Update from John Hatton

I wanted to reintroduce myself to those who may have recalled that I once existed. That was a long, long ago in many minds. After leaving BA I do not recall having contact with any of the fine folks I once knew until Kerry called me last week. I was dumbfounded to say the least. How did anyone find me? Why would they want to!!

Of course I realize there were many John Hattons, as Kerry said, but finding the right one, that was a trick. I do not know exactly how Kerry sorted through them all but by magic he managed to find me hiding in Louisville, Kentucky.

I will not bore you with details, but I will share the short story of my life after Bad Aibling. I returned to Oxford, Ohio (Miami University) to continue the education I had began before joining the Army. It was late 1970 and I got really bored with the immature spoiled nineteen year olds that were there at the time.

To be honest I think most of you know that the folks we worked with in the ASA may have been a bit eccentric but they were the brightest and best we had. It took me some time to readjust to “normal” people. I didn’t stay in school long and left to pursue a life.

I soft of dropped off the radar, working at a local auto repair for a year or so while I sorted out my life. I then opened my own automotive business and returned to another old hobby, motorcycles. I sold these and raced them (off-road) for seven years.

The automotive business I blame partially on one Sam Flippo, as I was his understudy back in BA. Sam was a natural at selling cars. He was a primo dealmaker, and I remember well him negotiating for cars and parts with an Otto Bender back in BA. Nice name for a car junk yard guy, “Auto Bender”.

Anyway, in 1979 I had grown bored with the business world and started a teaching career in Cincinnati, Ohio. The short version of that was: I first taught at a vocational school. Along the way I worked as a technical trainer for Toyota North America, Chrysler Corporation, General Motors, and finished up my working career teaching college at Cincinnati State College in Ohio.

Along the way I traveled across the US. I learned to fly airplanes, became a SCUBA diver (Went on to wreck diving and cave diving) and kept going back to school so I could get somewhere in my career.

What I did not do along the way was start a family. If any of you recall my partner in BA, Marjorie, well, I lost track of her. Oxford, Ohio is a small mid-west town. Marjorie was an East Coast Big City kind of gal and her heart took her “home”. I lost track of her many years ago but believe she is happy somewhere.

I retired early in 2007 after a second spinal operation. It seems I had way too much fun, or way too much hard work, and those pesky discs were falling apart in my neck. Doctor said to quit work or be a cripple in five years. Well, that’s a tough call, right? I had just enough time in the system for retirement, and I was out of there at the end of the school year.

Where am I now? Well, some years back I remarried a wonderful lady, one Susan Darst from Akron, Ohio. I must have done something right in my life to cross paths with her. In that deal I acquired two nice step-sons (who never ask to borrow money) and two, almost three, grand children. They were in Louisville, Kentucky and so I moved there to be close to them. Also, my family roots go back to this town as my father grew up not far away.

I want to get back in touch with the wonderful people I knew back at Bad Aibling. Mad Dog sent a picture he took of me at a BALTA function. so I cannot deny my association with this group, I am guilty! I have been reading through some of the postings and recalling some of people and places from my sorted past.

It is my intention to show up at the reunion in New Mexico this year. I doubt anyone would recognize me but I will try to post some pictures to help anyone who might remember me. I have lots of pictures from BA and will try to get some scanned and post any that might incriminate the guilty among you.

And there is one piece of information I am trying to recall and am asking for some help. We used to go to the “Chance” I believe, and have this little beer-drinking contest. We had this seven-liter stein we would fill up, and then we would time how long each person could hold it up and drink without taking a break. One of the wives, who was a small lady, maybe 5 ft 2 or so, would flat put people under the table. I could never figure out how such a small person could shame all those big men. I know someone has to remember who she was.

I am grateful for those who took the time to find me. I had searched around the past few years on various ASA sites trying to find people but didn’t get very far. Kerry’s call was the most pleasant surprise I have had in many years.

If anyone would want to contact me I can be reached at: jlhatton@insightbb.com

My best to all!

John Hatton


One Response to “Update from John Hatton”

  1. Bill Shea Says:

    Hey John.

    Good to hear that you surfaced and are going to try to make it to the reunion. Brace yourself…it’s an experience!

    I see that you’re still the master of understatement. To wit: “…I think most of you know that the folks we worked with in the ASA may have been a bit eccentric …”. Eccentric? HA! Durn tootin’!

    See you there..

    …Bill Shea

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