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Monday, August 7, 2017

I Flew In My Uncle's Airplane

I was small enough to be held in my mother's lap when I went up for my first airplane ride. My Uncle Clarence bought a Piper Cub (after World War Two, I presume, but I suppose it could have been earlier). Uncle Clarence, like me, was colorblind. I remember overhearing a conversation in which he said that affected his flying license; I believe he could not fly into some or most airports.

He built a hanger for his airplane on Uncle Verle's place and used Verle's field (the original Pratt farm where my mom was a child) as his runway. I know I was old enough to talk when he invited Mom and me to go up for a ride. I suspect this was her first plane ride as well. My clearest memory is not of the flight, but of Uncle Clarence's question and my response before we went up. He asked, “Do you want to fly under the clouds or above the clouds?” I responded, “In the clouds!” That made my uncle laugh. I remember enjoying the ride without fear. Yet, twhen he invited me up a couple more times in following years, I said, “No.” I don't remember why. I know I was certain then I was not afraid, but now I question my certainty. As for that fist flight, I remember mostly the takeoff--the trees that faced us at the fenceline, how much we rolled and bounced up and down as we traversed the seemingly flat field for takeoff and landing, and , of course, the clouds. There weren't many of that day, but they were pretty; I believe we sampled one or two.

(c) from date of posting, by Bob Komives, Fort Collins 

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