August 10, 2009
Vol. 15, No. 25
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Reunion Redux

Youth Programs
Evans Foertmeyer '45 (left) chats with Kim Nowack '85 and her daughter, Angela, at the Alumni Reunion Tech Talks.

During Alumni Reunion, I was fortunate to meet many alums from different decades.

First I chatted with Doug Davies '69 and his wife, Kathy '70, about Tech and our respective locations. They live in British Columbia, and we discussed the similarities: climate, snow, and snowmobiling. They were surprised by the amount of snowmobile trails and signage that now cover our region.

I explained that winter tourism also has a large economic impact in the Keweenaw. It should: winter lasts so long!

The Davies were glad to be back in Houghton and were enjoying the lectures of the new Tech Talks feature (more on the talks below).

I also talked and walked with C. Evans Foertmeyer '45, his wife, Rita, and son, Mark. (Coincidently, they knew John Calder '67, one of our awardees at this year's reunion, whom we ran into after the lectures. John was getting the Outstanding Service Award and, like the Foertmeyers, was from Cincinnati.)

Foertmeyer was attracted to Tech because "he always liked tinkering around with metals and building things." As a student, Mrs. Klinghammer, a local businesswoman, asked if they had snow in Cincinnati. He said yes, even "six or seven inches in one storm." Mrs. Klinghammer showed him photos of snow up to second-story windows. He stayed anyway.

He has been a somewhat frequent returnee to Alumni Reunions and remembers returning several years after graduating and having a former landlord, Helen Fournier, remember him.

After graduating, Evans worked in several interesting jobs, including one with General Electric when they were experimenting with a nuclear-propelled aircraft. "They stopped the project just as we were getting it off the ground," he said.

He finished his career with twenty-six years at Cincinnati Milacron, where he put his metallurgy degree to use, including a focus on coatings. He asked Kim Nowak '85 about the coatings on the Mackinac Bridge after her Tech Talk. (They use a zinc-based product.)

Walking across campus, the Foertmeyers were impressed with Fisher's renovated lecture halls and classrooms and were similarly fond of Rekhi Hall, especially the second-floor footbridge between Rekhi and the library.

"They are tearing these down in Cincinnati," Rita said as we walked through it. I told her they did the same in Houghton, improving the skyline in the process.

Overlooking the reading room in the library also brought positive reactions, as did the wide open spaces of the library. In the middle of the campus mall, we paused before they entered the Memorial Union Building.

"I can't believe this is my old school," Evans said, looking up at the Smith ME-EM Building, Chem-Sci, and the EERC. "It's still yours," I said, as I left them. "Welcome back."

More at Reunion

I caught up with Jim Gerdeen '59 former ME-EM faculty member. After getting his bachelor's at Tech, he went to Stanford for a PhD, then returned to teach at Tech in 1968.

"I was most proud of the great engineering background I received here," he said. "I remember the great teachers: Art Weaver, Don Dickson. They wanted us to learn and they helped us grow as engineers."

Jim is currently an adjunct professor for a couple of Missouri universities and helps Chinese and Korean students with translations.

I also ran into Rom LaPointe '92 at the MUB. The former president of the Alumni Association had met the new humanities department chair, Ron Strickland, and he was impressed.

Tevin"He'd like to use the STC advisory board to develop new opportunities, such as internships and mentoring relationships for our current students," Rom said. He said he'd like to offer input from the business side of communications. We remember Rom in our department as a former student employee and a good one. Time flies.

I also saw Sally Heidtke '81 and her husband, Dean, Saturday. They were on their way to the canoe trip down the Sturgeon River, another fairly new, exciting addition to Alumni Reunion. (More in Alumni Around the World.)

Finally, on Saturday, my wife and I toured the Tech Trails on mountain bikes, with our student guide, Mike. It was set up by the Outdoor Adventure Program folks, who rent the bikes and helmets. It was a misty, grey, and foggy Saturday morning, but touring the trails in the quiet was an absolute pleasure.

Along for the ride in our group was Sue Krienen '79, a chem engg grad who is general manager for a Shell refinery in Washington state and Joe Schmidt '89, a math grad currently living in Texas.

We survived two loops on the hilly terrain, until we opted to relax for the rest of Saturday. We brought fellow rider Tevin Leggs, Class of 2013 (left), back to Wads. He is just starting his chemical engineering academic career this fall, and it was nice to end the weekend with a future Tech alum.

Hope to see you next year.

Dennis '92, '09

At Tech

Belly Laughs All Around: The '59ers Remember

It started with certificates and pins awarded to the Class of 1959 as they joined the Golden M's: fifty years or more since graduating. As digital cameras flashed, Harold Seppala hollered, "Got any Brownie Hawkeyes?" "You’re dating yourself, Harold!" was the reply among laughs. More

Tech Talks I: Wolves and Moose on Isle Royale

Alumni on campus for the reunion had a couple of lectures to sit through, but they weren't sweating a pop quiz or solving tough calculations. Instead, they were treated to a celebration of a natural ecosystem and of engineering solutions to a natural barrier. At the first Tech Talks session, Research Professor Rolf Peterson (SFRES) shared his wolf-moose research. To a packed Fisher 139, Peterson talked about the 50 years of research and how "there are no patterns in the wolf and moose population fluctuations." He says, "The work is really about the understanding of nature." More

Tech Talks II: The Mighty Mac

Kim Nowak '85 talked about the Mackinac Bridge, of which she is chief engineer. Nowack started her talk with the reason for the bridge: those insane lines of cars and the 18-hour wait for a ferry ride across. More

Chili Challenge Chefs Square Off over Beans and Meat

It's hot enough that your tastebuds will yell "timber," claimed Amy Sikkila, of the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science (SFRES), of her Chainsaw Chicken Chili. Apparently the chili-eating public and the experts agreed with her. The School's Chainsaw Chicken Chili took first place in both the People's Choice Awards and the Experts Honors at the 2009 Chili Cook-Off during Alumni Reunion Friday. More

Tech Offers Free Course for Auto Engineers on Next-Generation Hybrid, Battery Technologies


Auto engineers will be able to take a free graduate course in advanced vehicle technologies being taught in the Detroit area this fall by Michigan Technological University. The 3-credit class is offered in cooperation with the Engineering Society of Detroit and AVL, a developer of powertrains and vehicle simulation and test systems based in Plymouth. More

More info here:

Tech Alumnus named Vice President at General Motors

Terry Woychowski '78 has been named vice president, global vehicle program management, for General Motors Corporation. Woychowski was previously executive director, global vehicle chief engineers, acting as chief engineer for GM's full-size pickups and sport-utility vehicles, and for the past four years he has led the regional chief engineers.

"The new GM leadership team includes people who have excelled in every area of the auto business, in every region of the world," said GM CEO Fritz Henderson. "This new GM team's experience is unmatched, and it will be invaluable as we renew our commitment to building and selling great cars and trucks and serving the needs of customers around the globe."

ME-EM Department Chair Bill Predebon said of Woychowski: "Terry is a recognized leader and excellent choice for the team to help transform GM into the next generation leading automotive manufacturer. Terry has also shared his leadership skills with Michigan Tech through his involvement with the mechanical engineering senior capstone design program and through the College of Engineering External Advisory Committee."

"I look forward to this great opportunity to help lead General Motors to new heights of success and prosperity," Woychowski said. "The engineering education that I received at Michigan Tech has always served as the firm foundation of my work and I am sure will continue to do so in this new capacity."

Woychowski has worked with GM for more than 29 years. He earned a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering, completed postgraduate studies at Wayne State University, and attended the Global Executive Development Program at the Duke University School Of Business. He has received numerous awards from GM over the years, and, in 2003, he received an Honorary Doctorate in Business Management from Indiana Wesleyan University.

At Michigan Tech, Woychowski is a member of the ME-EM Academy and recently sponsored a Michigan Tech Senior Design team that created a bicycle-powered mill to help African villagers grind grain for food.

Tech Receives $3 Million in Federal Stimulus Funds

Michigan Tech will receive nearly $3 million in federal stimulus funds to develop an interdisciplinary educational program to train engineers and technicians to design and build the next generation of hybrid electric vehicles. The $2.98-million grant is part of $2.4 billion in awards under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, announced Thursday by President Barack Obama. Vice President Joe Biden was in Detroit to announce that more than $1 billion of the grants will go to companies and universities in Michigan, more than any other state. More

Alumni Around the World

Alumni Enjoy Outdoor Adventures at Reunion!

western michiganAlumni Reunion activities organized by Outdoor Adventure Programs (OAP) on Saturday gave alumni and friends a chance to enjoy the wonderful recreational opportunities in the Keweenaw. Alumni willing to brave the light drizzle participated in the Bike the Tech Trails and the Canoe the Sturgeon River outings in the morning. Later in the day, twenty-two alumni and friends participated in a second canoe trip (featuring Kevin Grzelak '89 and Ed Eiswerth '77 below) and nineteen in the waterfall tour (above, clickable for larger image). The tour, led by Jared Johnson, director of student activities, enjoyed a cookout at Great Sand Bay. Thanks to OAP staff—Chris Nightingale, Nick, Brian, Mike, and Bryant—for making the outings so much fun!


Fill in the Blanks

Funky's Karma Cafe
Funky's Karma Cafe grand opening in the 1970s. Remember this vegetarian cafe? Email me.

Fill in the Blanks II: K-Day VBall 1996

mtsf and President Stein
We believe this is 1996. Were you there? It is clickable. Email me.
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Tech Sports

Michigan Tech Names Gonzalez Head Volleyball Coach

Michigan Tech Director of Athletics Suzanne Sanregret today announced the hiring of 17-year coaching veteran Orlando Gonzalez as the volleyball program’s sixth head coach. Gonzalez, whose wide array of experience in coaching includes NCAA Divisions I and II, high school and club, officially began his duties Friday (Aug. 7). Gonzalez spent last season as an assistant volleyball coach at Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference member Northwood University, where he helped the Timberwolves to a GLIAC South Division Championship and NCAA Tournament berth. More

Tech Picked Third in GLIAC Preseason Football Poll

The 2009 Michigan Tech football team has earned its highest Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches Poll ranking in program history. The Huskies appear at third in the poll, which was released in conjunction with today’s GLIAC Media Day Luncheon at the Doubletree Hotel. Tech trailed only Grand Valley State (1st, 121 points) and Ashland (2nd, 107), both of which earned trips to the NCAA Playoffs last year. The Huskies tallied 94 points in the poll. More

2009 Sports Hall of Fame Class Announced

Michigan Tech will enshrine seven new members into its Sports Hall of Fame during induction ceremonies scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 7. The induction class of 2009 includes former football player Don Boldt, former hockey player and coach Herb Boxer, former women’s basketball player D.J. Evans, former sports information director Dave Fischer, former cross country and track athlete Chris Klaes, major contributor John Opie and former football player and wrestler Ron Ray. More

Around the Keweenaw

Five Arraigned on ATF Charges: Selling Cigarettes Illegally

Five Copper Country men were arraigned in U.S. District Court Thursday on charges of defrauding several states of millions in excise tax through a contraband tobacco and trafficking network. Arrested Wednesday were Joseph Fish, 42, of Baraga; Garrick Lamb, 30, of Baraga; Jay Lewis, 50, of Atlantic Mine; Joseph Romano, 48, of Toivola; and John Varline, 42, of Baraga. More

Hancock to get $8.2 Million in Stimulus Funding

Money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is coming to Hancock to help the city improve its sewer and water infrastructures. On Monday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the award of $155 million in grants and loans from its Rural Development program to communities in 15 states and Puerto Rico. According to the announcement, Hancock will get $3.317 million in loans and $4.883 million in grants. More

Downtown Construction on Schedule

It's business as usual for Bacco Construction, Inc. of Iron Mountain and Arrow Construction, Inc. of Negaunee as they make progress on Shelden Avenue in downtown Houghton. Construction Superintendent Mike Momont said this past week went well and he is still hopeful of wrapping by the scheduled Nov. 6 completion date. "We're still on schedule - probably just a little ahead," Momont said. More

From the Email Bag

The Blue Goose


The very first airplane ride I ever took was in September, 1968 on a North Central DC-3—as I left Garden City for my freshman year at Tech.

As I recall, the trip took almost 6 hours in total, with stops in Lansing,
Grand Rapids, Green Bay, Menominee, and Iron Mountain before reaching CMX.

I sat in a portion of the plane where there were "facing" seats, with two
seats facing forward and two facing rearward. All four of us sitting in the this area on one side of the aisle were freshmen headed to Houghton, and it was the very severe banked turn into the Menominee airport that I remember most from the trip.

It was a very severe turn, and one the guys sitting with us got sick. He got it all in the paper bag, but the sound of him retching (and the smell) set off a chain reaction, as several other people on board also became sick almost immediately thereafter. I managed to keep everything down, but I did feel terrible for about five minutes. Maybe it was the sickly teal interior color scheme that made it worse!

Just about 41 years--and at least 2 million frequent flyer miles later--I still remember that flight as well as almost any I've been on. And, it's the only time I've ever seen anyone use the paper bags for airsickness. Many of us miss "Herman" the Blue Goose, who graced the tail of North Central
planes--and later was the symbol adopted by Republic when North Central and Southern merged. Look for for more about North Central's history.

Best wishes,
Mike Anleitner '72

Mike (and the many, many others): Thanks for the great note(s). As you'll see, I misidentified the plane (Convair, not DC-3), but I, too, remember the puddle jumping days: 6 stops to Detroit!


Actually it is a picture of a Convair 580. My mother worked for United Airlines and I was able to get $5.00 standby tickets for North Central. I probably flew from Detroit to Houghton and back at least 10 times.

Bond Milton


as i recall, the plane shown is a convair. they were originally piston engine powered. north central had them refurbished and re-powered with allison (i believe) turbo props. there was a large increase in power, reduced fuel consumption and the interior came out like new.

the DC3 was a tail dragger not tir-cycle landing gear. north central also used DC3's but i believe they were replaced by the convairs.

Bruce G. Kelly 60 68,69


This was one way I got to Da Tech other than the Copper Country Limited! I caught the train from Cleveland, OH to Chicago and then the midnight CCL to Houghton. Later I got a car.

Jack Sigler BSME '73


In Jan of 1978 myself and Paul Crowley flew from Detroit Metro to Hancock Airport on what was then called the "milk run" aboard the "Blue Goose". We must have stopped at least 6 times in route to Hancock. It was our high school senior year and the first flight both of us had been on. We both ended up at Mich Tech and graduated in spring of 1983.

Brian Burtka '83


If my memory is correct during my years at MTU North Central ran Convair 440's which were piston engine planes and later converted them to 580 turbo props. I believe the picture is a 440.

All service was via Green Bay and stops were made at different airports between Green Bay and CMX.

A trip from Detroit to Houghton County would often include stops in Lansing, Grand Rapids, change planes in Green Bay and at least another stop in the UP before Houghton.

Eric Peterson 1970


Other aviation-smart alumni may correct me on this, but I don't believe the picture is a DC-3. I remember them having big radial piston engines, rather than turboprop, and I can picture them leaning back on a tail wheel, rather than level with front gear as shown.

Whatever the case, my DC-3 Blue Goose flight memory is that of a company paid interview trip in the spring of 1964, job hunting before graduation. On the return to Houghton, there were few passengers on the aircraft, and little for the lone stewardess to do. So I moseyed to the back of the plane to talk to her. Before landing, she gave me a whole handful of the little cigarette sample packs of the day. (I was an unenlightened smoker at the time.) Learning that Houghton was the end of the line for her, I asked if she'd like to go out that night. Unfortunately, she was already spoken for
by the pilot.

Good memories. See you at the reunion.

Larry Doyle
Class of 1964


A not so fond memory of the Blue Goose was arriving late at night in a terrible lightning storm. There was only one or two others on the plane and we flew through turbulence, lightning and thunder in the total darkness.It was a lonely scary feeling. By the way, the plane in the picture is a Convair turbo-prop and not a DC3.

Larry Watson 51


That's a Convair 580 in photograph, not a DC-3. Actually, it was a very comfortable airliner with roomy seats, even though they vibrated quite a bit.

Steve Benesh


I don't remember DC-3 on North Central Airlines, but I definitely remember the noisy, rattly Convair 580 turboprops in the late 1970's. I flew on several of these to Green Bay for interview trips in 77-78.

By the way, only a very few DC-3's were turboprops - the vast majority of them were reciprocating prop planes. The aircraft shown on the Techalum site is definitely NOT a DC-3; they were "tail-draggers", where it had two underwing gear and a tail wheel, not a nose-wheel. It's most likely one
of those Convair 580's.

This was in the very last days of North Central Airlines, before they became Republic Airlines in 1979. Republic was then acquired by Northwest in 1986.

Charles Rogers '78


Just wanted to point out that the photo of the North Central Airlines aircraft in the last Newsletter is incorrectly labeled. It doesn't look like a DC-3 (as the DC-3 did not have nose gear, but a tail wheel), but looks to me like it is probably a Convair (either 340 or a 580) aircraft.

Although I am too young to have seen the Blue Goose in the air, I thought I would send this along your way regardless.

Craig Van Someren '03 Chemistry


The aircraft in the photo is a Convair 580. I flew many time from Houghton to Chicago and back on these planes.

They were known as 'Flying Beer Cans' and as I recall, there was no cost or a minimal charge, like twenty-five cents for a 12 ounce can of lager depending on the friendliness of the flight attendant. It was usually a 4 beer trip - 2 from Chicago to Green Bay -- sometimes stopping in Milwaukee, and 1 each from Green Bay to Iron Mountain, and Iron Mountain to Houghton. I remember a party flight where there were about 3 of us terminating in Houghton, plus the flight crew. It was a five hour flight versus an eight hour drive in good weather.

Just one of those things we remember about traveling to and from MTU,

Jeff Rendall '71'


The airplane pictured is a Convair Turbo Prop. DC-3's were tail draggers and were not turbo props, just plain old fashioned rotary piston engines.

Ned Aldridge
MSME 1973


Flew that airline many times in the early 70s to get back to NY. Don't remember how many stops there were from Houghton to

Detroit, but Green Bay was definitely one. One Christmas break we landed in Green Bay and the plane basically disappeared in the snow due to the prop wash. Was not sure the flight would continue on to Detroit as there was about 16 inches of snow on the runway. We did make it to
Detroit and I actually made my connection to Albany. I think that today, those flights may have been cancelled.

Mark Walter (75)



My first plane ride was a North Central Convair 580 turbo prop in Lake Central paint. It must have been pulled out of the standby line for Thanksgiving of ’68. IIRC, the plane fare was $72 RT Houghton to Grand Rapids & return. I'm pretty sure the photo is a Convair 580; the DC-3’s were
tail draggers.

Tom Byle, BSCE, Class of 72


I remember North Central Airlines, and they did fly the DC-3 for a while, but the aircraft in the picture can't be a DC-3. The DC-3 is a tail dragger. I believe the aircraft in the picture is a Convair 580.

Joel Wagenaar
Class of '68


Oops, Dennis, that photo is not a DC-3 which is a tail-dragger. It is a Convair 580T. I rode the 580T from Grand Rapids to Houghton one time while a friend carried my fall term baggage in his car. I remember how hard the stewardess (in 1970 they were still called that) tried to pronounce Menominee and managed men-o-min-ee. That was my first trip on an a commercial plane.

By the way, does anyone remember the MTU flying club? We had a Cessna 150 and a Tri-Pacer in 1968 but hardly ever had weather good enough to use them.

Rick Hole
BSEE 1972


580Dear Dennis;
You are correct on the Convair. After I sent my answer to you I Googled "North Central Airlines" and saw that they used Convair 330/440's beginning in 1959 and then later converted them to turbo-prop Convair 580's beginning in late 1966. See attached photo (left).

When I went on-line to check on the "Electra", I saw that it was a 4 engine plane that was prone to frequent crashes. One crashed down here in Texas in 1968, for instance, another crashed at Chicago's O'Hara Airport, they said.

Thanks for the good work you do on the Mich Tech Alumni Newsletter. I look forward to receiving each edition and they bring back many fond memories of my time up at Tech.

Frank Zakshesky, '66


I believe that the plane shown in the latest MTU Alum Newsletter is a Convair 580, not a DC-3.

Best regards,
Bob Winn (class of '79)


I remember that old rattletrap well. I got on in GR to Green Bay and then where it went in the UP was inconsistent. Usually Marquette and then Calumet but not always. Always worried on a bad day if the pilot couldn't see the highway to "navigate." I don't think they bothered to install electronics in the aircraft.

It was a Convair. Don’t remember the model number. My recollection is they went to DC-9s just before they got bought up by Northwest. But, my memory is what it used to be and that could have already been Northwest when that happened. Just remembered I was very unhappy GR got dropped out of the route and I had to fly to MSP to get to Calumet.

The last flight (as a student) was from Calumet to Milwaukee (via Green Bay) for a job interview in the spring of 74.

Martin Vonk


Remember the Blue Goose well, but I believe the plane is a Convair, not a DC-3

Ken Kreckel '74



Gloria and I had our first flight on the Blue Goose in the winter of 58-59. It was the first leg of a trip to Elizabeth New Jersey to interview with Standard Oil of New Jersey at the invitation of Tech Alum Niel Hakola. I forget why we did not make our connection in Chicago and arrived late for the interview after an overnight red-eye on a TWA Electra.The trip home erased any memories of the trip out.

At Iron Mountain, we made several attempts to "find" the airport and runway in a snowstorm. The process seemed to involve repeated passes in the general area until the tower heard the plane and directed it closer. Another pass and the tower was spotted, and then the next pass and a little Kentucky Windage brought us near enough to the runway to land. We made two attempts from there and could not "find" Houghton or Marquette. In the wait for the third, a bus was offered as an option. I asked. "What are the chances of the plane getting to Houghton this time."

The answer should have been expected. "It has to get to Houghton, it has to leave from there in the morning."

We took the plane and it landed under a star filled winter sky. On the way home we again drove through near whiteout conditions.

Mel Visser


The photo caption is half-right. The airline was North Central, but that aircraft was a Convair 580 propjet.

George Hermanson


I can remember well my first ride on one of the North Central DC-3's. I was 2 weeks old in the Summer of 1960 then Mom & I flew from Hancock down to Grandma's house in Lansing.

The picture you show is actually one of the "Blue Goose" Convair 580's that came in the late 60's, not a DC-3 (which are easy to tell because the DC-3 had the small tail-drag wheel, so the noses pointed up into the air.) The Convair's are the ones that I can actually remember. as a kid what
was great about them was that the first two rows faced each other with a table between. Back then, you could get a free deck of cards, so the whole family would sit at the table and play cards to burn the time. For a kid it was great fun. (A long way from Nintendos and i-Pods.) They used to have three flights a day to Hancock, all were milk runs stopping at many of the little towns from the Dakotas to the Soo. It seemed like there were about a half-dozen stops to get down state.

My Dad's family owned the farm that became the Ironwood airport in the 50's, and my Dad used to work for North Central at the Ironwood station for a couple of his Summers during his college years. He used to always tell stories about having to bale hay on the side of the runway.

A few related links:

Luke Reini


As i recall the plane pictured is not a DC-3 . The DC-3 is a tail-dragger & does not have Turbo - Props . I had many rides in C-47's while on active duty in the Air Force in 1954-55 . The C-47 is a first cousin of the DC-3 and was a tail-dragger. Ah the memories !

George L. Schutte , Class of 1953 , Mining Engineering


I must correct the caption on the picture of the Blue Goose in the latest edition of the newsletter. That is not a DS-3. It's a Convair C-580. A bit newer vintage than the venerable DC-3.

Doug Davies '69


I remember those planes early in my Tech experiences. I flew on the Blue Goose to Women In Engineering 1976 with a group of people speaking in a different language. I was surprised and wondered what type of area I was flying into. I realized a few days later they were traveling to report on the president of Finland's speech at the Hockey Center. My first trip to Tech was also memorable as a city girl from Pittsburgh. I wasn't concerned about traveling alone and making my connections through Chicago. I started to worry when we taxied towards the one room Hancock airport. I was relieved to find someone waiting for me.

A few years later on my way back from Christmas break, one of the engines stopped from the extreme cold. I noted it and kept talking to my fellow passenger. I guess after a winter at Tech, you adjusted to whatever happened due to the weather!

I won't be attending our 25th Alumni Anniversary due to my involvement earlier this summer with WIE 2009 so I wish everyone a good time!

Needless to say the Blue Goose was instrumental in introducing me to my wonderful and challenging time at Tech! Thanks for the memories!

Debby Gregorius Kozol '84



Dennis that seems to be a Convair 580 (CV580) NOT a DC 3.... The only Turbo prop DC3 is a retro fit from Bassler Flight service in Oshkosh and never saw airline service ... a North Central DC-3 (728) is in the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn albeit it is now in Northwest colors. Also a DC 3 was a tail dragger.

No it wasn't a Blue Goose .. It was Herman the Mallard Duck known for its swift flight guided by the sun during the day and the Moon at night (hence the circle around Herman) In 1986 when Northwest bought Republic, The Republic Employees erected a tombstone honoring Herman
on the front lawn of the old Republic General Offices in Minneapolis.

My father was a 40 year Employee of North Central / Republic / Northwest, who was stationed in The Soo, Menominee and Green Bay.

One gentlemen that worked CMX (Houghton / Hancock) for North Central / Republic / Northwest was Mr. Samuelson. (His daughter is now the CMX Station manager for Mesaba) My Father and Mr Samuelson started together in the Soo in 1960 and our families were close for years.

As a dependent of an employee I was able to fly back and forth from Houghton to Menominee on the weekends for $5 each way. That Flight made the "Milk run" from Houghton to Detroit via Iron Mountain or Marquette or Escanaba / Menominee / Green Bay / Grand Rapids.

I was on a flight on which Mel Blanc was leaving Houghton ... He had the entire flight laughing on the floor with an "Irreverent" Bugs Bunny responding to the Flight Safety instructions on the Convair 580
flight to Detroit.

On another flight to Houghton we overflew Iron Mountain because there was no one getting off nor getting on. so on a crisp september afternoon the Pilot flew at 5000 feet to Houghton and we made a couple of circles over clearings in which were 100's of deer. The pilot made a left hand circle and then a right hand so each side of the aircraft could get a look.

Lots of stories and lots of rides since my first ride at the age of 3 in a Lockhead 10a ...

Scott D Hartz


Dennis, I remember those planes well. They were Convair 340/440's (See and they made three daily trips to Chicago with various stops such as Marquette, Iron Mountain and always Green Bay which was an early hub. Planes from Detroit, Minneapolis, Chicago, Houghton were scheduled to land at 5 minute intervals, exchange passengers and mail and then take off to their planned
destinations. The bar in the Green Bay airport was quite a gathering place in those days since many of the flights included tech students on an interview trip and recruiters from companies coming from and going to Houghton. 1966-1967 was a prime time to be getting a graduate degree in Nuclear Engineering. I had more than 20 interview trips and 17 job offers to choose from.

I also recall one time in the spring of 1967 when my wife, who taught at Houghton Elementary, was going downstate for spring break. We arrived for the morning flight from Houghton, changing in Green Bay for Grand Rapids and she was the only schedule passenger leaving Houghton that morning. The pilot came into the terminal and escorted her out to the plane. I have never seen
that kind of service since even though I have recorded over two million miles as a passenger on commercial airliners.

Ken Kok '64


DC-3's were tail draggers.

My first airline flight was to MTU from Allentown, PA in 1970. The Chicago to Houghton flight was in one of those Convair 580's with five stops (as I recall). One of the legs was only a 15 minute flight.

From 1973 I took a number of flights on the Blue Goose including being the last flight out of Cincinnati (because of snow), and landing nearly sideways (or so it seemed) in Philadelphia. They were tough planes and the pilots knew their limits.

By 1974 the first flight from Houghton in the morning was on a DC 9 that had set there all night. In the winter the tires had a flat spot from the cold. We'd taxi with a thump, thump, thump, until they warmed up.

Thanks for the memory!

Jan G. Nelson, P.E.


Not to pick at nits but that is not a DC-3. It is a piston powered Convair. The Convair was later retrofitted with Allison turboprops. The DC-3's which North Central operated were all piston powered and "tail draggers"-no nose wheel.

Bill Niggemyer 1969


The plane in the picture is not a DC 3 which was a tail dragger. The plane in the picture was a turboprop that North Central flew after the DC 3. I flew in a DC 3 for the first time returning from a job interview in Milwaukee in March of 1953.

Jim Fagan '53


I remember taking this plane once from Grand Rapids and couldn't believe it stopped in Muskegon (among many other cities). A man about 40 sat next to me and as we were landing in Hancock, he kept looking out the window then at me, made me a bit uncomfortable. Finally he asks me where
he was. He was supposed to get off at Iron Mountain. Poor guy. So then he asked about a hotel. The Blue Goose didn't return that night, but I guess the ride was smooth enough for him to sleep the whole flight anyway.

And then there was the special "taxi" service that included the always friendly, always smiling face of Doc Olsen. Wasn't sure how I was getting to Tech until I saw these familiar faces.

Jennifer Johnson Kilgore 83


The plane in the picture is not a DC-3. It's probably a Convair. The DC-3 had a tail wheel while the Convair had a tricycle gear which kept the tail up. I think I've flown a lot of miles (long ago) in both aircraft.

Dave Funston '60

Dave: You were first!

Pie Chart

Subject: Finally!......... An Absolutely Reliable Pie Chart

Frank Shoffner

Corps of Engineers Testing at Tech?


My dad worked at the Detroit Tank Arsenal from 1952 to 1980. I would guess it was 1973 or 74 when he suggested I go up to the Houghton airport, where the arsenal had a testing facility, to see about employment. Perhaps the Tacom (Tank Automotive Command)/Atac facility is what Mr. Hanson was thinking about.

Ken Hafeli 1977

Golf Outing at Grand Rapids Country Club

Chas Thompson from Schmoz Brewery has announced a golf scramble Sunday, August 30, at Grand Rapids Country Club. The event costs $60 per person and includes 18 holes, cart, and lunch. More

Featured Alumni Benefits

Husky Blend Coffee

Husky Blend Coffee—hand-roasted and custom-blended especially for Michigan Tech alumni and friends. Support the Michigan Tech Alumni Association with the rich taste of Husky Blend coffee. Proceeds from the sale of this coffee support the Michigan Tech Alumni Association's programs for alumni and students. Husky Blend coffee comes in a wide variety of flavors from medium to dark roast including fair-trade organic (regular and decaf). Enjoy a cup of superior coffee today and walk proud knowing that every cup of Husky Blend coffee supports your alma mater.

Try some today! Visit and choose Michigan Tech—Husky Blend from the drop down menu and place your order.


More Alumni Benefits & Services information

Class Rings
Diploma Frames
License Plates
University Images Michigan Tech Clothing and Giftware

Job Opportunities

On Campus

Tenure-Track Assistant Professor, Cognitive and Learning Sciences

Tenure-Track Assistant/Associate Professor, Cognitive and Learning Sciences

Occupational Safety and Health Specialist, Occupational Safety and Health Services

Application Programmer, Enterprise Application Services

Michigan Tech Transportation Coordinator, Michigan Tech Transportation Institute

Assistant Grants Analyst, Research and Sponsored Programs

Coordinator, African American Outreach, Multicultural Affairs

Assistant to the Director of Human Resources, Human Resources

Senior Research Scientist II, Michigan Tech Research Institute (Based in Ann Arbor)

Complete Job Descriptions are available on the Human Resources website.

Off Campus