It is a common thing many of us elderly folks find ourselves doing. In the quiet times of our life we reminisce about the past. Invariably, the things that come to mind easily are the events that made the deepest impressions. I call them my WOW moments. The things that pop up may surprise you – for me, a myriad of moments surfaced!
My first WOW moment came when I was 10 years old. I entered a short story in a school paper called “The Weekly Reader”. My story was about airplanes. I titled it “The Great Silver Bird”. In 1934 we probably observed two or three airplanes a month flying through the skies. I was so amazed by aviation. My story was a regional winner and the prize was to meet Roscoe Turner, a WWI flying ace. I was the shinnng star of Califonia Elementary School and much admired by the boys, because flying was not considered a ‘girl thing’. When I met Mr. Turner, he made me a member of the Roscoe Turner Flying Club and told me I had won a short flight over the city and Ohio River. Can you imagine the excitement, fear and anxiety that pulsed through a skinny 10 year old body, whose mother shook in fear as the WWI vintage two seat airplane took off from Bowman Field? I am sure we shared the thought that I would never return in one piece. Of course I did, and I was sure I would become a second Amelia Earhart.
I had a lull in WOW events until I was in my early teens. It happened when I went to the neighborhood cinema, the Oak Theater. The movie was Bolero, staring George Raft and Carole Lombard. In the movie they danced the Bolero on a raised round circle above the floor. When he appeared on that circle I was awestruck. I had never seen a more beautiful man in my young life. He became the standard of what every hero, lover, man of the world should be. Like magic Carole Lombard was tossed off the circle and I replaced her.
I have never been without his picture in my home. At this moment in time I have his autographed photo hanging in my condo bedroom. He never had a more devoted fan. On a trip to Los Angeles I was determined to go to the Valley where he lived and try to get to see him. I “chickened” out. Regret in life #1.
Keep checking my blog. Numbers 3-10 will eventually surface, I am sure.