I was first bitten by the flying bug at an airshow in Dayton, Ohio when I was five years old. The noise from the jets was incredible. My dad took me, and we were able to walk right up to a B-52 (which in those days was still guarded by Air Force personnel). We checked it out from nose to tail. My dad said we needed to kick the tires if we were interested in buying it. I remember the tire was taller than I was, but I gave it such a kick I landed on my butt, which had my dad and the guard laughing out loud.
I knew even then I wanted to fly. My nearsightedness was just bad enough; I couldn’t fly for the Air Force. And I couldn’t afford to take lessons, so I put my dreams on hold. When I turned 21, I bought a great book called “Learning How to Fly an Airplane” by Jerry McGuire and Emily Howell Warner, and I read it again and again. It was 11 years before time, money and a nearby airport all aligned to afford me my dream of getting my pilot’s license.
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