Wednesday, September 17, 2014

When you know the right people...

wonderful things can happen! I've found so many of them through the years and the doors that have opened have amazed me!

One of those belongs to Anji (a link to one of her several blogs), who among her many interests, deals in antique postcards. I had purchased some beautiful sets she assembled and gave them to my daughter-in-law a few years ago; antique postcards of flowers made into arrangements that were wonderful pastels and and made a nice wall hanging for her.

Given the "rabbit hole" I've been in of late, I visited her a few weeks ago to see what I might find in early aviation postcards, thinking I might find one of Louis Bleriot's monoplane. Not only the builder and pilot of the first successful monoplane, he was also the first to fly across the English Channel. When you conside the state of aviation in 1909, the reliability of engines, etc., his fame is well deserved!

My search had my eyes misting as I not only found what I'd hoped, but also two pristine original postcards of Wilbur Wright's visit to France in 1908 (the upper two cards below). They tie in to my current reading (the rise and collapse of the Wright company).

The 3rd card is of Glenn Curtiss airborne over Hammondsport, NY. A motorcycle racer turned aircraft builder, among many things he's considered the "Father of Naval Aviation". The last frame belongs to Mr. Bleriot.

This hangs next to my side of the bed where I see it first thing each morning and last at night as well as numerous times through the day. Thank you, Anji!

I mentioned my mother-in-law recently and was asked to write more about her. There are so many things I wish I did know! I know she attended Cornell for part of her college, then moved to one closer to home. Given it was the Depression, I don't know whether it was due to financial issues or other things.

I know her favorite band was Artie Shaw; she told me of dancing not only to the Shaw band, but Miller, the Dorsey and the Goodman bands as well when they played college dates. You can imagine my envy of her getting to hear those in person! One late night in her kitchen in Vermont when I was playing some cassettes of Bunny Berigan with Goodman's band we were discussing the possiblity of traveling far enough into space to catch the AM radio waves and record the radio broadcasts of the period with modern recording techniques...I've been assured by my oldest, the astrophysicist that they would be distorted enough that it wouldn't be the same, but it's still a nice thing to dream about!

After the war she worked a few more years, then gave it up to settle down, marry and raise a family. She still did some projects from home; the girls remember being given a set of disposable razor handles that she designed injection molds for.

I know she didn't renew her licenses one year when my wife and her siblings were little. She and the girl's father were both working in a mill in Vermont full-time and still having a hard time making ends meet. At the time groceries and heat were more important. I've been there!

It wasn't long after we lost she and my Dad within a year of each other that I started making a point of asking my only surviving grandmother lots of things about her history; I learned a lot; part of it I got on cassettes I should be making a point of transcribing to disc before the oxide peels from the tapes. I wish I'd done that with my Mom's parents, my Dad and Marion as well! They say hindsight is 20/20. I sometimes think 20/10!

I had a couple of good doctor's appointments in the last 10 days; there has been a bit of improvement in my lung percentage. It's thought to be due to how long it's been since I had my last chemo. The cancer doctor said "keep doing what you're doing". I'll have a CT in November so they can really peek behind the scenes; until then I just have to ignore each ache and pain and quit worrying about them, and try and avoid the fall flu season! I went and got my shot the first day I saw them available.

I hope life is being kind to each of you!