The past weeks I have been busy working on the decks of our larger cruisers. An absolutely full filling experience from my point of view. My clients were all in the 70’s something age range and we all appeared to have several things in common..Fishing and Flying. It was this thread running through our lives which left us all with questions about our meeting.
When I grew up there was an airplane in our garage. My surrogate uncle, John Willard Thorp, was one heck of an airplane designer, and my Dad was Uncle Johnnie’s best friend. Uncle Johnny designed an airplane in conjunction with Fletcher aircraft back in the late 1950’s. This airplane went from a single seat version to a 2 seater and during the initial test flights the aircraft entered into a flat spin which resulted in the death of both the Test Pilot and the Aerodynamic Engineer. This devastated Uncle Johnny as he always did the initial test flights himself and the Engineer who was killed was way close to the family as well. Why Uncle Johnny wasn’t flying? I cannot answer that.
As life goes, the gentlemen I am fishing with are brothers from the same parents but raised separately. One grew up in Burbank and told me a grand story of his test pilot fathers life and death in a very hot experimental airplane designed in Burbank. After hearing a verbal description of the plane I knew, this was the Fletcher, and yes it was Bob’s father who was killed. Someone is telling me something and this renewed my respect for flight which I shall remember as I take to the left seat once again.
Now the next Gentlemen I am to fish with also entered my life thru the power of the propeller. These guys I first met on the tarmac of Palo Alto Airport and the connection was immediate. You see I have one of those beloved Thorp airplanes, the one from my childhood to be exact. And our meeting was because of this airplane and the need to retire her to a museum.
As I entered Larry’s office to finalize the airplane donation paperwork I was struck by something recalling my youth. Everything airplane everywhere. My smile was quick to stick on my face and it only got better as these guys are the real deal. The discussion went from the Thorp to my future flying, to fishing, to La Paz, to a Cessna 182. One thing to another and here we are, in the Sea of Cortez, chasing billy together working out my safe return to flying.
First witnessing Flight#214, then the Fletcher story, and then Larry? To have this all happen so suddenly is a twist which brings forth the question of life. In my mind these things were sent to me from those I know in Heaven.
My smile is still stuck on my face.
No es lo mismo hablar de toros que estar en el redondel
Tight Lines Amigos,