Tuesday, April 01, 2008

My Dad, the April Fool's Baby

Today would have been my Dad's birthday. Over twenty years now he's been gone. Finally, after all this time, the troubled teen years have faded and most memories of my father surface as warm and kind. He was 40 when I was born, already living a previous life as record rep, schelpping 78's from radio station to record store and back, then serving in the Army Air Corps.

His second life was the one I knew, as an airplane mechanic for Walston Aviation, at the time, the largest Cessna dealer in the world. His Walston service pins are still in my jewelry box. I loved the airport and I loved flying. Small craft still doesn't frighten me, they feel like home. While most kids were pretending to drive, steering from their daddy's laps, I was pretending to execute perfectly smooth touch 'n' go's from my Dad's knee. I grew up knowing about magnetos and plugs, drag and lift, and I could identify the different planes buzzing over our farm just by the sound of their engines. This was the best part of my childhood. Dreaming of the blue horizon. Dreaming of the happy times. Happy birthday, Joe.

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