Airplane Guy by Richard Hartwell

February 27, 2012 Comments Off on Airplane Guy by Richard Hartwell

Two, or perhaps three, times now I have recalled the next-door neighbor at 1010 Chevron Court in Pasadena (amazing how I have filed away certain addresses from my childhood and yet cannot remember names) and how he used to make miniature airplanes from pine wood. These were carved and glued, and either painted brightly or in the olive drabs, the grays and blues of wartime bombers and fighters, with unit and national insignia detailed in fine brush strokes. Most would easily fit on this page and were delicate without appearing insubstantial. The neighbor used to let us kids hold and “fly” most of these; only a select few were reserved as untouchables. I didn’t then, but now I wonder why? I wonder what his “story” was. Was he ever in military service? Which side? Was he associated with planes in any way? How did he come by this knowledge? I remember that all of us kids held him in high regard. I have a vague recollection of going over there one time and being informed (I have no recall as to how or by whom) that he, the next-door neighbor, the “airplane guy,” was dead and that we wouldn’t be able to come over anymore and see the planes. I wonder if his planes survived his death and his family? It doesn’t really matter though, for I remember them, and him.

© 2011 Richard Hartwell

Rick Hartwell is a retired middle school English teacher living in Southern California with his wife of thirty-five years (poor soul; her, not him), their disabled daughter, one of their sons and his ex-wife and their two children, and eleven cats.  Yes, eleven!  He has previously been published in: Midwest Literary Review, The Stray Branch, Flashquake, PigeonBike, Steam Ticket, Burnt Bridge, Indigo Rising, Lowestoft Chronicle, Thoughtsmith, The Rainbow Rose, Catapult to Mars, The Camel Saloon, The Shine Journal, Candidum, Red Poppy Review, and others, both print and e-zine.  When not writing he wishes he were still pushing plywood in Coquille, Oregon.

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