Wednesday, March 11, 2009
PLANES, BOATS AND AUTOMOBILES
Occasionally, well maybe more than occasionally, there are things that I have wanted to do but lisa and the girls have no interest. Most of these activities are what I will call “boy things”. In the cases that follow, they also relate to “planes, boats and automobiles.” So I have ventured out on my own (and didn't even get lost, hurt or robbed –amazing huh) without the ladies' involvement. One by One:
Planes: I have been a big fan of vintage airplanes since I was a little boy. I remember checking out the World Book “A” so my brother and I could check out the planes. More than twenty years ago I happened upon the DC-3, a plane that has remained somewhat in service for over sixty years. Sixty years in the air is like a cat living to be forty. It just doesn't happen. I think the DC-3's lines are beautiful. I can even recognize the distinctive sound of its engines as they approach overhead. Well, I flew in one today!!!!!! Beautiful cosmetically and mechanically even though built in 1944. She creaked when her engines were started and shuttered somewhat as it taxied onto the runway. We left the tarmac going slow, much slower than today's turbo-props. Smooth, except when it hit the thermal pockets over Auckland. I met Jessica Cooper, who I must mention. She was so nice on the phone prior to booking and even offered to have someone swing by to pick me up from downtown because I had no transportation to Ardmore Airfield. Thanks Jessica. There are few DC-3s left. The US Government has banned them from passenger service because they couldn't be secured against terrorism (boo!!!). One day we will see these only in air shows and air museums. I'm glad I had my day with her while I could. And I loved it.
Boats: I could sit up all night staring at pictures of older ships, especially ones built around 1900. I tried to get the family to join me to visit the Sydney, Hobart and Auckland Maritime Museums, with NO success. Here in Auckland, I alone witnessed large sailing ships, an exhibit on the history of whaling, another on how large fishing vessels operate, a nautical migration of the Maori from Tahiti, and finally these great wooden models built by craftsmen. Totally cool. While there I felt ten years old again.
Lastly Autos: I visited Fazzaz, an antique sports car dealership almost next door to our apartment in Christchurch. To see old Jaguar MK-2s, Mercedes 280Cs from the late 1960s (I WANT ONE!!!), and vintage red Ferraris and other great super conditioned vehicles was just too cool. I thought I was over my desire to again own an old car, but..... I would give my left _______ ( you supply the body part) to be associated with a vehicle with the quality of these. Ahh, that leather smell, it's intoxicating.