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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Aircraft Fetish



I can't tell you about the exact day that it happened, but it did. Something about the roar....the speed....the up, up, and away....that made me go crazy. I think it started early when my parents used to load us all in the 1967 blue Chevy station wagon and go out to the Boise Airport. We'd park at the west end of the runway, put down the tailgate on the station wagon, and get all settled for the United Airline's DC6's that used to be a staple in Boise. And then, United (did you know that United began in Boise in 1926??) pulled out the big guns....started flying jet aircraft into Boise...the 727s. "Here it comes!" we'd all yell as the 727 began it's final turn out over the dry fields west of Boise...black smoke pouring out of it's engines. From that time on, I was hooked. After I was in junior high, I'd ask my mom to take me out to the airport and leave me for the day -- or I'd ride my bicycle out. I'd grab a printed timetable of United Airlines or Hughes Airwest and sit in the cafeteria pretending that I was important and going someplace like the other travelers there. I'd even say things out loud to my friend like "What time do we arrive in Honolulu?" We were crazy. We'd go from gate to gate and tell the airline personnel that "We've never been on an airplane before.....can we have a tour?" And, many times, the Captain would take us down and show us around. I remember the "Stewardesses" in their skirts and blouses with high necks -- complete with tall hats and gloves that rode up nearly to the elbow. Beautiful. Pretty. Smiling. They'd talk to us. From that time on, I wanted to be a Stewardess....and Air Hostess! And, of course, you'll remember the show with Jimmi and Dan on their VarietyCast earlier this year -- maybe I should go as Karen Black (Airport 1975) next Halloween.





I'm still an avid aircraft buff. You'll see the beginnings of my collection of photographs here. In case you have never heard, there is a quite a large number of people around the globe that are avidly interested in aircraft, airlines, new airplanes, routes, new cities, etc. It's an illness and needs meetings to get over it! At this point in my life, I've visited 30 or more states and close to the same number of countries. I'm so glad I started early.

My sister's time in jail begins on Monday morning. I've continued to process it in my head and heart. I still can't believe it's finally starting....right here before the holidays. It can get the best of me if I'm not careful. And it's funny, some of those near me haven't said a word of condolence or sent good thoughts or prayers. Most of my care has come from my awesome partner, from a few select friends at home, and from you....my faithful blogging friends. You mean the world to me.

18 comments:

Lemuel said...

Always!...

savante said...

With the aircraft fetish, are you also a member of the mile high club?

DanNation said...

I have the fetish, too. I surf airliners.net regularly, own every "Airport" film, love MS Flight Simulator, and took flying lessons for a while. I guess that's why I love YOU so much!

Java said...

My thoughts and prayers are with your sister and you. How is she handling things?
I am concerned about her daughter. Will she be in a good place (physically and emotionally) while her mom is in jail?

The aircraft fetish is another variation of the old train fetish. I say "old" but the train/railroad fan club is still HUGE.

Single Guy said...

There is something very sexy about airplanes! I cant wait to ride the A380 in Feb!!! Singapore Airlines..yeah!

Dave2 said...

Kind of amazing how those who are practical strangers in the blogosphere can end up being such a source of strength, isn't it? I run into that time and time again...

Nathan said...

I'm sorry some of those closest to you haven't said a word. Unfortunately people can allow their personal judgments about her situation to overshadow the support they are supposed to be giving you.

I felt I as in a similar boat last spring when our nephew passed from the drug overdose. Some of our closest friends wouldn't even acknowledge it because they disapproved of the way he died. But what they weren't realizing was that they were making us pay for his choices by withholding sympathy. Not fair at all.

Fortunately I had a lot of support and good friends via my blog (yourself included), and likewise, YOU have my love and support on what is happening with your sister.

Sorry you're going through this right before the holidays.

xoxo

Nathan Garvison said...

That's fun to have aircraft as a hobby. I don't know if you like Michael Chrichton, but he has a book called "Air Frame" that's pretty good.

I feel for you with your sister. Let's hope all works out for the best. The best part of being at rock bottom (like I have been recently) the only way to go is up. So may God be with your family as you go through this tough time.

christopherc said...

I have often found peace and strength through my blog-pals as well, especially in moments I did not feel very loved by those who know me best. It is unfortunate, but familiarity often is contemptuous and the lure of separation breeds a bond that is stronger; I find this especially true for most gay men oddly enough.

I do hope there was some time to do holiday celebrations prior to your sister starting her sentence. Such would be a powerful tool and memory for her, your niece, and the rest of your family during this time. Those memories of the sweet moments through life give us hope for the next moment to be cherished. Of course, I could not imagine any moment in your presence not being peace-filled and sweet as you seem to be a true angel.

As for the aircraft fetish, I think it's the powerful engines the thrust you into the sky toward some unknown destination... much like life itself. And it's always an amazement to step out and see what new adventure awaits one at the next point of connection.

-c

Matt said...

I completely understand the aircraft fetish. My brother and I used to have United timetable too, and would spend hours with binoculars watching the planes come in (we lived under a flight path to O'Hare, although about 10 miles away). The best was when our Dad would take us to O'Hare back when they had an observation deck, or we'd park along Irving Park Road and watch the planes land. Now we live under a flight path to SeaTac, and I watch them land from the window while I'm on the computer.

And I'm sending strength and love to you and your family. At least this phase in your sister's life is on its' way to ending. You know how to get a hold of me if you need to.

Will said...

When I was a kid, my parents used to drive out from Manhattan to Idlewild airport before it was JFK. Like Matt, we'd go up on the observation deck and watch the landings and take-offs.

Whenever an important new plane was being introduced into the fleets, they'd have one open for visiting, a short walk out on the tarmac, up the stairs, through the plane and out the back. Flying was a EVENT then and a fun one.

TJ said...

Sending you a Hug because I can and hope it is okay with you, but I'm still sending it. As for the planes, my partner has the fetish not me. I reserve my fetish for...um never mind..

LSL said...

Lewis, so difficult that your sister is starting her sentence tomorrow, right before the holidays. If she's 1/2 as strong as you are, and it sounds like she is, you all are going to make it. Sending lots of thoughts and hugs your way.

Wayne said...

It's sometimes hard when your close to someone, to discuss subjects that hurt. They may think you don't want to dwell on it or talk about it. Or kinda like when someone has a terminal illness. They don't know what to say, so they say nothing at all.

Steven said...

Now I understand why it was such a fervor for that Chicago family that parked off Cicero Avenue by Midway Airport and their son met his untimely death when the plane overshot the runway and ran into the car parking on the street. So many of us were asking, "Why were they parked there watching planes?"

Continued thought for you, Steven and your family as you realize your sister's pending day. But remember she is out when Spring emerges anew.

Doug said...

Sorry, I got distracted by Savante's comment and imagining you dressed as a stewardess, especially with the little hat.

Ur-spo said...

my father used to go watch planes take off, and would be shooed away.
i suppose they don't let people that close any more.

Trailhead said...

I spend a lot of time reading Ask the Pilot over at Salon, though I suppose most of what he writes there wouldn't be new to you. To me, there's something captivating about planes, mostly because it seems so weird that something so heavy is flying. Yeah, I know, I'm no engineer.