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An Interview With Gary McIntire

By Staff | Apr 22, 2020

Gary McIntire is pictured in fron of his Ulla Barn.

Gary McIntire grew up in Monroe County, Ohio on Sykes Ridge, a mile east of Roundbottom, one of nine siblings. He attended Green Local High School in Laings, graduated from River Local High School in 1960 and enlisted in the United States Air Force.in December 1961. After his 4 year stint in the U.S.A.F., he joined Honeywell AiResearch (today known as Honewell Aerospace), Phoenix, Arizona, assembling turboprop engines. He worked his way up through the ranks transferring to the field as a technical representative on turboprop and turbofan aircraft engines, then was promoted to higher positions of responsibility in Customer Support that required engineering, business and negotiating skills. His job took him all over the world filling up multiple passports. Among his clients were regional airports, aircraft manufacturers, many military organizations (both American and foreign), executive aircraft operators, and some of the rich and famous. He has lived on five different continents, spent the majority of his career overseas, while remaining headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona.

Had the stars aligned a bit differently, it would not be hard to imagine Gary as a Hollywood stuntman or action hero. He has launched his hang glider from peaks throughout the Southwest, Australia and Europe, as well as other places. He is the only known American to have flown out of Mount Orohena, an extinct volcano that is the highest peak on Tahiti.

His motorcycle (1982 BMW R100RS) has taken him to Tibet, across America, Australia and Europe. He counts riding the length of the Baja Peninsula as one of his most memorable rides. His longest ride was El Paso, Texas to New Orleans only stopping for gas. The trip distance totaled 1,093 miles! While living in Germany, he could hold his own with local drivers on the Autobahn where high speeds are legendary. These are but smatterings of his adventurous life.

Since moving back to Monroe County, Gary has been involved in construction projects that involved remodeling a barn into his living space. The Ulla Barn is a testament to his skills in carpentry, plumbing and ability to solve problems. His practical talent meshes well with his vision and the results are made apparent when you take a tour of the Ulla Barn. The barn is tastefully decorated with antiques and mementos he’s gathered in a lifetime of travel. Gary is also an accomplished photographer and has thousands of slides & photos that are worthy of their own National Geographic special.

If a person can be judged by the friends he or she has made and kept, Gary will be judged well. On the third Saturday of October, he holds an open doors barn party. During the party’s 18 years, colleagues and fellow adventurers from, but not limited to, Australia, France, Germany, South America and Arizona have made the trek joining Gary’s local friends to celebrate their friendship.

When you wake up, what’s first on your agenda? Bathroom first! Then followed by a cappuccino, followed by a review of what I should accomplish that day.

Who were your heroes growing up? Oldest brother, Donald; Grandpa Tank.

You’re one of nine siblings. What was it like growing up in such a big family? Competitive

How should a person handle growing older? Gracefully.

What’s the best advice you ever received? People wouldn’t know you are so dumb if you didn’t go around acting like it. – Uncle Jim Tank

Who has been the biggest influence on your life? Grandpa Tank.

What human trait do you most admire? Trustworthiness.

What advice would you give your younger self? You can do it.

What’s something that’s worth splurging on? Dinner with friends. Tools. Art objects. Travel.

Have you ever cheated death? Many times.

Please put in order from least dangerous to most dangerous: hang gliding; sitting next to a test pilot while she/he puts a new engine through the motions; driving on the Autobahn; driving a tractor on the side of a Monroe County hill.

Credible statistics will show hang gliding as the most dangerous of the four endeavors presented, based on deaths per duration of exposure. I suspect farm tractors on hillsides would show to be very dangerous, for (in the past) we would lose a farmer per year in Monroe County (not verified by research). Driving the Autobahn is less dangerous than driving roads off the Autobahn. An endeavor is not dangerous if pursuit is kept within anticipated parameters; it’s the unanticipated that gets you.

What is a book you would recommend? Mark Twain’s, Huckleberry Finn, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.

You’ve been known to enjoy a glass of wine. What are a few underpriced or underrated wines? Australian wines.

What’s your biggest vice? Wine; it’s too easy to rationalize one more glass.

Can you share something on your bucket list? To become a great lover.

What is the best or most worthwhile investment you’ve made? It could be an investment of time, money, energy or otherwise? Going into the Air Force; I hated the military, but it gave me a tool, forced me onto a course, that in retrospect, I’m very happy to have followed.

You’ve traveled the world. What place(s) do you find yourself thinking about the most fondly? New Zealand, Australia, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, France.

You’ve dealt with and negotiated with people all over the world. Who are the toughest negotiators? Angry women.

Interview by John Yevuta