Marymine and I went up to Red Bluff for Dad's 90th Birthday, the end of September. Quite a group showed up, a few relatives, neighbors, and friends, and all of his Thursday Golfing Group. I do believe he told his golfing buddies there was going to be a stripper. (Wonder where he got that idea?) They showed up in mass, with big grins of anticipation. Wasn't happening, but it got them off the course and into Dad's party.
Marymine had not been up to see Dad in a while so he was thrilled to see his oldest grandchild. He has always called her Indian, as she had long braids and was fearless as a little girl. She in turn calls him Chief. He introduced her as The Indian, as is his way, to all who had not met her before. They have a special bond those two.
Gave him his present tucked in a big wrapped box. While he was glaring over his glasses at me, he had requested no presents, I told him if he didn't want it I could find someone who did... When he saw that it was the gift certificate for a bi-plane ride, there were tears in that fierce look. He was beyond excited, and thought to go that day. Whoa, we have to call ahead, and check the weather to make this happen...
Happen it did, a few weeks later the weather was perfect for a morning flight. Harold flew his bi-plane up to RB and met Dad and I at the airport. After Dad and Harold talked flying, did an inspection, we put on our leather helmets, wedged the two of us in the front, and took off.
That's the way to fly: the wind in your face, the smell, the noise, the sense of this is where you were meant to be at this moment.
We flew over a lot of places that meant something to one or the other of us. The first big landscape design job I did up in the Bend, Dad's house, a cousin's place, China rapids, the canyon, the river, and the Cowman's family's old home ranch.
After we landed Harold and Dad were still talking flying, when Dad mentioned that he had flown a Travel-Air to SoCal to deliver it for a friend, long ago. They moved on to talking jets. I think Harold was amazed at the various type of aircraft Dad had piloted.
Dad was Happy, and that was all I asked for.
We've decided next year it will be flying in a glider...