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Friday, August 19, 2011

National Aviation Day



I dug Bennie's flying memorabilia out, looking for something to photograph for National Aviation Day (which is today) . . . not having a clue that there was a date-appropriate entry in his pilot logbook . . . and that on this date . . . the 19th day of August . . . in the year 1984 . . . Bennie flew his 1948 Beechcraft Bonanza from the airport in Cameron, Texas to the Red Bird Airport near Dallas, Texas . . . he only flew the Bonanza six more times before selling it the following year . . . I can visualize Bennie in the following verse . . . although the vehicle varies . . . sometimes it's an airplane . . . sometimes it's a racecar . . . or sometimes he's riding a horse around the meadows of Heaven . . .

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air. . . .

Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

John Gillespie Magee, Jr


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