Around the Airport

Friday, March 11, 2011

Barnstormer Anonymous - A Short Book About Long Memories.

Preface:
I was a barnstormer once. Flying about the country in an old sack of metal and wires, I learned about flying and myself. Thanks to people who believed in me, rightfully so or not, I gathered experience against the grain, into the wind, and despite my failings. Yes, I was a barnstormer.
Today the title rests on desks, tattered and stale. When fresh the label was given only to those who earned it. Back then it was colorful and clearly defined. Real Barnstormers were not wealthy types offering rides on weekends as a way to depreciate assets or generate losses. Nor were they professionals playing airplane as a form of escape. Instead, often times all their possessions would fit in their planes.
Barnstomers loved their flying machines, a challenge, and their freedom. But above all, they loved flying; the thing that gave all the others. It was in their blood, it was their existence, and often it brought the end. Whatever it delivered the barnstormer was willing to take. Flying was the spark that made life worthwhile and the powerplant run. It was all they knew.
Chapter 1
“Old Bess,” that was her name; a thing of beauty. Dressed with insignia blue and yellow, her soul was that of a shoeless country girl possessing a sweet southern draw and makeup bare skin. She was what you saw, nothing more or less. She was mine for a while and I loved her.
We found our wings, Old Bess and I, together. Neither of us really fit in anywhere. She was the red-headed step-child of Stearmans. Upon her basic fabric was none of the high society jewelry that accompanied more desirable A-75s. In fact, her only markings were the small Stearman birthmark and the N-number she carried by law. Myself, I was a young pilot with only 220 hours logged and a desire to experience flying the way it was meant to be. We met through the classifieds and our first date was chaperoned by my brother.
Flying home to Kentucky, from California, dual would be acquired in all environments. My brother’s intent therefore, as chaperon, was to teach me how to take care of a lady in all of them. If he was successful, by the time we landed at home, Old Bess and I could be trusted on our own. But first, we had to get to Reno.

Check back soon for more chapters.

3 comments:

Gary said...

Kind of reminds of Rinker Buck's style, author of "Flight Of Passage" one of my favorites. Is this an available book or something you are working on Rich? If it's your work, I like it!

Rich Davidson said...

Gary,

This is merely something I am doing one small piece at a time. And since it is here on the blog, much of the story is left out to keep it readable; hopefully. This is why the chapters are so short.

Thanks for reading.

Stuart Glenn said...

Keep it coming Rich, I was hooked at the preface! I believe you are about to tell a story about a dream I have had since I was a little boy, and now I will to live it vicariously through your cleaverly spun chapters....Stuart