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Old 20 October 2007, 12:58 PM   #1
AAC Cadet Leader
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Post rough draft of my book, "Have Goggles, Will Travel"

The statistics: 199 pilots, in over 200 vintage aeroplanes, 330 flights, 29,117 miles through 48 states, 183 days, 9 marriage proposals. The best part: 1000 new friends.
------------------------------------------------
OCTOBER 23, 2009 - A FEW THREAD PREFACE NOTES:
i copied this whole, long thread, pasted it into this book section of the forum, re-named it and locked it so only i can add new posts to it. i'll be editing and weeding it of my own off-topic comments (the ones in all lowercase), and others' posts (sorry) in order to get this thread closer to being a rough draft to send to prospective publishers. the weeding may take me a few days, then will come yet another round of editing the whole thing - more weeks, then completing the last chapters and appendix sections - more months.

if you'd like to send a reply, please either PM me or publicly post your reply on my original thread found here: http://www.theaerodrome.com/forum/no...ight-here.html

i appreciate all your feedback, including comments, questions, editorial suggestions, grammar and spelling mistakes, repeated or wrong words, etc. also, a referral to a great book publishers you may know would be greatly appreciated - note, i have absolutely no interest to self-publish this book. please forgive me in advance for giving short and/or delayed replies to your thoughtful correspondences. i read all of them, but it takes me considerably more time than i have available to respond as thoughtfully.

also, i have a slide presentation on this journey, and a second presentation on the subject of cole palen's old rhinebeck aerodrome in 1988. any invitations to present either or both of them for group events or banquets will be much appreciated. i can be contacted by PM or through my blog.

thanks in advance for reading my book draft. you're seeing it in its raw state before it goes into print and probably with more of my pictures than the printed version will have.

if you are looking for the posts related to WW1 aircraft within this thread, there are only a few of them, like pics of fred jungclaus' SE-5 and a few of cole palen's aeroplanes and a couple others. if you object to me posting it in this section, please PM me. thanks, martha

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---------------------------------------
OCTOBER 21. 2007
hi fellow antique aviation fans. a few of you here already know about my six-month-long aerial barnstorming hitchhike i made through the continental USA in 1988 and that i have been sporadically writing a comprehensive book about it ever since to be titled,

"Have Goggles, Will Travel!"
... a true story


i know, i know, i should have finished it long ago, but completing the endless details of that book has proven to be a much larger task for me than completing the remarkable feat of the journey, itself.

in an effort to get something into print before any more of my generous pilots leave earthly bounds (and don't return to land), i have a new sub-goal: to create a less comprehensive, much smaller book with photos and memories of then until now and how my epic aerial journey has influenced my life. my hope is to get this interim book into print within a few months, and at the same time reformat my 45 minute multi-media slide show/talk to dvd so that i may again be available to share the journey at aviation banquets and schools, etc in 2008. now that my two children are teenagers and quite independent, i feel i can leave them for a day or two at a time, whereas before now i wouldn't consider it.

writing is an incredibly lonely task, which is one of the reasons i have started and stopped the progress on my comprehensive book in the past. having this thread for the development of the new interim book and having some of you check in on me daily and offer occasional encouragement will help keep me accountable to my committment of writing @ 500 words a day, which may not be much for many of you, but for me with all of the other things i have to do, it can be a lot.

i don't have any idea really how i't will all come together or what all will be in it, so it should be interesting to see it unfold and compile right here on the aerodrome which has become my online home for the past few years. you'll be seeing the unedited version before a publisher gets their hands on it.

please feel free to offer occasional constructive critiques or questions you have, etc. please forgive that i won't attempt to answer you directly on thread as it takes me a lot of time, but i will read all posts. replying directly to posts might change the immediate flow of the writing which might not be where i was planning to go with it, but having your feedback and questions will help me plan what subjects within the entire text i should address.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To begin, i’ll do my best to summarize my journey in four paragraphs:

_____________________________________________
Summary

Much of the momentum and success for my journey was due to the fact that the press took immediate and continued attention for my romantic goal of traveling through all of the lower 48, living the part of and dressed as a 1920’s barnstormer with only pocket change, and getting rides onboard the wings of antique aeroplanes, piloted and hosted by their owners. Meeting and flying with different pilots every day hither and yon about the USA, criss-crossing my own path several times over the course of 183 days aboard some of the most beautiful open cockpit and vintage luxury cabin aeroplanes, held constant surprises and adventures, mostly excitingly romantic, sometimes exhausting, and on a few occasions - terrifying. The red carpet was rolled out for my arrival in many places and I was given royal treatment: TV cameras and newspaper reporters upon our arrivals and departures, fine dining and the finest hotel rooms and guest rooms in homes, the mayor’s keys to two cities, the right seats to the Spuce Goose and the Goodyear Blimp, the backseat of three P-51’s, the front seat of a 1918 Jenny, and a hundred other flights of fancy that most pilots in love with the days of aeroplanes & aviators only dream about.

In many other places, I was an unknown, and was dropped off by the last pilot and met with little or no fanfare nor notice. It was in those places that I was able to experience more of my vision of a true itinerant barnstormer of olde, unrolling my bedroll for the night under the wing of an aeroplane, in the backseat of an airport courtesy car, and on the couches of pilot’s lounges. The fare was equally rough in some cases. At times I subsisted on candy and chips from the airport vending machines – in one instance in rainy, cold Ypsilanti, Michigan for three days in a row, at night, I rolled out my sleeping bag on the dusty floor of the old, abandoned control tower on the airfield, while waiting for the weather to clear and a ride out.

My parents' home telephone and mailbox in Fairiew Park, Ohio was my base of operations and I made daily phone calls to Mom. This was before cell phones. I couldn't have done this journey without all of her enthusiastic assistance she feely gave, spending several hours each day, replying to letters sent to me, in care of her and my dad, and responding to phone call inquiries from pilots and news reporters. She took detailed longhand notes - eighty-seven pages in all - during calls I made to her from payphones around the USA. You'll see her "Mom's Log" notes inserted chronologically into my book pages. My dear old Dad passed away in 1995, seven years after my journey, and Mom's now in a nursing home (in October 2009) and is sadly losing many of her memories. Here's a photo of Mom & me in October 2009, 21 years since my journey.


My 199 pilots became my friends and my heroes, always dropping what they were doing and in some cases flying hundreds of miles to unfamiliar airfields to come get me, and to then take me further along my journey toward the next state that needed to be checked off on my map. Along the way they pointed out some of the most incredible hidden things from the air that I would’ve otherwise missed, and on a few occasions from low altitudes (usually by my encouragement,) we experienced some rare and privileged viewing angles of America’s iconic treasures: Mount Rushmore at eye-to-eye level with the Presidents; the Grand Canyon from a tiny plane; a steep turn over top of Niagra Falls; an encircling, slightly-above torch level view of the Statue of Liberty; a circuit around Mount Saint Helen’s still-smoking, ash peak and toothpick trees; beside red plateaus and huge natural, red rock formations of Sedona, Arizona and the snow-covered, black granite peaks of the Grand Tetons near Jackson, Wyoming. There were a few flights at very low altitudes, including: between a low-level thunderstorm and a Missouri highway; alongside a semi truck on a mostly-deserted Nevada highway (in a P-51); within the walls of a quarry in Georgia; and the lowest – beneath a bridge in North Carolina.

The statistics: 199 pilots, in over 200 vintage aeroplanes, 330 flights, 29,117 miles through 48 states, 183 days, 9 marriage proposals. The best part: 1000 new friends.
__________________________________________________

Last edited by AAC Cadet Leader; 24 October 2009 at 10:50 AM.
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Old 21 October 2007, 08:32 AM   #2
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thanks all. your comments, questions and encouragement are making me smile.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrett View Post
...and how many marriage proposals did you accept?
and barrett's made me laugh.

_____________________________________

Of the over one hundred newspaper and magazine articles written about my journey that people I met along the way sent to my mother, no one had a better grassroots flair for writing than Gordon Baxter. When I was in college at Kent State University, working on the flight line and learning to fly Cessna 150's, I used to buy FLYING Magazine just to flip to the last couple pages to read his monthly column, titled "Bax Seat."

I had the brainstorm nine months before the start of the journey, and I knew I'd need lots of help with publicizing my crazy dream. One of the first things I did was to write a letter to Gordon Baxter to ask him if he would write an article about my wish to find owners of old aeroplanes who would be willing to take me towards the next state needing to be crossed off on my map of the USA. He liked my idea. We had a couple of long phone conversations and he asked me to write him another letter and tell him about my background. His first article was published in the May 1988 issue, just in time for me to pack along with my special logbook I made just for the journey. Having that shiny magazine article handy was proof to the sceptics I met along the way that in fact I wasn't nuts, well, maybe, but anyway, at least Gordon Baxter thought I was alright.

Halfway through my journey, I met up with Gordon at the big EAA week at Oshkosh where he was giving his annual standing room only talk in one of the seminar tents. He introduced me to the crowd, and told them again what I was in the midst of accomplishing. Afterwards we had a sandwich at one of the picnic tables while watching the wingwalker on the Waco with the trailing smoke. Three and a half months later when I finally completed the journey, I wrote again to Gordon at his request and he generously wrote a second follow-up article. It made the May 1989 issue:





I met up briefly with Gordon again at Oshkosh in 1990 and in 1992 and these times I had my own seminar tent to show the slides and tell about my adventure, and I also was given the use of Theater in the Woods to present my show - pretty neat! When my son was born, Gordon sent him a handsome, hand-crafted wooden toy plane with his name on it. He was a dear man.

Last edited by AAC Cadet Leader; 24 October 2009 at 08:06 AM.
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Old 21 October 2007, 12:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrett View Post
barrett's made me laugh.

Well? C'mon, inquiring Forumites want to know!
i could give you a one sentence answer, but i'm considering your query as a good writing prompt for at least a page or two. it's a subject i’m always avoiding addressing, but one that's always asked. so, lemme take a deep gasp and ponder on what to type. perhaps sooner than later.

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Old 22 October 2007, 09:42 AM   #4
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well, i've been racking my brain all last night and this morning on trying to figure out how to start on that most personal subject matter that barrett asked about and i keep hitting the delete button every time i get a few words typed in. so, you're just gonna have to wait i guess til i get the courage or figure out how to give a thorough answer to that subject. in the meantime, the short answer to your question, barrett is:

"none of them."
________________________________________________


Warming up my Two Typing Fingers
As I said, I really have no idea how to organize this interim book, or what all to include in it, but I have boxes and boxes of material and photos to choose from that won't possibly fit into the big book, and I have to be at work in an hour from now, so I am going to post a scan of one of my notepad pages I came across this morning in one of my sealed-up boxes that I haven't opened in years.

And I hope you can read my handwriting. Sorry that a lot of it is crossed out and sloppy. Maybe this sheds light on my lack of organizational skills. These two handwritten pages were from fall 1987 (I think), shortly after or perhaps just before getting the brainstorm to try get a series of antique aeroplane rides through the lower 48:




(And by the way, I'm hereby publicly declaring that all of my words, photos and scans on this thread are owned and copyrighted by me (except for the Flying Mag article, which I was given permission to use in 1988), so don't nobody try to nab them or copy them to your computer or link them to some other website, etc and so forth, or else! You have been warned!)
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Old 22 October 2007, 04:59 PM   #5
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Don't forget the movie rights!
yeah... the movie rights!
Quote:

Reminds me of Richard Bach's Biplane.
funny you should say that - two of my pilots were bette bach-fineman, the mother of richard bach's six children, and her second husband, jon fineman.

Quote:
Perhaps you could take it to a writer's workshop.
you guys are my writer's workshop.
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Old 23 October 2007, 12:10 AM   #6
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Hmm, Wonder if They're Still Out There
Quote:
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...and how many marriage proposals did you accept?
The short answer: None of the nine that were offered during my journey.

The slightly longer answer: Looking back, I wish I had had more time to find out if some of them were serious or could have become potential suitors. First comes to mind that handsome, young line dude with the dark brown hair, dark eyes and beautiful sweet smile, who popped the question across the wing to me as he was filling up our gas tanks at Scottsdale Airport. At the time I thought he was too young for me, but he was probably only ten years younger, and these days that’s okay. So if you recognize yourself as that guy, do look me up, but then again, you’re likely happily married by now, so forget it. But if you’re not…

The second and third impulsive marriage proposals that stay charmingly etched in my memory were made by two nicely dressed TV reporters who seemed to like me an awful lot. One was in Austin, Texas and the other was in Pine Lake, North Carolina. Again, if either of you guys still have most of your teeth, and aren’t married, I’m not that hard to find and I don’t fly away as quickly nor as often as I used to, but then, that was probably what attracted you in the first place.

Vitas, in Redondo Beach, California was a friend of one of my aviators and he was also the most persistent and biggest flirt I came across on my journey. I’ve only figured him once into the original count of nine proposals, but he alone must have asked me, rather, begged me to marry him at least nine times during my week-long tour of Southern California. Please don’t look me up, Vitas, but know I’ll always smile when I think of you.

I found the following “Yankee Wings” newsletter blurb from 1990 in one of my boxes of archives, and in order to spare myself from typing any more embarrassing words than I have to, I’ll let it shed a bit of light on the marriage proposal that I did accept that was made a little more than a year after my journey was over. Unfortunately, our marriage went south after eight years, but the good part is that we have been blessed with two terrific kids.

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Old 23 October 2007, 06:20 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by AAC Cadet Leader View Post
yeah... the movie rights! funny you should say that - two of my pilots were bette bach-fineman, the mother of richard bach's six children, and her second husband, jon fineman.

you guys are my writer's workshop.
It was a good read. I read it back in the 1970's, right before Jonathan Seagull came out.

When he needed help, people came through for him.
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Old 24 October 2007, 07:23 PM   #8
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You can do it!

....my advice is this: just write...stream of conciousness...put words down...don't worry about spelling...grammer...structure....style...just write....all that other stuff gets corrected in the re-writes.....just write! Your story is nothing less than spectacular...throw those words out there!!!
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Old 24 October 2007, 09:20 PM   #9
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Nancy's Letter and its Effect on Me
After completing my journey in late November of 1988, I was offered a free spot at Flabob Airport where I could live in my old motorhome, beside “Repeat Aircraft.” This was a big hangar that housed a few aircraft restoration projects, one of which was a 1918 Jenny. Flabob, near Riverside, California, was one of the funkier, historic airfields I visited on my journey. In addition to the free camping spot, I was given the use of Flabob's vacant old "control tower” for the purpose of a quiet place to write my book. Long before I got the use of it, it had been used as the viewing stand for airshows that frequently took place during Flabob's heyday.


It was the perfect spot for me! I didn't mind that I had to climb a ladder to get up into it and I loved its second story view of the lush California countryside and sunbaked asphalt runway, below me. My sunny little sky office, located next to the runway was isolated enough to get hours of writing done at a stretch, while at the same time being at the center of the airport activity happening above and around me. I watched the landings and takeoffs of the frequent classic and antique aeroplanes that were based in the individual, eclectic grouping of hangars there and always watched to see them turn their base leg short in the pattern so as not to run into Mount Roubidoux. At nighttime from my perch, I got hypnotized by the green, green, white rotating beacon I could see a few miles away coming from Corona Airport and it inspired one of the stories I added to the couple dozen chapters I typed from my longhand journey notes.

For about a year, I worked on my book in that little tower, and I made the mistake of sending my parents the unfinished 250 page 1st draft of it as a Christmas gift in 1989, thinking they would love it. Expecting to hear from them immediately, I was gravely disappointed when I was met instead with three weeks of silence. It killed my spirit that the silence was broken in a letter from my sister, Nancy, that Mom was embarrassed by a few of the passages in three or four of my chapters and that I hadn't written the book the way she had expected. Nancy backed Mom up with what they didn't like about my book.

What they wanted to see was a book that consisted of a short biography of each of the 199 pilots who took me in their aeroplanes and the hosts and all the other kind folks who helped me in one way or another to make my journey possible. It is true, I had promised the pilots I would put them in the book, so I owed it to them to do so. For inclusion in my book, while on the journey I took a picture of each pilot, made sure I had the correct spelling of their name, got a written quote to remember them by, and logged their aircraft data as well as their autograph in my pilot logbook. But I did not know how to write the longer encyclopedic biography my mother and sister wanted. Not only did I not know enough details about all of these pilots and hosts, but finding them again to gather all that they wanted me to tell the world about them would've cost me thousands of dollars. And I no longer had the energy - it had been depleted by my family's disappointment.

Also, as one of my pilots started up the taxiway to drop me off after landing in Ohio, he spotted the TV news reporters on the tarmac pointing their cameras at us and stopped short of the ramp. He told me he was sorry but that I'd have to get out right there and he kind of ducked down a little behind the panel. I asked him what was wrong and he said that didn't want to be on the news because his wife might see that he had taken me up in his plane. So I opened my cabin door against the idling prop wash and pulled my bags out of the backseat and onto the taxiway. He turned his sweet little fabric plane around and high-tailed it back to the runway – didn't even stop or slow down to do a run up check on the engine before taking off on a straight out departure to the south. So, I have a feeling that he is one pilot who wouldn't want much said about him in a book.

Not only that, but I think that the book Mom and Nancy wanted, a book listing the accomplishments, titles and awards of 200 plus people would wind up being one boring book. I had already spent a year writing about the more interesting adventures of the journey from my point of view and I thought it was pretty good. My other sister, Mary, expressed discomfort she felt that the story was all about me and not about all of the pilots – she felt embarrassed for me and thought I was braggadocios. Well, how could I not sound braggadocios? How would anyone keep from sounding so with such a brag list of aeroplanes, places and people? So, I just stopped writing with any consistency and tried to pick it up again from time to time, revising my chapters in a way that would please my parents and sisters. But as I revised or removed the parts of the story that bothered them, the chapters became watered down and I became more frustrated and depressed.




Tonight, before scanning and posting the above letter from my sister, I had serious sit down talks, individually with both my daughter and my son, telling them the details of the story of how I met their father through his best friend who was a Waco pilot on my journey and how that friend and I really liked each other, before their dad and I began our courtship ... I also told them that I had written a long passage in my original book about the Waco pilot that Grandma (my mother) and Aunt Nancy advised me to leave out. Then I showed and read them the letter from Nancy and I asked each of them how they felt about the subject? My daughter laughed when I got to the part in Nancy's letter that said it "would seriously bug" a daughter and that she would be "seriously disturbed" by such written words.

I was releived when my daughter laughed, but asked her reluctantlly to make sure that she was really okay with me writing such passages for the public to read, and she said twice emphatically, "Mom, it's fine!"

My son said, "You should write about more stuff like that, Mom, because that's what people are interested in reading."

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Old 25 October 2007, 10:36 PM   #10
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Flabob

A third of the way into my journey in July 1988, I had my first visit to Flabob Airport and was given an escorted walking tour through its hangars with hosts and reporters to meet the pilots and aircraft restorers. Then I was taken to the adjoining property which housed a small general aviation aircraft paint company, owned by Ray Stits. My hosts thought it important for me to meet Mr. Stits as he had designed and built small, personal airplanes back in the 1950's and ‘60's, and he was a big wheel in the EAA, being the founder of its Chapter #1. After Mr. Stits shared some unique aviation stories, he generously handed me a one hundred dollar bill and told me to turn it into change for my calls from pay phones which I sometimes made by the dozen to arrange my next ride toward the next state.

A month after completing my journey, in late December 1988, I sold my worldly possessions, drove my old motorhome from Florida to Flabob in southern California, set up camp next to the big hangar and in my control tower started learning how use a computer, an old Apple, to begin typing up my book.


__________________________________________



It's hard to see in the photo above, but there was a hole in the overhang, through which I climbed off the top rung of the ladder onto the roof. Once on top, as you can see, it was just a few steps to the door of my little windowed fort.

I needed some sort of part-time employment to support the book writing and Ray Stits offered me a menial assembly line job in his paint factory. I took it. One day, while working there, he told me that I reminded him of Pancho Barnes, which as it turned out was not completely complimentary.

I have removed the details of this from this posting as it is a really good story and I had some wise advice earlier today from a published author that I should keep the full chapters off of the internet, saving them for the printed version of this book.

Is this a tease to get you to buy the printed version of this book? – you bet it is!
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