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6/12/2008

Sunday Fill on Thursday

Given that there's no 100 Word Challenge this week (Velvet is buried, what with the young man she owns trying to do his Superman imitation - and losing) I thought I would fill in with some 'Sunday Fill' - which may or may not become a semi-regular feature of this here blog space.

You may have noticed over the last few days, that I have a certain fascination with airplanes, and flying in general. I come by it honest, honest I do. When I was a little boy (yes, it's another one of THOSE stories), and I used to spend the summers at Aunt Louise's Resort in the country, Aunt Lou and Uncle Al had a partner in the place, 'Uncle' John. John J. had been a bomber pilot in the Second World War and his legs and back were full of shrapnel and he was always in a lot of pain. So he drank. A lot. Uncle John would sit in his chair next to the pop machine (the old fashioned kind that held bottles, not cans, and pop was a dime, where you lifted the lid and slid your selection down to the end of the rails that held it in suspension and up through the latch system, after you'd put your dime in) and drank Jack Daniels right. from. the. bottle. Two bottles a day. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. He walked with a cane, two canes on bad days. And he told us stories. We loved Uncle john. His drinking was never a 'problem', at least not as far as WE were concerned. He never seemed to get drunk. He would just go to sleep in his chair, the long, grey hairs on his chest rising and falling slowly, with each breath. And we knew to be quiet. As children we never knew how much pain he was in. And he never told us war stories. Just so you know.

Anyway, Uncle John owned a seaplane. And once in a great while, he would fly his plane in and land on the lake where the resort was and give us kids rides. On those rare 'good' days. Because Uncle John LOVED to fly and he loved us kids.

The very first time he flew his plane in that I was ever aware of, at least, and that I was going to be able to get a ride in his plane, happened to be the day that I discovered the can of Hershey's Syrup in the cupboard and drank it. I was SO SICK. Nobody knew why - all they knew was that I was throwing up like crazy. And I wasn't going to tell anybody what I'd done because by then, smart little bugger that I was, I'd figured out that that probably wasn't the smartest thing I'd ever done and I would probably be in trouble if I fessed up. I mean, I'd thrown up all over everything on the sun porch and Aunt Lou was PISSED - but forgiving, at the same time, because she thought I was SICK. I knew, if SHE knew - so I didn't say anything and I watched as my sister and my cousins all got rides in Uncle John's seaplane and I stayed grounded - because I was 'too sick to fly'.

Everybody came back with big, shit eatin' grins on their faces. Very much like the one on my face after the glider ride last June. I was so, so, very disappointed. I wanted to go up in his plane so, so, much. THAT'S when I was first touched by the 'love to fly' bug. And it's been with me ever since. I was 6. I am now 62. And I STILL get excited and all giddy at the prospect of leaving the ground and taking to the air. Just like a kid. Which isn't a surprise. Because inside, I am that kid. It's just the outside that's gotten older.

16 comments:

Alice said...

LOL - I'm surprised they didn't spot the Hershey Syrup when it came back up.

Maybe for your Anniversary, you could take a ride in a jet fighter. That would be something!

anglophilefootballfanatic.com said...

I'm still a kid inside, too. Other parents don't get why I like taking the tyke to Chuck E Cheese and Disney and the like so much. BECAUSE IT'S FUN guys!

witchypoo said...

Great story, syrup boy!
Where I live there is a Young Eagles program where licenced pilots have planes with dual controls, allowing youngsters to experience flight and the feel of the controls during part of the flight. Ass Burger Boy was thrilled to discover that he had natural flying aptitude!

Melody said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog!! What you said about cats - very true! ;-) My uncle, who passed recently, and is on my mind a lot, had a bumper sticker that said "The more you run over a dead cat, the flatter it gets." Your comments reminded me of that...

I loved flying when I was a girl, I kinda of miss my dad's old plane.

Thanks again.

thegrandview said...

Great story, Lou. How could you not be slightly concerned about Uncle J's drinking and flying? Hmmm....

Once when I was a kid, I clumsily tripped over a chair leg and I fell toward the picture window. My forehead shattered the window into a gazillion pieces. Knowing that unless I was close to death, I was in a heap of trouble. I laid down on the ground until my parents arrived. It wasn't until long into adulthood that I fessed up. They couldn't believe that I tricked them.

Talina said...

Better you than me, I am so scared to fly. I need to me in control and well, without my feet on the ground it is hard!

LceeL said...

alice: A jet fighter would be so cool!!! I'd just have to be sure my bowels were empty before I went up.

AFF: You like CC too? Cool!!

witchypoo: Ah, yes. Syrup boy, steady sidekick to Ice Cream Man.

melody: Thanks for stopping by. I know what you mean.

thegrandview: Mike, he flew on GOOD days - that meant, among other things, he was sober. And your little accident explains a lot.

LceeL said...

Talina: Just grab the pilot by the cojones and I promise, you're in control.

warriorwoman said...

In my home town the only flights out were little, very little, bush planes. The engine struggled for breath like an old man who's been smoking his whole life. The wind whistled in through the cracks and they shook when they took off, like they would shake apart.

I'm surprised they didn't, considering they were held together with duct tape anyway.

My first flight that I paid for was $28.00 and lasted 20 minutes.
I'm not a big fan of flying cause what goes up must come down.

Lady Language said...

I had a 61 year old customer the other day. Age is only a number, it's how you feel that counts - keep that inner child as long as you can!

MommyTime said...

I love this post, and I had to read back over the last few days of flying posts too. That great grin might make up for the Hershey's syrup, but I'm surprised no one figured out the cause of the illness from the color alone!

Pamela Kramer said...

LOL - What a great post! I really enjoyed your story. You have some really great memories to share. I too am surprised you didn't get caught ! We have the air show that comes every year and my boys love to go and crawl around the inside of all the planes. It's loud but fun.

Kelley said...

So wasn't your vomit like brown? Weren't they worried that you were like vomiting up your intestinal tract or something?

I think a little Karma visited you that day :)

LceeL said...

warriorwoman: I was always fascinated by 'bush flying'. And bush landing. And bush exploring.

Lady Language: Old broad, eh?

mommytime: Actually, I think there were enough lumps from breakfast in there to keep it interesting.

pamela kramer: Like I said, there was other stuff in there. I think the breakfast orange juice my have helped.

kelley: There was other stuff in there - and besides, I was everybody's favorite boy. If they only knew ...

Hyphen Mama said...

Sniff, sniff... Why does Lou's vomit smell like chocolate?

I remember that feeling as a kid of wanting to break the surly bonds of earth and have nothing under me except air!

Have you ever tried ultra light flying?

LceeL said...

hyphen mama: No, that's something else i want to get to before too long. Gliding is close, though. It's just all enclosed.