Although I worked in the Engineering
Department during the summers of 1960 and 1961 while in college, and
then in the Aviation Department in 1982-1983 - all three experiences
being entirely positive - it was in the early 1970s when I was working
at the Tri-State Regional Planning Commission that I not only got to
work closely with a number of PA people, but where I functioned as a
conduit for federal funds to the PA which I thought was the first time
the PA received federal funds. (Bob Isaacs mentioned earlier aviation
funding from the feds.) I managed a federally funded demonstration
program which consisted of a number of projects, at least two of which
were managed by PA staff: The phenomenally successful XBL project
managed by Lee Goodman and Carl Selinger in Planning and Development and
a Bus Priority and Transportation Management Project managed by Bob
Foote, Bob Hauslen, Al Gonseth (with whom I also interfaced when he was
in P&D), Carroll White, Ron Cunningham, etc.; they were in Tunnels &
Bridges Research (before T&B merged with Terminals to become TB&T).
There were many people in P&D with whom I dealt in my Tri-State years
and who I fondly remember. Did you know that the (first?) head of P&D -
Roger Gilman - was the first executive director of Tri-State, on loan
from the PA?
On 9/11, my (now late) wife, Adrienne, and I were in Boston at an IBTTA
annual meeting with Ken Philmus. Ken has kidded me many times afterwards
about how many times I heard his story. I remember going to lunch
subsequently, not with Ken, but with his mentor, Ernesto Butcher and
commenting on the address of his office on (I believe) East 18th Street:
111. That had been, of course, the original PAB on 8th Avenue.
As the PA Aviation Planning Division was the last place I worked that
was part of the NYS Retirement System, that system considers me a PA
retiree (although I am apparently not entitled to any PA benefits).
Hence, when in south FL, I carpool to PARA lunches with Bob Isaacs and
Paul Shulman. Perhaps, one day I will get to one of the PARA lunches in
the NY-NJ area.