Algonquin Roundtable

When Roddy left the FAA in 1981, people asked him if he missed the work. He said he didn’t. Incidentally, Roddy and I have discussed this frequently. He and I had completely different attitudes about ATC. I loved it—to him it was a way to make money. He didn’t miss the job at all—in fact he said he was about ready to leave when ‘81 happened anyway. I was lucky, in more ways than one, to be reinstated, because it gave me another 14 years to do what I enjoyed.

Roddy always did say, however, that controllers, as a group, were among the smartest, most diversely experienced group he had ever been part of. He often talks about walking into the café to witness one table having a discussion on nuclear physics, another on macro economics, and another on literature. It was like a room full of Algonquin Roundtables.

And they weren’t just spelling exercises—there were some high powered intellects in those buildings who, in previous lives, had attained advanced degrees, worked in nuke power plants, flown airplanes, etc. Some of them were clearly creative geniuses—witness examples of the nicknames appearing here.

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Last updated: 20 January 2011