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Gallant Clan

avbug

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I was just returning a book to the shelf and this caught my eye. It's a book with the poetry and writings of Gill Robb Wilson, published in 1957. It's called The Gallant Clan:

The futile wings on the yellowed prints
seem foolishly quaint and crude
unless one walked in the bygone years
with the sky's strange brotherhood
when there was no script or reasoned code,
when there was no center stage
where a man had a way to make his day
stand tall for another age.

They pored and peered in their patient rote
as the dreamer is wont to do
and borrowed a buck if they had the luck
to find you with more than two.
They burned the oil in the midnight lamp
but scarce earned daily bread
and often died when they tried to ride
their designs in the overhead.

So smile if you will at the wierd machine
but not at the gallant clan
which gave it's heart though it lacked the art
and the tools for a better plan.
They reached for the stars while the savants slept,
and their faith was a thing of flame
which kindled the sky, though today they lie
unmarked by the worlds acclaim.

I've flown that old equipment, and met some of the few remaining men, of whom Mr. Wilson spoke. I've often thought about them, and I marvel at their accomplishments every time I cross the Sierras in the winter, or fly an approach, or navigate so perfectly without any effort on my part, thanks to technology guiding the way and a fine autopilot to do the rest. I've flown in some places of the world where even today flying is a challenge, and few improvements have been made since the times of which Mr. Wilson spoke...but I am still in awe at the men who did it without those few improvements, who learned as they went, who fixed what they broke, who flew the biggest piece home.

Roots.
 

avbug

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I've still got many of the magazines from the 50's, 60's, and so on. Even the Air Facts publications that were, before Flying was published. This book, The Airman's World, is a compilation of many of his works that were originally published in Flying.
 

BD King

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Ya know you're getting old when you remember Air Facts and what Nancy Narco had to say.

www.bdkingpress.com
 

avbug

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The irony is that I still read them, and still enjoy them, and still get something out of them each time I do. I've got a few Leighton Collins books on the shelf, too. Then again, Stick and Rudder is still in print and still as popular as ever, and Wolfgang wrote that some time ago too.

What really made me feel out of touch was talking with a student pilot a few days ago. I mentioned the J-3 cub, and he asked what that was. :)eek: ). He asked if it is anything like a Katana.

Yes, son, it is. Except yellow...
 
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