I’m writing this on a cloudy, windy, rainy day at home, and I’m doing what’s most suitable for a day like this: I’m sitting at my desktop computer and allowing the kindness of others who have forwarded to me several emails that will enable me to take a virtual trip through aviation’s yesteryear.
I began my rainy day diversions with a collection of black-and-white photos of days long past. The first one was an aerial shot of Newark Airport, circa 1960. On the ramp at the big old terminal building are a bevy of piston airliners, a scattering of early airline turboprops, and a New York Airways helicopter waiting to lift off in the foreground. In the background, I can nearly see myself in my new copilot’s uniform as I walked across that familiar stretch of concrete that led from the employees’ parking lot, a flight kit in one hand and a suitcase in the other, about to embark on the magical adventure of being an airline pilot in those days.
The next photo was even more up close and personal, since it was taken inside that crowded terminal building—a building that now looks quite small in the picture but back then appeared so incredibly large and imposing. I can, I swear, remember every step of the way between the terminal’s entrance door and the west wing exit that led to our operations area. This was the path that led me to the airliners that took me to the sky—how could I forget that?
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