“Being an aerospace engineer wasn’t enough: he had wings in his garage. Doped fabric tightening across spars on sawhorses. But a heart flutter snatched his license away. Family pictures reflected his torment, fettered to the ground. I cried when he left us, but happy he got his wings back.”
I was perhaps 6 or 7 when I first visited the garage. The wings were suspended at about eye level for me then and smelled of something worse than turpentine. But they fascinated me more than anything in my young, turbulent life and set the stage for my learning to fly a couple of decades later.