As I have mentioned before, (like here and here), I was blogging before there were blogs. Before Blogger or Type Pad or WordPress, I journaled events online to share with the other few hundred people online who knew what the Internet was. Sadly, many of those posts are long gone (with their respective hosting companies) but a few poss I had saved to floppies, which is how I restored the ones linked in the posts above. (Others I will save until an appropriate reminder.)

ANYWAY – the point of this post is less about blogging, and more about my dad and how proud I am of an accomplishment he just made this month: his first solo flight on his life long quest to become a pilot. He just sent the family the poem below to try and answer the oft asked question, “WHY FLY?” I love the poem and am proud of my dad, but I teased him that he left out the time he took me up for a flight, and he replied that he doesn’t remember it, and to send some “proof.” Which is why I mention the ancient blogging, as I blogged the adventure was back in the early nineties, pre-Y2K!

The original post is here: AIR DAD, but I include a few pictures here for those too lazy to open yet another window. Just ignore the contact info on that page, as it’s a tad bit outdated!

But first, the poem:

By Doug Bastian

It’s a question you’ll ask me,
I have asked myself, too.
A clear day pulls my gaze up
And my day-dreams turn blue.

Back in grade school I wandered,
Since my bike set me free,
To the airfield on Broadway
Lots of airplanes to see.

Walked around them, peeked inside,
Wondered how each one flew;
Found some books to explain it,
“I can do this!” I knew.

Years of dreaming passed by me,
Just a ride here and there
With a pilot acquaintance
Lifting me in the air.

The first ride was with Welman
Over Lansing near by.
Then, a cross-country junket,
Mountains, desert, and sky.

Moody Church had some workers
Flying missions and such;
Stayed with David in Haiti,
Flew the island so much.

David once was on furlough
And he offered a trip
Out of Midway…took Jordan,
Overflew school he skipped.

Came the time I was lonely
And my kids took a cue,
Bought me one airplane lesson;
I was hooked for a few.

I became the Red Baron
In son Karl’s view;
We flew South Chicago,
Then he blog’d me so cool.

Later, Jeff was my blessing,
A full CFI, too.
This bush pilot could teach me,
So, real lessons I flew.

Now my logbook had hours,
But, the time was not right.
Many years would flee past me
Without one single flight.

Finally had to decide it…
“To give up, or give in?”
Dash the dream, impossible!
I would try, lose or win.

Now I’ve crossed the first threshold,
I have soloed my plane.
I can do it…I know it.
Life will not be the same.

Have I answered the question
That of, “Why do I fly?”
I can’t think of an answer.
Got to run…”Coming, Sky!”

My dad promised to add a stanza about our trip if I can send some proof of the flight, so this post is my proof along with the pictures from when I had to explain to everyone who saw it, what a “digital camera” was! (‘You mean there is NO FILM?!?!) I love being on the edge of technology!

Here’s your proof, Dad. (entire original post here)

Is that proof enough that your eldest son once flew with you? I love you, Dad, and I’m proud of you!

UPDATE: Even though I was only teasing, my dad added the verse in bold above, and also sent along this picture he spotted in a magazine. He thought the little fellow looked like him as a boy when he began his dreams of flying.

The Little Red Baron!

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