Adoration of the Airplane
I got this from my Father, who perhaps got it from Charles Lindbergh, who no doubt picked it up from the enthusiasm of his times for flying and flyers.
My Father took flying lessons briefly sometime late in the Twenties, but never followed up on that enthusiasm. This was a common pattern in his life – a sudden interest pursued with passion, followed by complete disinterest. My young life was devoted to overcoming my Father’s deficiencies – in becoming what he failed at – in my life.
I hardly need tell you that this was not a smart thing to do. Dad was not grateful to me for doing this – in fact he downgraded my efforts, and was not happy until I became a failure myself. Here again, following his model.
WWII was the landmark event in our family’s life – as it was for every American family. We went from rags to riches overnight – from being nothing to being the most powerful nation in history. We never forgot this lesson – war makes you rich and powerful.
After the war, Dad took flying lessons again - but not for long. He was a terrible flyer, and got lost almost as soon as he took off. I was determined to overcome this – and prove that Dad was all right – which he most certainly was not.
After I graduated as an engineer (a profession chosen because my Father had failed at this) and got my first job – I got my first airplane. And spent much of my time, and my income on it. Not on women – I was just as disinterested in them as Father was.
This was followed by other airplanes and many narrow escapes from death. I had no business being a pilot, and should have stayed on the ground.
Eventually, I got married and gave up flying. Beth overshadowed that interest completely. Another craziness took over my life.
Looking back at it, I’m not sorry I switched. Even though the marriage did not work out either. I was beginning to live my own life – and not Dad’s.