We're able to sneak in one more quick post! The disturbing images and write-up below mysteriously appeared in the folder at AIS for reunion-related documents. Its subject, Michael Nelson (employee #278), says he didn't put it there, but that it's OK to share. So here we go....
We now have a document that serves as a directory of those who said we could share their contact information.
Favorite AIS memories: "Too many. How about the softball team, with a makeshift lineup, beating the league champion 3 - 0, but losing count of the number of outs in the 7th inning.... Countless nights at the Rim Lounge and then the world-famous Crash Inn, stagger out...."
AIS has been in Redlands since 1985, and the majority of its employees were hired after the company moved "down the hill." Like the AISers from the Crestline era, these "alumni" had their own set of bonding experiences, including the feral cats under the building, talking toys and Christmas inflatables in the main mapping room, and memorable field-checking excursions in the urban areas and boonies of southern California and beyond.
AIS was located in Crestline from its inception in the mid-1970s to early 1985. The mappers and support staff who worked up there formed strong bonds: during late nights hunched over light tables; while going out for meals and drinks at Crestline's many fine (?) establishments; and after dealing with the fog, ice, rocks and snow (and tire chains) that were a part of mountain driving.
We couldn't let the first-ever reunion of AIS employees go by without attempting a group photo. Several ideas on how and where to create the image were considered; in the end, we had employees go out to the patio and group themselves by the decade in which they were hired, starting with the 1970s on the left-hand side. It worked out that way - sort of!
It’s been great compiling photos for the reunion. I have lots, as well as those from Debbie, Gretchen, Lisa Morse, and Theresa Congdon. If anyone else has more photos to contribute that would be great! We by no means have it all covered. We are greatly in need of Crestline photos of 1970s – 1985
The reunion was just amazing! Safe to say it was everything the reunion planners had hoped it would be. We only wish more of you could have been there!
It took a small village to raise this reunion, so before sharing what happened and who was there, here's a round of applause for all who contributed to its success.
"Through AIS, Toshie and Eric not only provided valued GIS support services, they also provided first professional working opportunities, starting many successful careers and lifetime friendships. Many thanks to Toshie and Eric for creating and maintaining such a positive work environment."
“The best part of working at AIS was being able to work closely with my mom and dad. I loved getting to work with people that have watched me grow up. I loved visiting when I was a kid: Pie Days, special events, etc. The AIS environment is something many work places should strive to have.”
Favorite AIS memories: Annie and Debbie eating hot peppers, looking for hotter peppers; The Little Blue Bunny.
Professionally, I consider myself a GIS pioneer (thanks to AIS) and now a GIS evangelist (still trying to help people understand the value of GIS). It's been a thrill to see the profession grow.
Favorite AIS memories: Stealing Santa and taking him for a ride in my 3002x (I’ll try and find a pic before the reunion); or climbing under the building with Arin Glass to remove something that died.
Some of our favorite AIS memories are of course the get togethers and office parties. They were always fun and helped us feel alot less homesick.
More updates will be posted soon! From the returns so far, we can conclude that AIS employees are an accomplished, well-traveled bunch of amazing people - don't you agree?
We expect more former employees will reserve in the days ahead, but here's whom we're pretty sure we'll be seeing on June 25, so far:
While mapping for long hours, we often needed to focus at a distance to give our eyes a break. This was the summer of ’82. Walt began noticing a man and his dog running by the window at AIS.
"Those early days at AIS contain a lot of fond memories. You never realize how special a time and place is until it’s over…"