Friday, January 7, 2011
My father was an aviation nut. He dragged me to every airshow he could find. Some of my best memories of my Dad are associated with airplanes. He loved them. He loved pilots. He loved flying. I suppose he never got over washing out of the Army Air Corps Cadet Pilot program during WWII. He ended up seeing Europe much more up close and personal, as the driver of a recon half-track. He was always behind enemy lines in a halftrack, scouting artillery trajectories for Patton's 3rd Army. He would have much rather have seen the Battle of the Bulge from the Air.
My Dad's love of all things aviation rubbed off on me. I can't say I adore flying in commercial aircraft - who does these days? But, give me the small airports and some historic and/or military aircraft to look at and I'm a pretty happy gal.
My first fight was in a bi-plane when I was seven years old. We bumped down the grass runway of a little airport out in the middle of nowhere. The plane was red and I fell in love. We did barrel rolls, and loop de loops. Heaven -- the wind blowing through my hair, the feeling as my stomach lurched to and fro, the sound of the engine driving the propeller. It was heaven.
Whenever I'm offered an opportunity to see airplanes up close and personal, I jump. So when we decided to visit the Museum, I left my camera at home. As usual, I regretted that decision when I saw how well lit the Museum was -- how the light bounces off the fuselages of the airplanes, the Sputnick-esque satellites, and the MIRV missiles.
I have an affinity, albeit a strange one, for missiles. My hometown had a group of medium range missile silos outside of town. My father worked in communications and was in charge of the communications system for the base. So, I grew up with stories of the missiles and their silos. I was terrified, being a child, albeit a very young one, of the crouch under your desk era of civil defense. But I was also fascinated.
Alas, I had no camera during my visit to the Museum. But, I had my brand spanking new Droid cell phone and decided to give it a whirl. Therefore, I present to you a short little slide show of my fascination with the Cold War era planes and missiles complete with spacey music. All that polish aluminum reflecting light everywhere was absolutely beautiful.
Take a brief stroll with me down Cold War lane...