THE SECOND STORY | June 3rd, 2011

Fly away….

Blog photo and post:: This photo is in honor of the two men who gave me my start in aviation, before I left the industry for real estate.  First, my late husband.  He took me out to the Sky Sailing Airport in Fremont for a glider ride.

Carl’s dad had been a pilot for Western Airlines and had taught Carl to fly.  I did not know Dick Schumacher because he was killed in a training accident for Western while doing 2 engine-out go-arounds at Ontario Airport in B-720s.  It was the first known case of metal fatigue.  The rudder failed.  After that all such training was done in flight simulators.

My treat and trip from Carl for a introductory lesson at Sky Sailing (where he had flown with his dad who knew the gentleman who started that airfield), resulted in me working for Bud Murphy, aviation impact man #2, trading work time for flight time, collecting glider ratings, including a flight instructor rating in gliders while I was VERY pregnant with our daughter Sutter.  That lead to flying more planes and getting more ratings in planes with engines. 

All that time, and long before I showed up, Bud was giving a bunch of young kids and young adults (it seemed he handpicked us) huge opportunities to do crazy things with his planes: really practice the art of flying without engines, and taming tail draggers.  By the grace of God I became part of that group. It was a magical time as we started delivering new planes across the country from the Piper factories in PA and FL.  Then when the economy went south, some of us started repossessing planes around the western states.  (more stories there!)

That’s when I had the aha moment…I can do the same thing those guys are doing.  And Bud Murphy, once again kind of sat back and said, Yep Merlin…you can do that.  With a few hours under our belts, and being part of a legacy of pilots from Sky Sailing who were quietly proving and improving their skill sets as excellent aviators, the group was moving into cargo machines, slowly working into the airlines.  Some of us auditioned for a gig based out of Chico, hauling salmon in Alaska.  And we got hired.

A Flyboy friend (I call the core group of us who still get together my Flyboys) sent me this photo a few years ago.  That’s the type of plane we flew in Alaska.  DC4s in the civilian lingo, and C54s in military speak. At that time I was pregnant with Evan but the company, Aero Union, didn’t really need to know that.

I only wish the planes we flew looked like the photo. But they did the job of carrying about 18,00 pounds of  fish on each run, whether we landed them on a hard-pack beach at low tide or on a joint civilian/military airbase, even when not all 4 engines were running.  We had one trip with an engine failure on an outbound leg but it fired up for the return flight. Then on the inbound leg, when I was flying the beast coming in for a landing, a different engine failed.  

Today Bud Murphy passed on at his home surrounded with loved ones.  Just a couple of months ago we had another reunion of about 20 of us, at his request, at our house.  He loved it despite the physical challenges he was facing.

I’ve been in awe of what he and Carl gave to me and trusted me with those years.  Me, a kid, married at 20, flying machines that far more experienced pilots have never piloted, taking 8 years of classes finally getting  a 2 year degree in Aviation Sciences from College of Alameda, encouraging my husband to fulfill his dreams by starting  his own yacht design office in our laundry room  when we had a daughter only six months old, and winding up as an amazing family of four.  I’m not sure it gets much better than that.  Thank you, Carl and Bud for your huge roles in all of it.  And thank you,God, for your generous, watchful, and protecting hand in it all.

Quick Glimpes
-Confidential federal audits of the big banks…more mortgage fraud.
-Adjustable rate mortgages….there is a place for them (ask me…we’ve had three over the past 22 years one of them for less than a year when the savings and loan debacle hit, then one for about 19 years, then one I just got about 2 years ago.  These are the only options when dealing with finacing 5 or more units.  And they’ve been good.
-Cheap real estate….but you gotta live in the midwest to get it.

Well, I’d say it’s been a quiet week but it hasn’t.  Another listing sold. 924 Del Mar went pending after receiving 4 offers on Monday.  Will be putting another property on the market by the first of next week, and took a listing for a fixer today but it will be a month or so before it goes on the market.

Unsold inventory this week  188, 202 last report
Pending sales this week  103, 102 last report

Broker tour – 10, 2 repeats – rainy, rainy, rainy, drove car.  ugh.

Highest and Lowest priced NEW listings this week 
1 high, and 2 tied for low

New 7
Back On Market (BOM) 2
Repositioned properties (price changes) 12
Pending 16
Sold 11
Expired 8  includes my listing at 933 Shoreline #306…no sale but it did get rented by HBR Rentals!
Withdrawn/canceled 2

ALAMEDA REAL ESTATE AWARDS THIS WEEK…remember this is only my perspective!
Winner(s) of the Week!  tie!



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I arrived in Alameda in 1973, as a new bride...with husband Carl Schumacher, both of us from Newport Beach. He was embarking on his career as a Naval Architect (i.e. yacht designer) under Gary Mull. Please see the 'ABOUT ME' page in this website! to see how it has all turned out! I'm so blessed!


  1. Marilyn, thank you for your story. I was looking up Bud and saw that he had passed away last year. He was quite the would occasionally show off and land the super cub in about 50 feet of runway. Awesome to watch.
    Had no problem pulling me out of the brush near an off field landing in Pleasanton, even though there was a bit of bush on stuck to the right wheel.I miss the whole scene. It was a lot of fun there in the 70’s.

    Marcus Pun, Oakland, CA

  2. Thanks!!! sorry I got to this late. HAH! remembered all those lessons about tow rope breaks, god what fun. Downwind landings and all. I remember one take off, cross wind. Asked the instructor, should’t my right wing be down a bit? “Naaaah” Sur eenough we take off and I’m drifting to the right toward the line of tow planes, the wing runner trying to push me back and me doing what I can to avoid them. I’ll have to find my old log book. Think I have that noted…

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