Ronald Frederick Ulrich
I was born 2 October 1937 in Los Angeles, California. I moved to South Gate about 1942 and remember going to Bryson Elementary school in the first half of my Kindergarten year. For the second half I went to Tweedy Elementary school which was much closer to my 10500 Pinehurst Avenue home.
I got married for a second time on 30 April 1968 and have remained married since. My wife, Carol, and I have 3 children, Carl Frederick (b. 13 August 1969), Michael Hanson (b. 21 October 1970), and Laurel Roxanne (b. 8 June 1973) have all graduated from college. My wife quit her job at the Software Engineering Institute in Pittsburgh, PA and went to George Mason Law School where she graduated and the took and passed the Bar in both Virginia and Pennsylvania. She has been doing pro-bono work in the area of Psychiatric Law and is currently President of the Northern Virginia Alliance for the Mentally Ill. My son, Carl, has started 3 businesses and has sold 1 of them to a major chemical firm. He got a Masters Degree from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He is now employed by the firm in California. My other son, Michael, went to Fairbanks Alaska University with a scholarship and a teaching assistant's job to get his masters degree in English Composition. He didn't like the 60 degrees below zero and left after one year for Hawaii where he worked and did computerized stock market trading. My youngest daughter, Laurel, is interested in nonprofit charitable businesses. My oldest daughter, Catherine, is working in a bank in Wenatchee, Washington. She is the residential district manager of Pacific Northwest Bank. I have two grandchildren by Cathy they are Amber and Samuel. They are both in college (although Sam is still in high school) in the Wenatchee area.
Tweedy Elementary school was located at Atlantic Blvd. and Southern Ave. I can remember playing on the dirt school yards during recess and can recall that they eventually went to asphalt during my years there. I can also remember that there was a Purex factory across from Tweedy school and remember that they often had "chlorine leaks". During these leaks we were allowed (forced) to leave the school for the rest of the day. When I walked to Tweedy Elementary school I would visit the Royal Farms milk plant next to the Curries Ice Cream store at Tweedy Avenue and Atlantic Blvd. We played marbles, bottle caps, and other games before and during school. Also on rainy days we read comic books in the classroom. During the World War II years we had many paper drives and remember going on a truck and picking up papers from homes in the South Gate/Cudahy/Bell areas. We also used to put out "segregated" trash (cans in one, paper in another, also grease). We watched the 4th of July Fireworks (held at the South Gate Park) from our front yard. Sometimes we went an watched at the Park. I stayed in Tweedy school until I went to South Gate Junior High School (SGJHS).
South Gate Junior High School now called South Gate Middle School was 7th through 9th grade when I went there. At SGJHS I can recall playing basketball before school and that there were the "Duncan yo-yo" contests held outside the school after school. There was an apple cider store on the corner of Firestone and Otis (near the bus stop) where you could get a shaved ice snow cone with fruit flavors. By the time I went to South Gate High School (SGHS) in February of 1952 I was 14 and awed by the new school.
At SGHS during lunch you could get food in the cafeteria. Which is also where they held the Iowa Tests. You could also get ice cream from a shack in a outdoor lunch area where most people who brought a lunch-box (or sack lunch) could eat their lunch. During the 3 years at SGHS I can remember that Mr. Tenner had lunch time movies of the Road Runner and other cartoons where he collected a penny or more from the students to go into the auditorium to see the movies. During my SGHS days I got a job at Turco Products (Bruce Derwing and I had been interviewed and had been chosen) which was a manufacturer of industrial cleaning compounds. It was fun and they actually paid us to do lab assistant work (washing chemical apparatus, cleaning up after chemists, etc.) and eventually to participate in experiments. After graduation from SGHS, I had gotten an NROTC scholarship, and went to UCLA.
Before I started UCLA, I can remember that Bob Wilson and I went looking around UCLA for a place to live. We found some strange places (boarding houses that were run by "creepy" people - probably just grad students but at the time it seemed wierd) and eventually ended up at a fraternity house that allowed boarders. I eventually joined this fraternity, Phi Kappa Tau, and was president during my senior year. At UCLA I was a chemistry major and fully expected to be a chemist. But I changed my mind. At the end of my first year I also quit my NROTC scholarship and got a track and field scholarship as a javelin thrower. I cannot remember the dollar amount but it helped defray some of the cost for my UCLA tuition and books. I changed to mathematics as my major. To prepare for javelin competition, I worked out daily from about 3-6 and then had responsibilities at the fraternity. I also learned to play bridge and played with a fraternity brother at various sorority houses nightly for awhile. Met lots of girls playing bridge. In my senior year I was elected the Captain of the UCLA track team (well actually the Co-Captain with Bob Holland a miler) and lettered four years. Also I set the UCLA javelin record at 245' 4" breaking the previous record of Rafer Johnson. Upon graduation from UCLA, June 1960, I took employment at Douglas Aircraft Company in Santa Monica (graduated on Friday the 10th of June and began work on Monday the 13th of June).
At Douglas I was a computer programmer. I also competed in the 1960 Olympic Trials at Stanford and got married. My first child, Catherine Elizabeth, was born on 26 November 1962 in Los Angeles. I worked for Scientific Data Systems in 1965 as a programmer supporting sales it was a fun job with an exciting company. I had other jobs in the computer industry at Automatic Information Management, Multidata, Systems Engineering Laboratories, TRW, Hughes/Raytheon, and finally am now back at TRW (which has been acquired by Northrop Grumman).
I am currently employed at Northrop Grumman in Reston, Virginia. I got relocated back to Virginia about 1994 and fully expect (hope) to get back to California when I finally retire. I am working the area of software process improvement and still do web programming. My job gives me ample opportunity to travel and I attended the 45th Reunion on one of my business trips to California. And plan to attend the 50th in October 2005.