PLEASANT VIEW -- "I don't feel like there's anything there worth telling, I suppose," 91-year-old Blaine Wade said from his white-brick home, just a mile from where he was born in Pleasant View.
From August 1942 to October 1945, Wade sailed the Pacific with the U.S. Navy in a wood-based vessel, "guessing" the weather as kamikaze pilots hurtled their planes at his ship.
Wade worked in the field and driving tractors since he was 10, attended school throughout Weber and Morgan counties and in 1939 was among the second class to graduate from the "new" Ogden High School after its relocation to Harrison Boulevard.
To avoid the draft three years later, he joined the Navy.
Wade wanted to join as an aircraft mechanic after working at Hill Air Force Base, but the Navy had other plans for him. After a year of training in Corpus Christi, Texas, he found himself working as a weather guesser on a Carrier Vessel Escort, or CVE.
"What we used to call them was combustible, vulnerable and expendable," he said, laughing.
Wade was assigned to the Seventh Fleet, or as the seamen called it, "Doug MacArthur's Navy." In a typical day he was up at
4 a.m., responsible for the weather forecast from their position in the Pacific.
"It was a little harder then," Wade said. "You had to have the pressure, temperature, dew point and the exact location where you were, and we didn't have all the ways to do that like they do now."
Wade laughed when he recalled what his training commander in Corpus Christi had told the recruits about putting out reports.
"He said, 'Boys, you can get those reports off the teletype, you can make those big fancy maps, but before you put that forecast out, look out the window.' "
After the war, Wade joined his father in the construction business. A few years later Wade and his brother started Intermountain Precision Built Homes, building countless homes in North Ogden, Bear Lake and Malad, Idaho.
"We pioneered the change in the way you built houses in the area," Wade said. "My dad would build them with a handsaw and planes and all of that to where, when I came back from the war, we finally started buying saws and big joiners and eventually started to make some of the first roof trusses in Utah."
As the business developed, a new branch of the company started cutting, piecing and delivering component pieces for contractors in the area. Eventually Intermountain Precision Built Homes occupied a warehouse in Pleasant View big enough to fit 22 houses on two lines as workers built a house every 12 days complete with paint, plumbing and electrical.
Employees loaded the houses on massive trailers, delivered them to the site, lifted them onto foundations and the families moved in.
Heavily involved in area troops of the Boy Scouts of America, the company also donated a building at Camp Kiesel and helped establish Camp Bartlett and Camp Loll.
At its peak, Intermountain Precision Built Homes employed 350 workers in 1978-79.
After his first wife died in 1966, Wade married his current wife Barbara, and together the couple raised four children. In 2006, they were named grand marshals for North Ogden's Cherry Days.
These days Wade can be found in the garden or reading historical novels at his home in Pleasant View or his property near Bear Lake. He enjoys spending time with his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Wade says he's always around and willing to talk with visitors anytime. He might even tell them a story or two.