Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Elder Statesman

Saturday we were at our grandson Jack's second birthday party held at the Frontiers of Flight Museum at Love Field, Dallas. Waiting for the toddlers to finish their running around and get down to the serious business of cupcakes and juice boxes, my husband, son-not-the-dad and his wife wandered into the main area of the museum to see what we could see.

We hadn't crossed the threshold until my daughter-in-law and I were in the gunsights of an elderly gentleman. He made a beeline for us. As women, he asked, wouldn't we like to hear a story about a little told part of aviation history? It would only take 10 or 15 minutes. Sure, I said, as I watched my husband and son scurry away (and lose out on a grand education as it turned out). My DIL trailed along with me.

We crossed the width of the museum (and it's not small) to his area of expertise. We did not cross quickly; I would estimate his age as late eighties or early nineties. However, given those parameters, I suppose it was practically running.

He settled us on benches surrounded by cases of WWII memorabilia. We learned a bit about bombers and flying solo, saw a photo of him in the cockpit of his plane. Handsome man. We then learned about the women who served so well as pilots, the WASPs and WAFPs.

He charmed us. He quoted poetry. He made me sad.

Because this is what my dad should be doing, being a docent in a flight museum, instead of sitting in a nursing facility because of his Alzheimer's. I didn't catch this gentleman's name, but I'm so glad he put us in his sights.

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At 9:19 PM CST, Blogger Carol said...

I love hearing those stories from the veterans. So wish your Dad could still share them with you now.


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