Many years ago 500 feet changed my life.
November 20 began as a peaceful Sunday in the small town of Hope, Arkansas.
My father William was a crop duster and loved to fly. This cool fall day a group of men had a meeting out in a field near the Hope, AR airport. One of the men was interested in a new red biplane.
The group of men, my mother, (who was eight months pregnant with me), & my brother stood out in the field watching as my father volunteered to test the plane. All was going well until the plane rose into the sky into an inverted roll that brought the beautiful plane to the ground.
I have been told that if my father had had an extra 500 feet the maneuver would have worked, but because of the low-ceiling that day he misjudged the distance.
That November day change many lives including mine. At the age of twenty-five my father died that Sunday and I was born a month later on December 18th in the small southern town of Nashville, Arkansas. Therefore, I was never able to meet my father.
Stories told to me through the years is the only way I know about my father, a kind and generous man who died way too young.
Life has a way of interrupting our secure and safe lives, but how we adjust is what matters. My father wouldn't have wanted his family and friends to have stopped living just because he was gone. He lived his life with gusto wanting to be a pilot from an early age.
Now many years later on quiet Sunday afternoons when I hear a small plane flying over my house I remember the story my grandmother used to tell. My father would fly over her house and dip his wings to say hello and that everything was all right. I believe my father is still flying in the calm blue skies and dipping his wings to say everything is fine.
margaret Ponder Thompson
11/22/2014 04:28:16 am
I knew your dad. He was one of the nicest boys in Nashville High School. All he seemed to be interested in were football and flying. then after I married and my husband became senior basketball coach at Hope, your parents moved across the hall from us in the apartment house where we lived. they were like Byron and me, young and looking forward to a wonderful life. Things can suddenly change. I was so sorry to learn of your dad's death.
11/22/2014 04:45:10 am
Thank you Margaret and stories like yours is the way that I learned about my dad and how wonderful of a man he was.
Clifford (Butch) Martin
11/22/2014 03:21:24 pm
Really liked the story about your Dad. I remember Dad always talking about your Dad's love of flying, the same as his. Dad said he had talked to your Dad on numerous occasions about him going into the Air Force as a pilot. Dad said he would have been one hell of a pilot.
11/22/2014 11:36:12 pm
Thanks for sharing your story, I miss your dad so very much,and thank you for supporting DSF.
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