Actually, my good luck began before I began - it started in the 1880s. That's when my grandfather and grandmother Ueltschi decided to leave their native Switzerland and try to make their way in a new, faraway land full of promise. America. I can't imagine what my life might have been like had those people not had the courage to leave their families, their friends and all that was familiar to give their children and their grandchildren the American opportunity.

I know the name Ueltschi is a difficult one - people have been misspelling and mispronouncing it my whole life - but it is a direct link to those people who gave me so much. And if it was good enough for them, I figure it's good enough for me.

My grandparents settled in Benson Valley, a rural community in Franklin County, Kentucky, not too far from Frankfort, the state capital. They became dairy farmers. My father left the farm to work as an engineer, installing lights on Mississippi riverboats. But when my grandfather died, Dad and his two brothers took over the farm. I grew up there, along with my four brothers and two sisters. I was the baby of the bunch, arriving on May 15, 1917.

Copyright © 1999
Flight Safety International, Inc.
All rights reserved