Joined: Jan 2003
Sunday, August 07, 2011 7:41 PM
Well, I am a one-plane person as I have been from the mid fifties to today. I really wish I could afford another plane. The fact is, I wish I could really afford the Stearman I have! I honestly believe that if I could afford a second plane it would be another Stearman but then, I can barely afford to fly the one I have let alone another one. It is not so much the expense of operating the plane but rather the time I spend worshiping a pile of rags and iron. I will never change but the devil of the deal is the time I take from the important things in life. I feel confident that most will say, "What is this wearer-o smoking?" The answer is nothing. I am simply reflecting on the time I spend with the Stearman that could be spent with my children, grand children and great grandchildren. Actually, all of my children and grand children are great! But then that is a story for another forum... How I spend my time is my chose just as is it for everyone so no judgment intended.
I guess I am just old fashion and poor but I feel blessed to be able to go to the airport, open the hanger and feast my eyes on that wonderful old girl I call my own. Yes, I understand that these are the feelings that one should have for "real people" but at some point, the Stearman seems becomes family. I don't know if others feel the same about other planes but I some how feel that those of my vintage tend to develop an actual love for the heap of tube and fabric that exceeds the simple idea of appreciation for something.
I often just stand there staring at the beautiful lines of the ole girl and I am amazed at her simplicity and grace, Yes, I understand that with today's great designs and up-to-date hurrah the Stearman must take a back seat. Yet I wonder how I can be so lucky as to be the temporary caretaker of such a wonderful machine. How lucky can one be to have an authentic piece of history placed in their care? When I think of the perhaps hundreds of WWII pilots that enthusiastically launched their flying career in my Stearman and the very high percentage that later gave their lives in combat, it almost brings me to tears. How many good men, far more capable than I, set in the seat I now occupy only to forfeit their lives for the freedoms I now take for granite? The thought is humbling!
Yep, I fly peacefully in the clear blue skies over our country only occasionally stopping to think about how the Stearman's history fits into the overall process that has brought us to the freedom we, too often, assume comes free. Thank God for all of the ghosts that fly with me every time the wheels leave the ground. I feel honored to fly the Stearman with those brave men that proceed me as PICs. I do not deserve the prestigious position of thinking I own the Stearman. My job is to fly the plane with honor, maintain it, pass it along and never forget those that were the real harrows of the Stearman heritage.
Well, so much for sticking with the topic. I guess my whole point is that I really appreciate what I have, the Stearman. Moreover, I guess one plane must do for me...
1. I used the term God. Sorry if that offends you but I am entitled to my beliefs
2. I tended to glorify the brave men that gave their lives for our freedom. If that offends anyone then I am sorry but I can glorify anyone I please because of those brave men that I am so proud of!
3. I think it is great that people have multiple planes and I would be the last one to suggest that they distribute wealth by giving their planes to those who do not have one! This is not meant to be a political statement but rather an observation of current trends.
4. If you are offended by items 1, 2 and 3, get over it! I am sure you say things that could offend me...
Finally, I guess I will have still another glass of wine...
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