Dear Rancho Flyers,
Today, I had a very unique and emotionally meaningful experience
flying at Rancho San Antonio. I was the only one out there this
morning because it was rather windy and a little bit wet after the
overnight rain. I was getting ready to send my P-47 into the air,
and a respectfully dressed woman gets out of her car behind me.
It was clear to me something wasn't right-- she approached me with
tears in her eyes and a voice ringing with mourning. Patty grabbed
my wind-chilled hand and warmly introduced herself.
Timing this year, would seem, was not on her side. She explains
to me that her husband just died, right before Christmas. His name
was Don. He was apparently disabled and had limitations in mobility
towards the end of his life but he would always come park his car
at our field and watch us fly. It gave him great joy to see all
the different kinds of planes fly and us kids at play. She asked
me if it would be all right to stand there and watch me fly and
if I could dedicate a flight to her late husband.
I've never done anything like that before ... I said yes, of course,
but was afraid with the 15mph winds this morning I would be less
than graceful or have a short landing that was not worthy of a commemorative
flight for a grieving woman's husband. The take-off was uneventful
and straight into the wind. The skies were blue and white, forming
a perfect backdrop for larger-than-life aerobatic patterns. On one
of the low passes, Patty managed to hold back her tears and started
talking to me. She noticed that my plane's insignia was airplane
17-- she then told me her husband's birthday is on the 17th and
that moment clearly held special meaning for her. Don rests nearby
in the cemetery up above our field in the hills and she was sure
he was still deriving great joy from watching us fly.
I landed and gave her a long hug and at least in our mind, the
wind gusts temporarily seemed to die down. I invited her back to
come watch us fly anytime, and she would always be welcomed with
open arms at our field. This flight was for Don.
Have a good holiday season, take care.
Join the forum to discuss this story or leave a comment.
me there now.