Photo courtesy of Charles Allen
In 1969, as a 21 year old college student, my mother and father had not only allowed me to obtain my pilot's license, but while on spring break, both were completely on board with a group skydive at our rural Fulton, KY airport on a Sunday afternoon. We obtained local pilots and aircraft to visit Dyersburg, TN FSS for FAA NOTAM notice. Much of the town was attendance and expectations were high. At the time, we all jumped modified T10’s, Air Force candy striper emergency modified chutes and a few PC’s and Crossbows. Unfortunately, one jumper had an inversion malfunction after landing and during parachute gather up. A master rigger was not to be found to fix this complicated situation, but I had better – Mother. Being an expert seamstress, she was able to fix it very quickly even though it was the first time she had ever touched a parachute!
Many years later, on a visit to see her and Daddy, she had grown somewhat infirm. However, that did not stop her from helping me reinstall the cowling on my Citabria after birds had built a nest in the engine compartment. She was always good with her hands, making, creating and fixing things. She had a mind as sharp as a tack, continuing to do crossword and word puzzles until the end of her life. Looking back, it is easy to see where I get many of the innate skills needed to engage in my love of flying.