At sixteen he was the youngest person to get his pilot's license in the area they lived. The first pictures is of him around that time, not sure if it was taken after his first solo flight? Or if it was taken after he received his pilot's license.
The second picture was the plane he use to fly in his first flying club and this would have been the first plane that I ever went up for a flight. When most kids went for Sunday rides in the country, we went up in the air. Some times it was nothing more than a couple times around the airport, other times it was longer. I loved to fly, the rougher the weather the more I love it, so obviously I'm not one of "those" people who scream when the commercial flights are bumpy - it's like being a kid again :)
The low wing plane was the first plane he owned with 4 other people and probably the plane I remember flying around it most. Let me tell you that our trips to the airport didn't just include a flight, but it also meant that we totally wiped down the plane when we were done, no small bugs were allowed to stay on the plane. But that was OK with us, it was all part of the adventure and it was spending time with Daddy, so we didn't complain.
After all of us were out of the house and my Dad was semi-retired, he decided to build a plane - an R-6 tail dragger. Don't ask me anything more about it because I don't know much about planes, never learned to fly, only enjoy the ride.
Well a few years ago my Dad decided to finish building a plane someone else had started, but I think at the end of the day he pretty much took it all apart and started over. My niece has gone to Michigan the last couple of summers to work with Grandpa on plane for a week or two. It's looking pretty good.
Life growing up wasn't always about flying, my Dad was into baseball and while he traveled frequently 5 days a week some how, he managed to find time during the summer to coach my baseball team for 3 years. I wasn't the star player, and my Dad didn't play favorites, you got to play because you earned it, and earning the right meant you came to practice twice a week and showed up for the games on time. Good or bad, everyone got to play and if we won, my Dad got us ice cream as a reward, if we lost, it was popsicles. At the end of the year, we always went to a Detroit Tigers game, regardless where we place, although we came in 3rd in the city two years in a row :).
My Dad was also into scuba diving, so our summer vacations were always geared around water. I've gone swimming it 3 of the 5 great lakes, let me tell you, Lake Superior is really, really cold, even in the heat of summer. Also lots of lakes and rivers around Michigan and a couple up in Canada. Our favorite spot was on the Canadian side of Lake Huron, the beaches were nicer and the water was semi warm. Then my Dad heard about Isle Royal in Lake Superior and that was the new favorite place, they still go every year for 2 weeks. When my Dad was younger, he would dive on ship wrecks that were known in the area. Of late, he and my Mom do a little hiking, a little fishing and a lot of reading.
Our vacations had to have 2 main attractions - water for either scuba diving or fishing and no phones. Most of the time there was no t.v. either. That meant that evenings were spent playing games with my siblings and parents, most of the time card games. Sometimes other adult friends would come with my parents so my Dad would have someone to dive with, but very rarely were there other kids. Maybe that is why I'm so close with my siblings, we learned to play together, or you sat alone.
My parents are very much family people. They try to attend all of the weddings, graduations or other family gathering. The people here are my Dad, brother and daughter - three generations at my nephew's wedding a few years back. this picture was titled - who has the picture since all of them had their cameras ready.
The other picture is my Dad, Mom, me (yes I do occasionally get shamed into being in the picture, my sister, daughter and hubby. This was at the graduation party for niece.
The last picture was taken this past winter out at my Dad's hanger. It was a selfie with my niece and parents and yet another sister. (who got cut out of the picture).
I'm lucky to have grown up in a loving family. My parents are still married and both in good health. I got to know my grandparents and spend time with them. We weren't rich my any stretch of the imagination, we didn't have the latest of anything. I wore more hand-me-downs than new clothes (that's what happens when you have 2 older sisters). My Mom could feed 5 kids with one can of salmon, and when my Dad was traveling dinner often was something simple - always loved eggs, pancakes and sausages for dinner.
Happy Father's day DAD!! You taught me to work hard, any job worth doing was worth doing to your best efforts. You taught me to swim, sorry that I never was good at scuba diving, but loved to snarl. You taught me to play by the rules and to be a gracious winner as well loser. I Love you to the moon and back.
Sandy (daughter #3)