For many years in the 1990s and early 2000s, I flew a lot. Airplanes in my neck of the woods were cheap, my rent was low, and it was easy and convenient. A lot of people flew with me over the years, including my mother. (My sister says that the day I took mom flying over the pristine beaches of northern Florida, she and my dad sat at home in abject silence the entire time.) Others who came on board through the years include Michael Zeiler and his wife Thea Goldsby, David and Brenda Wheelock, the late Kathy Godfrey, Melissa Price (who asked me, “Do we get helmets?”), Joanna Teel, Caprice Harris, Scott Andersen, Rosemary Swift, Anne Roberts, Robert Stinson, Debbie Harris, Kris Cash, Jennifer Leirer, Michelle Bullard, David Martin, Ann Kelley, Sharon Maupin, Jamie Harrel, and bunches more. I’d call somebody up and say, “Hey, I’ve got the airplane. Want to come along?” They always did.
Of course, nobody was more eager to go or enjoyed it more than Abby. The times I let her fly the airplane, she seemed like a natural, and if money and circumstance ever allow, I would love for her to learn to fly.
I saw a lot in my years of recreational flying; amazing sunsets that went up and down as I flew touch-and-go landings, towering cumulus like mountains all around, the lights of Dallas and Oklahoma City at the same time late at night, formation flying, aerobatics, airliners beneath me on approach to Oklahoma City, fog rolling in in the distance, shimmering sunshine on lakes far below, and on and on.