Dear Professor McCartin,
My name is Larry Sawatzki. I was a member of PATCO Local 332, MCI TRACON, Kansas City, MO. I was hired by the FAA in 1973 after four years in the Navy. I was an active member of the union, serving as facility rep in Kansas City, as well as terminal voting representative for the central region at the last two PATCO conventions. I was a friend of Jack Maher, Mike Rock, and Gary Eads, as well as many others you mentioned in your book. I was with Bob Poli in the lobby of the Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel on election night 1980. When the national news networks projected Reagan as the winner we, along with numerous colleagues, proceeded to celebrate.
I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for the tremendous amount of work you did in compiling this history of our union. It was a little painful over the last few days as my wife and I each read your book. It is amazing how many details you can forget over 30 years, but you can never forget the feelings.
We recently visited with old controller friends in Kansas City. Some of the people we saw for the first time since the early days of the strike. We were all amazed at how quickly the feeling of family returned.
One thing a number of us in KC have wondered is what ever happened to Bob Poli. After his resignation in 1982, he seems to have fallen from the face of the earth. Do you have any information about where he went and what he has done since that you are able to share?
Again, thank you so much for documenting the history of our union.
438 High Country Road
Sherman, Texas 75092
[P.S.] ... I would like to post an open invitation for Bob Poli to call me, if he feels like talking. I am sure he feels like many people would blame him for what happened. I do not. It would be so good to be able to speak to him again.