Monday, January 28, 2013

It's in the eyes...

Dad learned to fly in a Stearman when he joined the Army Air Corp as a young man. He went on to finish his time in the military flying F-84's. He loved to fly.  My brother followed in his foot steps for a while in the Navy. Buzz, loved flying too, but hated carrier landings, so moved on to other fields of endeavor.  
As a side note, dad says that he was charged with teaching the other recruits how to drive a truck or car.  In those days he was one of the few who knew how.  He was a farm kid so he had been driving anything and everything since he was a little guy.
He talks about towing targets for the other pilots, and later the fun of putting his F-84 on the deck and coming at our house, pulling up at the very last second.  It would make mom plenty mad, us kids loved it.  
He was always flying something and for the most part one or the other of us kids got to go along.  I never felt anything but safe with him.  He was always checking everything, once, twice... until he was sure that things were as right as they could be.
He only had me a touch concerned... one time.  We flew the little cub up to hunt'n camp and spent a good time scouting for deer.  There is no good place to land up there, most are not an option at all, unless you want to be there permanently.  As I'm looking for deer, dad said "I need to check on something so we'll put her down on that knoll."  That knoll was about the size of a tennis court...  He did it with out a twitch.  We hiked into camp, checked on what needed it, hiked back out to the little cub, and flew home.  
He doesn't fly any more at 89, but he still has that look in his eyes.


  1. How thrilling. I would have loved to have that experience.

  2. My dad was also of that generation that knew how to check stuff and fix stuff and understood the importance of safety, although he never flew.

  3. Wanted to add that I am just a little jealous of you growing up with Sky King.

  4. LOL, he could probably STILL jump in a fly the Cub... or anything else!

  5. NELLY...I think I was very blessed.

    TABOR...He taught me a bunch about taking care of me & mine. He wasn't SkyKing, he is my Dad.

    NFO...He mentioned the other day that he loved flying jets best...because they were simple and all he had to do was kick the tires and light the fire...

  6. What an adventure.

    My father had two seats, one behind the wheel of his car and the other beside the fire at home. he was not a man for adventure.

  7. Tell your Dad, the first time I flew a Stearman (had a little Lycoming R680 300 horse radial) the instructor hung a whistle on a string around my neck. I said "what's this?" He said, "blow it really loud just before landing to wake your feet up".

    I had some time in a Cibatria and Decathalon, planes made in the 1980's. This was a WHOLE new experience, and one I loved enough to buy a wrecked one with a buddy who was an A and P to rebuild it. After selling our souls to Dusters and Sprayers for parts and with my friend, getting married we had to sell the project. Good memories. Thanks to you, and your Dad and a big hug.