Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: south hangar pano...

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: south hangar panorama, including Air France Concorde, Boeing 307 Stratoliner “Clipper Flying Cloud”, De Havilland-Canada DHC-1A Chipmunk Pennzoil Special, Monocoupe 110 Special among others (Photo credit: Chris Devers)

There are so many little knobs. Textured with ridges, adorned with a simple white circle at the top and much of the white has rubbed off from the many hands that have adjusted it. You can tell which ones are the most used by their lack of white, even if you had no idea what it controlled.

There were special compartments, secret compartments, places you’d never think to look to stow your huge headphones.

And the codes.

Such great codes and terms only known to those who used them.

The cold air.

The check lists.

The tiny window within a window that you got to open and yell a quick, sharp, “Clear!”

That meant the game was afoot, and the prop whirled to life.

We joggled and bopped along the ground where we were never meant to stay, until we felt that ‘whoosh’ in the stomach that could only mean one thing…

Lift off.

And then we’d fly.


This is my flimsy little Five Minute Friday contribution. On the surface it’s not deep, not profound, not spiritual, but it is personal.

My Dad loves to fly. When in doubt, any gift for any occasion can always be money for Air Time and he’ll be thrilled. He’s taken me flying my whole life (in small aircraft, prop planes with three or four seats usually), and now he occasionally will fly over my house and the kids and I will rush outside and he tips a wing to show us he sees us. It’s fantastic.

What shared activities did you do with your parent(s) when you were growing up? Do you have a hobby you share with your family now?