Choosing a Road

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Choosing a Road

Sailors, a boat, and an airplane

Your Editor recently posted a link in his Journal. It is a story of a young man trying to understand his Father's abusive childhood. This is a completely different story.

My Mother claimed that we were just like Beaver's family on TV. My father was a salesman and she was a stay-at-home mom. My brother was four years older and my sister arrived eight years after me. This is not to say that everything was perfect; every family has its moments, and ours was no exception.

The main reason I write this is a small part of the link where the protagonist (Charlie) complains that his Father dragged him off to airfields and he sat sulking in the car while his Father talked with the other pilots. When I was that age I loved walking: I still do! When I take my wife to a strange city I have to stop and worry about her before I keep plodding on.

I suppose you are wondering by now what this has to do with the link.

When I was in my early teens we lived within a twenty-minute walk of a small airport (STOL runways – Short Take-Off and Landings) only suitable for small four-passenger planes or so, I soon learned that if I offered my services to help repair or wash a plane I would be given a short ride as a thank you.

A little bit further, in the opposite direction, was the City Marina. Here again, a little labor would be rewarded with either a ride or even the sole use of a boat for an hour or two.

When I turned 14 years old I was offered both a chance to join the Civil Air Patrol (where I could learn to fly planes) or the Sea Scouts (and learn to sail boats). After a few weeks of both, faced with membership and uniform costs, my parents insisted that I choose one or the other.

Like Robert Frost, I sometimes wonder where the other road might have led.

(I warned Dmitri this might get a bit long smiley - biggrin).

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