the past 200 years. Previously, they were in Charlottesville, Va. from the 1720's to the 1780's and before that, in Jamestown, Virgina, where we came to the Americas in the 1680's from Scotland, prior to the Glencoe Massacre in Scotland in the early 1690's.
Church Affiliations:
Born and Raised a Methodist From the early 1950's to the early 1980's, Plymouth Brethren To the end, Mount Paran Road Church of God in Atlanta - a huge congregation.
Copyright 1980-2009 by Janet C. Campbell

The Campbell Family's Methodist Church Near Audra State Park, Volga, West Virginia

May He Rest In Peace

Georgia National Cemetery, Canton, Georgia Copyright 2008 by David K. Campbell Copyright 2008 by David K. Campbell