NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

April 11, 2013

Remembering Dad, aboard USS Thresher when it sank

For the past few weeks, the Thresher people have been writing stories about the family members they lost. And I thought I should put down some thoughts about Dad.

So this is dedicated to the memory of Robert Edward Charron Sr. Born in 1919 in Haverhill, “Bob” to everyone except his family (who all called him Dad or Daddy) was an affable, friendly man who was dedicated to “God, Family, Country” as his religion and upbringing required. He was dedicated to electrical engineering because he was good at it, but also because he was fascinated by it.

He always talked to my brother Bob (he’s the “Junior” in that duo) and me about his love of woodworking and his growing collection of tools in the cellar that he would only get to use maybe one weekend a month. But his love of all things electrical was a day-by-day affair.

At night he would read trade magazines and books about the latest innovations, explorations and instrumentation, but he would especially focus on sound, sound engineering and electrical field analysis.

(I know. I tried reading them. And Dad would laugh and tell us that we were too young to understand. Even the writing was as much symbols and equations, as it was words. So he was right. It’s taken years to re-think about what I read and connect the dots.)

I was talking to Mom the other day about the offers that Dad would get from private industry, mainly from the Route 128 circle where new businesses (new after the Second World War) were very interested in anything on the leading edge of electrical engineering.

This was an industry that was going through several changes that would propel future modern miracles: sonar, sound engineering (not yet widely called acoustics), vacuum tubes to solid state, printed circuit boards, “electrical’ to ‘electronic,” wider investigation of the EMF (ElectroMagnetic Force Spectrum): microwaves, white sound and background “anomalies.”

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