Greetings, readers. We got the blog post done so fast today, that Rebecca and I still have time in the work day, so I am sharing one of my personal stories with you, from a project that has, for now, stalled. I have some little pieces that may or may not be published in a book someday, and Rebecca thought it would be nice to share them with you. So, here you go.
My Fascination with Airplanes
From the age of seven, I have been fascinated with aircraft of all types. I have lived in central Pennsylvania all my life and our airport was considerably smaller than it is today. In the pre-9/11 era, people could stand closer to the airfield. As a kid, I could literally stand by the fence and watch planes take off; you can’t do that anymore. Today, they have security walls and guards keeping you far from any real view. When our airport was smaller, single engine propeller planes were the status quo. Today you can hear small jets overhead. Jets are my passion.
My father, a philosophy professor, would sometimes teach overseas. Once in a great while the family would get to travel with him. My first experience on a jet was on a Boeing 747. As memory serves, it was approximately a seven hour flight. Being pampered by stewards and stewardesses, as they were called back then, was a real treat for me. However, my biggest thrill was take-off. As the jumbo jet rumbled down the runway, engines whining with power, the giant bird became airborne. I saw the earth fall away and the plane seemed to smooth out.
Within thirty minutes of the flight we were at or near cruising altitude. The now all-too-familiar “dings” of the smoking/no smoking signs were switched off, and we could truly get comfortable. In the 1970s, jumbo jets were equipped with one, perhaps two, movie screens. Nowadays, there are smaller screens every few rows. Another pre-9/11 luxury of aircraft was something called real silverware, instead of the now used spork. Meals were more elaborate and tastier. I won’t go into too much detail, but I’m still looking for the moron who served us spaghetti and meat sauce at 25,000 feet. I got a little sick.
Flying from New York to Frankfort was an overnight flight, so still being a young boy, I was easily able to sleep. When I awoke, we were approximately an hour away from our destination. I remember my disappointment when my parents told me that we were going home on a ship and not a plane.
Today, I get my thrills of flying through something called the flight simulator. It is a wonderful computer program. I can program the computer to begin at any one of 24,000 airports and “fly” to virtually anywhere in the world.