Michael Lloyd Rench

Profile Updated: November 9, 2012
Residing In: Malitbog 6603, Abra Philippines
Occupation: Retired Engineer
Children: None
Military Service: USMC  
Yes! Attending Reunion
School Story:

It’s really hard to know how to start, especially after reading so many idyllic biographies by my fellow classmates. It seems everyone succeeded in business, is euphoric about life and rolled over rocky roads with Firestone 500 tires.
There is nothing sugar coated here so you might find it too harsh for general reading. In the library it would be listed under non-fiction instead of fantasy.
After graduation I Joined the Marine Corps. The Marines taught me more in thirteen weeks than I ever learned at home. It was short lived however as the previous self-inflicted gunshot wound I received in high school resulted in early discharge.
I never had trouble finding a job and was hired by Winchester Western in research and development. Finding a job wasn’t the same as holding one though and before long I had worked at Olin, Smith & Wesson, Alcan, Propellex, Alton Box Board, Owens Illinois and Grafton Boat Company. I was an inventor/designer much in demand and at thirty-three left the Alton area for good. I attended SIU twice on probation, Washington University for a semester and St. Louis University for the same length of time. I got an Associate Degree from Wood River Technical Institute (SIU) in Electronics; however electron tube theory didn’t do much to further my career.
I left Alton under cloak of darkness in my CJ-5 pulling a two wheel trailer ahead of numerous creditors and a bitter divorce;I headed west and was soon designing gold mining equipment for Denver Equipment Co. A year later I was Sr. Tool Engineer at Ampex in Colorado Springs.
I taught Fluid Power at Arapahoe Community College for a while. Three students were there because their companies said they had to be. Two students didn’t have any other place to sleep and at least five were there to show the teacher they knew more than he did. One evening I left at break time and never went back.
I left a week later for Phoenix with my friend Doris, an eighteen year old draftsperson I met at Ampex. She introduced me to a completely different kind of life. We rented a house in Chandler and started working high pay contract jobs. I got her a job everywhere I went and at nineteen she was making $15 an hour. We spent time between jobs in Mexico. We’d drive to Tijuana, take a bus about three hundred miles into Baja and at a spot where the Pacific was about three miles away we would get off and hike to the ocean. We found a pristine, secluded beach with an alcove and set up camp. Two cans of cat food tossed into the calm water in the evening attracted seafood indroves and it was just a matter of snorkeling down to a seafood smorgasbord. Lobster and crab and shrimp were available in quantities we couldn’t eat. We made a fire and roasted everything on skewers. Abalone became a favorite.I went back almost every year for fifteen years. While in the Phoenix area, I worked for Goodyear Aerospace, Motorola and White Rogers designing pyrotechnic devices, mainly proximity bomb fuses and arming devices.
We got back to Chandler after that first trip to find that I had been sued by Arapahoe for tuitions in the amount of $5808.00.
I got my Private Pilot license when I was twenty-one and flew regularly until I was forty-three. I flew an American Eagle ultra-light for two years before I gave up flying completely. Every time I went up I got into trouble with the weather. I got into huge thunder storms, whiteout fog and once had to do a 720 overhead by instruments from 15,000 feet coming out just 500 feet over Cuba, Missouri.I flew radio control airplanes all my life and joined a club everywhere I went.
I moved to California when I was forty and bought a 41 foot gaff ketch and lived at Jack London Square in Oakland. Again jobs were hard to keep because being out on the boat was much more fun than working. Very few had my diverse pyrotechnic/explosives background and the job offers were unending. I lived on Natural Lite and wine coolers. It’s just the boating life. During that time I worked on the launch system for the MX Missile .At 42 I suffered a severe injury, spent a week in intensive care in Kaiser Redwood City and another three weeks in a private room.With little money I caught a Greyhound to Alton Where I spent three months recuperating. I was called out of my sick bed to go back to California to work on the E2-C Hawkeye. Rather than ask my parents for money I hitch hiked cross country. When I walked out the door my dad handed me a bag of quarters. I turned it into several hundred dollars when I passed through Nevada.I worked at Randtron Systems in Menlo Park for four years. It was unprecedented. I bought a 28 foot Columbia sailboat, lived on it again at Jack London Square and made four more trips back to that special beach in Baja.
I was forty-three when I got this insatiable urge to travel. I sold everything and went to the Bahamas. From there I went to Hawaii, So. Korea, Indonesia, and finally the Philippines where I met and married my wife of twenty-six years. It took a year to get her to the United States after which life changed. In a couple years we owned a nice home in Richmond, Virginia. Five years later we bought another home in Richland, Washington where I was working at the old WWII nuclear facility called Hanford. British Nuclear Fuels had the contract, lost it for questionable reasons and needless to say I lost my job. I worked at the Fast Flux Test Facility for another two years until one morning some airplanes flew into the World Trade Center.
We held out for two years before filing bankruptcy. We held onto the houses, but with no job and no one buying, we lost those too.
I was sixty-one when I got a call from British Nuclear Fuels to work on another contract. I put all my money into property I had bought in Viola, Arkansas. I made almost a hundred and fifty thousand dollars that last year. I applied for Social Security and headed for Arkansas.
I had just finished the roof, had fallen off the ladder and was sitting in the shade watching my ankle swell when Julie called to ask if I would consider moving to the Philippines. Ninety days later we landed in Manila.
I was surprised when we finally got to Julie’s house in Southern Leyte. To begin, she had been putting money into the place for years. There was an original house, now the girl’s dorm, and a new concrete house she had built over fifteen years. It’s spacious, three bedrooms, huge dining and living rooms and a large kitchen. It’s split with an annex that is under construction., My apartment actually.
We’re 500 meters from Sogod Bay (soo-good) considered to be some of the finest diving in the Pacific. We have since bought four attached lots and a seven acre coconut plantation in the mountains. Our compound is fully fenced with ten foot concrete walls and decorative iron fencing in the front.
We live a good life here…a very good life.
I have pictures which I’ll add in a week or so. I have to take them and have them digitized.