Ed Popielarski has more than 20 years experience in the electronics manufacturing industry. He's worked as an Electronic Test Engineer (Raman scatter spectroscopy and graphics workstation manufacturers), a Senior Manufacturing Engineer for the Burroughs Corporation (now Unisys) and as International Service Manager for the John Treiber Company (manufacturer of soldering and cleaning systems).
I remember when I was a kid ... I went down into my dad's workshop in the basement and took his hammer and nails and a few pieces of wood he kept in my box. I made some incredibly wonderful things in those days. Airplanes and race cars, a few robots and ships. Mysteriously they disappeared by the next time that creative urge struck me. "Where could they have gone?" I wondered after ever so carefully leaving them in the middle of the shop floor among all the bent nails, sawdust and tools. They always seemed to disappear.
Not so long afterwards, we (my friend Peter who lived across the street and I) made a miraculous discovery. We were the first ones on our block, maybe even the whole neighborhood to discover electricity! Armed with our arsenal of potent tools such as an electric sewing machine motor, light sockets, switches, batteries and even a working lionel train transformer, we worked our way to fame if not fortune. Budding radio enthusiasts that we were, we built the neighborhood's first carbon arc radio transmitter after endless hours (or was it minutes) of research in the Funk and Wagnells and Golden Books Encyclopedias. Unfortunately, due to a visit from the local FCC field officer and a harsh word from my folks, our station lost its main sponsor and we terminated our live transmissions. We, to this day, wonder just how far we were broadcasting.
My teen years weren't much different, except most of these technical efforts were now focused on lighting and sound for the garage bands as we headed for stardom. We actually made a few bucks here and there thanks to the sponsorships of my folks once again who funded all of the amps and drums and speakers and lights (and on and on) not to mention transportation, meals and lodging. But, hey, the four of us guys made $50 total that night. Wow, Led Zep move over!
Things aren't much different now either. I still invent these wonderful things that whir and clunk and buzz and flush. I now have my own tools, much bigger and more powerful than my dad ever let me play with. Amazing to me (and a few of my clients as well) these "whiz bangs" we make actually work. And (a note of good faith here to mom and dad) I promise I'll pay you back for all that stuff I took a part when I was a kid...Honest! Dad is still with us, bailing me out when I need a good bailing (everyone does now and then) and my son...well, he's out there in the shop, leaving stuff in the middle of the floor. Sometimes it's frightening to see one's past so clearly in someone else's present. Mom still makes lunch including from time to time those wonderful Pierogies and the world famous kielbasa and Saurkraut.