Another Night at Joe’s


There is one thing true about us, we were definitely … DEFINITELY getting older.

After a bit of a hiatus on the Bear Feed front, I am writing from Pittsburgh, PA where I am attending the October Nadcap meeting.  Nadcap, an aerospace special process quality accreditation program, comes together three times a year to discuss topics to improve the program.  I can drone on for a while longer to explain what that program is and why it could be important, but it’s … well … boring.  There are two things you really need to know:
1) With the exception of what is now called in this group as ‘Mitch’s Alaskan Sabbatical’, I attended these meetings consistently since 2002.
2) Every October they meet in Pittsburgh.  No matter how many times we have done the same thing .. every … fricken … October.
My involvement in Nadcap is as career defining as it comes, and I seem to have visited every hotel and every restaurant in town … just only in October.

Of course, I used to come here with my old company, Cessna Aircraft, and now with my current company, Bodycote, I am here to get beat up and tossed around.  I am not the only one that rolled on, but some of the old guard from Cessna still come to these meetings and others arrive as suppliers to.  Either through legends of working dinners or just out of habit, we have dubbed a Joe’s Crab Shack in the Station Square shopping area the place to get together for some dumb reason.  Since a few of us were still going to be here this week … that’s where we met.

If there were trenches in aerospace special process supplier quality, these were some of the guys I was in those trenches with.  While the glory years are behind us, getting together was a reminder how little changed.  Sure we used to sit around talking more about home improvements and fitness crazes, and now it was more about reading glasses and knee replacements.  Sure we have new team members & new bosses, and some of those we used to work with are spun out like rain off of an umbrella.  Yet when we brought up old stories, it was like they just happened.  When we caught on where we are now, it was like we never left.

So yes, it is another October.  This is another Nadcap meeting.  But last night was just another night at Joe’s.

There is one thing true about us, we were definitely … DEFINITELY getting older.  To steal from a great movie, Waking Ned Devine:  “We grew old together, but there were times when we laughed that we grew younger.”

But we were definitely older.



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