Plane & Pilot
Friday, July 1, 2005


Whether real or imaginary, these obstacles keep us in and others out

Looking down, I had this urge to be down there, sitting in a lifeguard’s chair, just watching. I wanted to soak in what it must be like to just “be.” To be alive for the sole purpose of living, not to accomplish any goal, but be born with the express reason of enjoying your life and perpetuating your species while, in this case, bringing an enormous amount of beauty into the world by your very existence.

When I woke up this morning, the horses were the first thing to hit my mind’s eye. Then the business of business took over as I scurried around doing what I do. Today, that included driving north out of town to pick up some airplane parts on a route I always enjoy taking because I pass a huge radio-control model airplane field and I get a kick out of stopping by just to watch and sometimes chat. Airplanes are airplanes, regardless of size.

As I turned into the drive, I was startled to find a new gate. As I stopped, another car came through from the other direction; the driver got out to open the gate, then pulled up alongside me after relocking it. As he did, I noticed a couple of buzzard-sized biplanes chasing each other around the sky in the near distance.

He rolled down his window and asked, “Are you a member?”

Since I don’t belong to a single organization on the planet except the EAA, I didn’t have to ask him what I would be a member of. So, I answered, “No, I guess not.”

“Yeah, well, only members can go through the gate.” Giving no further explanation, he rolled up his window and was gone.

The biplanes still cavorted overhead, but I was some distance away on the other side of the fence, which didn’t satisfy my urge to watch, so I left. Suddenly, I flashed onto people I’ve seen standing by the taxiway fence as I taxied out. Quite often, there’s a father with a small child on his shoulders. Inevitably, little hands would wave, and I would make it a point to wave back, sometimes revving the engine as punctuation. If I were a trucker, I’d honk the horn every single time some kid would do the chain-jerking motion. I’m a sucker for that kind of thing.


Add Comment