, , , ,

I’ve never had a bad day in all my life.

Well, that might not be totally true. A few years ago I was landing my 1946 Aeronca “Champ” at a grass airstrip when I misjudged my altitude and caught a tree with the right wingtip.  About four seconds later the airplane cartwheeled into the ground nose-first, changing my life forever. Both of my legs had multiple compound fractures and my right shoulder suffered an irreparable dislocation.  After nine surgeries and months of rehabilitation, it became apparent that the infection in my right leg would kill me, so it was easy to make the decision to have it amputated above the knee. I now walk with an ‘artificial’ leg.

There was no point in feeling sorry for myself … I totally own that accident. All I wanted to do was fly again. With the help of my friends, I was able to put hand rudder controls in a 1964 Cherokee 180. So I’m flying!

I also wanted to go back to my job on the Long Island car and passenger ferries. I’d been working with great people, but the boats could be physically demanding. So after a lifetime of making a living on the water, I suddenly had the time to do something else.

Of course, I started writing eBooks.

My friend Bendrix suggested this blog as a way to introduce me and my writing. A group of friends meets at Taunton Airport every Sunday morning to fly to breakfast, and it was Ben’s idea that I should post after each of those flights.

Something interesting usually happens …

For instance, last week my friend Mike was off flying his wife and daughter home from Maryland, so his 15 year old son (old enough to solo in four months) hopped into the left seat of my Cherokee and flew me to Martha’s Vineyard with the breakfast crew. I think we had eight or nine airplanes. It was fun to watch this kid – who has grown up around airplanes all his life – effortlessly make a perfect landing on the grass at Katama Airpark, and another at Cranland, an 1,800 foot airstrip surrounded by trees. That’s what it is all about!