There are not many times when you can say you talked to a real life rocket scientist. After spending time with LeRoy Schneider, you can. For Schneider, a career that spanned close to 40 years working on and designing jets, space shuttles and rockets began with an enlistment in the U.S. Marines.
Schneider is originally from Quail Valley which is east of Russellville before you get to Jefferson City. He said before it was turned into a lake as part of the housing development the water was a stream which ran into Schneider's father's farm. Looking for adventure, Schneider joined the Marines Dec. 6, 1941, the day before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor effectively bringing the U.S. into World War II.
For more of this story check out the June 1 issue of the California Democrat.