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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

That's My Kid!

Here are links to a couple of news articles about my son, Carl, and his old Waco airplane. He and Robyn celebrated their 23rd anniversary making a trip to the north woods Canada in his Waco. We laugh that while I research our family history, he researches the history of his pride and joy biplane.

He was born just after Sputnik took to the skies. We took him flying in a friend's small plane, at Fowler, when he was just a toddler. His Dad built model planes that we flew on control lines (pre radio control days) with friends on weekends, and when Carl got old enough he made his own models and flew them. He learned to fly when he was about 14, and at 17 bought his first antique airplane, a 1947 Aeronca, in pieces from a wind storm back east, and pulled it in home in a trailer and rebuilt it, with the help of his mentor, an antique airplane pilot and real estate developer in Boulder. He then built a single engine experimental little biplane that was designed by the head of Ball Brothers in Boulder, who was a member of his flying club. Only 7 of them were ever built. He still has it, but he did sell the Aeronca to buy a modern two engine plane to fly the family in, while he was working at the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) in Pasadena, California. I think getting the Waco was the fulfillment of his airplane dream.
Carl and the Skyote at Pawnee Buttes in the 70s. Look at that hair!

When he was in high school, my friends asked me if his flying didn't scare me. I answered that I would be more scared if he was running around on a motorcycle; the statistics were much better, his teacher insisted on his following all the safety guidelines, and Carl has always been very level headed.

He may not be a rocket scientist, but he is a rocket (aerospace) engineer!

When I was a girl, in the fifties, I dreamed of going to Annapolis and being a Navy pilot, flying planes on and off of carriers. Alas, I dreamed too soon! Girls couldn't do those things in those days. I was overjoyed when women were accepted at the Air Force Academy, but by then I was married with children. So now you know why I am so excited about my son becoming a pilot and having such fun with his planes. I'm also a NASA/JPL groupie, thanks to Carl.


Rian said...

I bet he thinks his mom is pretty cool, too.

Kay said...

Great story, Fran!

My son is named Karl, too; with a K, obviously.

Debra said...

It's always great to have a mom that thinks her kids are great!