Jan 2, 2018

The story of Angel (6) de la Cruz

In my post "Birthday Activity--Part 1" I said:
Yesterday, while making a list of things to write, I found this item: "Angel (6) de la Cruz." That's the remembered name of someone I met when I was working at SAC Headquarters, Offutt Air Force Base, near Omaha, Nebraska in the late 60's. Angel (6), as I remembered the story, had a grandfather who was in love with numbers. He counted everything. He knew how many eggs he'd eaten. How many stairs he'd climbed. He gave all his sons the same name (Angel) and his daughters the same name (Silvia?) and distinguished them by an appended number. Apparently, Angel (6)'s dad--or mom--had kept up the family tradition.
So I did a little Googling and found an email address, and sent an email. Have I mentioned that I love Google? That I love email? To my delight, I got a response, quoted with his permission:

Happy New Year  - Yes, it is me all right - the only person with a (6) on his name.   Yes - I was in Offutt from 1965 to 1972, assigned to the 544th. ARTW in SAC Headquarters - Bldg. 500.  So wonderful to hear from you after all these years. 
     I left the Air Force in March, 1972, and joined IBM in Puerto Rico, thanks to the Air Force making a programmer out of me, and retired after 30 years with them in 2002.   I went on my own until a few years ago.  Now, retired, am "working" with the Lions Clubs and the Order of Elks here in Puerto Rico, keeping busy and, thankfully, feeling fine.  Just like you, 75 years old. 
     As for my story, yes, my grandfather, Blas C. Silva Boucher was an engineer, graduated in Spain, who kept track and counted everything he could, like nuber of letters written, number of his signatures, steps from one place to another, auto and bus license plates, eggs eaten, etc.  He appeared in Ripley's Believe It or Not back in 1941, as "The Numerical Man". 
Here's the clipping, which Angel sent me in another email:

Angel continues:
    When he got married he wanted to name his first daughter (1), but they would not let him, so he named her Sylvia (1) Silva.  His second son, born on August 2, Day of Our Lady of Angels, was named Angel (2) and his other daughters were Sylvia (3), Sylvia (4) and Sylvia (5). 
     First to marry was my mother, (4), with, by mere coincidence, my father also named Angel (no number, of course), and I was the next one bor, so I became Angel (6).  My uncle (2) was married and he had my cousin Angel (7).  We were only two in that generation, as (1) and (3) never married, and (5) died when she was 10. 
     The family has grown, and we are up to number (22), grand daughter of (7).  The number, like a second named, and officially registered as such, is the sequence of descendants from my grandfather. 
    To make it easier to follow, I have attached the genealogy descendant report of my grandfather for you to read and study at your leisure, and tell the story to your family - an honor for me.  Any questions, just let me know. 
     By the way, I was able to revisit Offutt in September 2012, when my wife and I attended a Lion's Leadership Forum in Kansas City, and a fellow Lion, who lives in Omaha and retired from Offutt, offered to give us the VIP tour, so we drove to Bellevue and were able to revisit the base and the neighborhood, including the house we built and lived in 40 years before.  It was very nostalgic and enjoyable. 
     Well, my friend - it's time to celebrate the coming of 2018, hoping that it will help us to recover from hurricanes Irma and Maria, which caused great damage.  Only about 52% of the island has electric power right now. 
     Again, it is wonderful to hear from you.  Hope you find this information not too boring or long.  Be well, and have a great New Year - in about 6 hours for you.

Angel (6) de la Cruz Silva
Here's the full report of Angel (6)'s family, with all the Angel's and all the Sylvia's documented. Reading it, I learned that his full name is:
Angel (6) de la Cruz Silva Rivera Baez Zayas Boucher Rivera Abril

I have some great stories from that time, and I'll be posting them over the next few days and linking here:

Sgt Eldred and Catch-22
"Now that's data processing"
Negotiations for the card deck
Defense contractor on the weekdays, protester on weekends