This weekend, my dear friend R. will be saying a final, final farewell to her daddy. The first time she said goodbye to him was in 2000 when he was buried. Today, the Piasecki CH-21 Shawnee helicopter that he lovingly rebuilt and restored is taking its final flight from its home hangar to the Arkansas Air and Military Museum at Fayetteville (AR) Drake Field. The story of this beautiful bird is recounted here so I’ll let you read about it there.
This weekend has been a long time coming for R. Since the day her daddy died, the aircraft has been a quiet comfort for her, a way in which she was able to keep her daddy close after his untimely passing. Its presence in an airport hangar where she often entertains large social and/or political gatherings (there’s one this evening) has been a frequent reminder of the man whose love and passion went into the rebuilding process. Now that the helicopter is gone from the hangar, there’s going to be a huge void no matter how many other aircraft she manages to cram into its spot. Continue Reading →