I was eight, maybe nine, when the notion took hold of all my dreams and consumed a month of precious summer days (okay, probably a week, but as a kid, it felt like a month). I’d yet to learn of Icarus’ flying folly (damn that sun!); my plan was simple – flap my arms (it worked for birds; why not me?), and I would eventually learn to soar above the tree tops. Even birds weren’t born knowing how to fly.
Climbing to the top of all those trees had its limitations, gravity in particular. No fun having the wind knocked out of you at the end of a fall. Flying would be so handy considering my propensity (to this day) for more adventure than caution (see Monday’s post).
Call me stubborn, or perhaps a bird brain given the flying thing, but I jumped from my practice pad (a four-foot high ledge that conveniently protruded from the front of the house) time and time again, convinced that with the right form and just enough altitude I could fly.
In retrospect, I’m very fortunate my practice pad was only four feet high.
I think we all know how my story ends (I’m proud to report, no broken bones to go along with my flights of fancy), although this isn’t really the end of today’s story. It’s just the beginning.
The whirlybird looked a bit like a dragonfly on steroids, the bulbous head attached to the exoskeleton momentarily at rest.
Oh, yeah, Jimmy, a dream, and one whirlybird.
The instructor spent about fifteen minutes talking shop with Jimmy, discussing the mechanics of flight with this particular machine. They boys seemed a bit obsessed with all the knobs and dials and buttons essential for a safe and successful flight; typical behavior for boys and their toys.