Friday, February 2, 2024

Land of the Living

Where have I been? I know you are wondering.  Good news is that- I'm still here!  These last few years have gotten the best of this blog (do people even say this word anymore, blog?)  BUT not to worry, I have still been thoroughly immersed in history projects that frankly, have kept me too busy to write on this platform!  Each post I write typically requires hours of research  (I like to be accurate with the facts) and tons of emotional energy.  I LOVE it but sadly, there has simply not been enough of me or time over these last few years post regularly.  You'll understand in a minute.   To keep you up to speed, here are just a few things that have been keeping me busy: co-editing the Williwaw newsletter for the Park Service, I started taking flying lessons which ended in disappointment (I'll have to write a separate post about that.., ) led two back to back history expeditions through the Aleutians, flew to Dutch Harbor on a 1942 Widgeon, attended numerous warbird conferences and clinics and this one other little thing.... 

I wrote a book for the National Park Service Aleutian Island WWII National Historic Area!  You read that right.  A book.  This publication required every spare moment of my time to complete and I could not be more proud to present it to the public. More details to follow but holy cow! 

Aside from that, a bunch of regular life stuff like the whole coming down from the pandemic thing, sending that sweet little girl you see on the homepage off to college, moved business locations, have been caring and worrying about two aging parents with dementia from far away, recovered from two shoulder injuries and then two knee injuries and and get the idea, fun times.  Perfect time to write a book, no?

Ah well, as my grandfather said "C'est le guerre"  but in this case,  "C'est la vie."  Life.  It's filled with ups and downs, air pockets and depressions.  just like the air the airmen flew through in the skies over Alaska.   The main thing is to keep flying;  the airplane will keep flying.  So that is what I am doing, forward momentum,  slow and steady.  Turns out, it is true, life does keep flying!

Through it all, I return to aviation, a community I really do love so much.  Although it is sometimes hard to pull myself away from my other 'for profit' or familiar obligations,  I need to do it.  I need it for my soul.   One of my go-to's is NATA (North American Trainer Association.) North American was an aircraft maker. They were responsible for making the trainer the T-6 Texan (in Canada it was called a Harvard made by Canadian Car & Foundry, the US Navy called it the SNJ) as well as the P-51 Mustang, the T-28 Trojan, the B-18 Beechcraft, the B-25 Mitchell... NATA organizes formation clinics several times a year so that pilots can practice the art and skill of flying in formation.  Even though I do not fly, I go for fun and to learn and I love it.  Of course. 

Coming to these clinics reminds and motivates me to keep moving forward in the name of preservation and the perseverance to honor my grandfather and his willingness to stand up in defense of our countries.   Being here is part of the process. The Harvard (T-6) is how he learned to fly.  It is how most pilots learned to fly during the war or at least it was the last step into the fighter realm.  Sitting in the plane connects me to the process in which I am trying to share with the world. I am so lucky to have the chance. 

So there you have it.  I am still here in the pursuit of history. I may not be writing about it here but I am living it. And now that the book is finished, I'll work on finding a way to share stories more often and in fact, I have something else in mind... YouTube! 

Stay tuned for more on the new book and the new channel plus lots of other fun history projects and stories in the works.  If you are interested in receiving a copy of the book let me know.