Wednesday, October 17, 2007

BeleWings ( A Personal Note )

If you are lucky you probably have an item or two in your
possession that has been in existence in your world since you
arrived into it. Pictured above is one such treasure from my
family history that I cherish. I wish I had more detailed information for to
share this tale but it is a bit sketchy. I have been trying to research the story
with no positive result as of yet. I am going to have to visit some libraries with deep
newspaper archives and scour the microfilm.

My father had a deep interest in flight, he was a member
of a glider club in Johnson City, TN.

Eventually, he decided to go to Nashville and take the test to qualify for flight
school. Apparently, the highest test score was awarded flight training
with full tuition covered.

My mother decided to make the trip just so she could be there
with my father but, on a whim, she decided she might as well
take the test also since she was there.

Well, I can tell you're guessing ahead of me and you are
correct, it was my mother who had the highest test score.

I'm guessing this all transpired in 1936-37, for it was in
1938 that my mother brought home this lovely trophy

which reads:


WINNER 1938 Tri-City Flying Competition

presented by

Major Walter.M.Williams. Director

Tennessee Bureau of Aeronautics

As I understand it, the contest included a test for
bombing accuracy, which involved the dropping of
sacks of flour on designated targets.
I'm not sure what else was required of the contestants
but, I hope to learn more in my research.
I think that was the entire scope of my Mom's flying career.

My father went on to join the air corp in the army
in 1944. His three brothers all served as well and, the
family back home displayed a four star banner which, seems
to now be missing.
My father, as he entered his 80s, discovered that his
pilot's license was still valid and soon partnered up
with a friend who had a small twin engine plane
This led into an exciting, though brief, chapter
in my father's affair with the sky.
But... that's another story, for another time.

Close examination of the trophy reveals that half of the prop
is missing. I seem to recall, somewhere in the deep recess
of my memory, that I may have had something to do with this
at a very young age.
Anyway, I was thinking of my Mother and Father
and thought I would share this sketchy history, perhaps
I can update it later as I uncover further detail.
If you have parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles
who are still around, take this opportunity to learn their
stories. Find out those details that go with your treasures.
You'll be glad you did.

1 comment:

belewbloggfan said...

Hi Bockie,
What a wonderful story!
Way to go Mum! Such a shame she didn't further develop her flyer career..... Your mother must have been an extremely interesting individual. It is interesting to ponder the changes brought about, especially to women, by the second world war. Having previously been bound to house and home - the war opened up a whole new world of opportunity, and responsibility, for those most worthy women left behind to fill the void created with the mass departure of their men into the forces, and do their part to support the war effort back home. As we now know, this led to major changes in our perceived roles within society.

Getting back to your treasured treasure.... I must wholeheartedly agree with your closing statement - no matter how insignificant we might think events or stories passed to us by our grandparents, or parents, may be, we MUST take notice, and make a permanent record of the information. Maybe in the form of a recorded interview, or recording of that person's memoirs for them (if they are unable), or just our personal notes, that can be tucked away for safe keeping. As can be seen in your case Block, with the passage of time, the memories fade, and can be lost altogether, a situation that cannot be reversed, once the key players, or storytellers have moved onto greener pastures....
I have experienced this myself, in a number of circumstances, and continue to kick myself for losing these most important links....
So if you have an elder who is eager to pass on their knowledge of family history, or tales of wonder and intrigue - no matter how insignificant you think it may be, do something for posterity ('whoever posterity is') and record it somehow....NOW! Otherwise before you know it, that link will be lost...permanently!
Good luck on your search for information on your treasure Block Dog.... I for one will be very interested in learning more about your most prized treasure....