Hi All, I thought I would post a copy of a post I made on another website a few years ago. A lot of the folks over there liked it, maybe you will too. Brian
My Dad was a corporate pilot in the 60's 70's and 80's, flying around BC and Alberta. He's been gone these last 17 years; he never met my wife, my kids, or knew I had a successful career. He never knew I got my Pilot's license; we never had chance to BS about airplanes and such. Course I don't know how that conversation would have gone, my dad and I didn't see eye to eye on everything. My brother says it's because we were so much alike: stubborn, and didn't want to give an inch. Not much in the way of common ground.
When I came across some of his old aeronautical charts dating from 1963, I was looking with interest at his handwritten notes, his bearing lines from Douglas Lake Ranch (a private strip that was his most interesting & frequent destination) to Vancouver. My wife was with me when I found the charts, and I explained to her what the lines meant, how on this particular chart, a lot of the airports were not charted and Dad had handmarked the private strips that he knew, and their approximate length in case he might need them. I was surprised at how much I could relate to his flying.
I also explained to her about the airways (highways in the sky) and how airplanes fly at different altitudes depending on their direction of travel, in order to prevent midair collisions. As we are going to Hawaii in January, I felt I was giving her information that would help her deal with her apprehension about flying over that much water.
I was a little surprised she was paying attention to my aviation ramblings, but what the hey?
Lately, I've been missing Dad, I really should hang a recent picture of him. I have pictures from his days in the Air Force prior to my birth, but none of how I remember him. I'll ask my brother if he has a picture I can have.
Life goes on as it does, and this Christmas season was very hectic, with the kids in a multitude of activities, the weather being more difficult than normal, power outages, snowfalls, etc etc etc
Christmas Eve was very busy, the kids were difficult to get to bed, they didn't want to go to sleep, Dad and Mum had to stay up later than normal so that we could do our thing. Christmas morning was as good as it gets, Santa brought all the right presents, the kids were pumped!
I got the mandatory socks and shirts (just what I wanted); a pretty normal Christmas. My wife said, "There's one more gift for Dad, it was too big to wrap properly." So my 10 year old, 6 year old and wife go upstairs and come down with a BIG picture frame wrapped in brown paper.
Here you go!
Is it a picture of my kids, my airplane or ??
All eyes are on me. I tear off the plain brown wrapper and see Dad's aeronautical chart from 1963, beautifully framed.
I'm quiet. Real quiet.
My 6 year old says, "Why are you crying Daddy?"
"What are you crying about?"
Yeah, I had a pretty good Christmas!