Old airplanes and young men: More please.
What are these mad desires that smoulder deep within my little black heart? What are these smells, sounds and feelings that leave me breathless and always wanting more? Finally, a change that I can embrace or at the very least, enjoy for a spell. It hasn’t always been this way for me. In all truthfulness, I have always had a mad love affair with old aircraft but the young men….they never really held sway with me.
How could one simply not be enamoured with vintage aircraft? The lines, the curves, the turnbuckles fastened tight with impeccably twisted wires……all so sublime. When I see fresh fabric stretched taut over a wooden frame and then discover that the stitching lines up with military precision, I am left awestruck. I doubt that there is a more sensual sight in the entirety of the universe. Stinky old radials, barking and coughing to life with the ever present threat of conflagration has always tickled me. Wooden floors, powder coated tubing and leather o rings in the primer, leaking until they get wet…Sigh! Yeah, I’ll take more of that please, all day long.
When I was a young thing, barely old enough to date, I opted for the older boys. They had cars, a bit of money and their parents were not interested in chaperoning us every single minute of every single day. My parents were not amused by any of it, unfortunately. I distinctly remember a party that I once attended. I was obviously younger than most but I was welcomed there nonetheless. As the evening progressed, one young man decided that it would be a good idea to start streaking around the place. Let’t face it, there is always one crazy white boy in the mi that just needs to get naked. Oh well. The following week, when I went back to school, our history teacher was absent but guess who our new substitute was? Yep. It was crazy, naked white boy. My silence was bought at a very high price. Since he was a reappearing substitute, I got away with murder that year! It was short lived however.
When I awakened to my twenties, guys in their twenties seemed ridiculous to me so I bumped my minimum age requirement up to the forties. Again, these guys had all the right toys. This time, it was aircraft in all shapes and sizes. When I was in my thirties, I decided that maybe I should settle down a bit. I opted into a very serious relationship with a gentleman who was twenty years my senior. My parents were somewhat relieved, to say the least.
Fast forward a decade and all of a sudden, I am not finding the old boys so hot. As a matter of fact, I am liking those guys that I wouldn’t have given a second thought to when I was cresting my second decade of life. By some weird twist of fate, they are liking me back. The more I ponder on it, the more I realize that they share a great deal with the aircraft that I find so evocative.
They are simple in their construct, simple enough that you can figure them out after a good hard look. They are both made for preening and show. They don’t require excessive maintenance if you play nicely with them. They come to you honestly, not pretending to be more than they are because being what they are is enough for them. They are real. They are rugged. They are precarious. They are flammable and infallible. They are hard and yet so fragile. I have to try very hard not to break either. Mostly, I have just come to accept that I really like riding them…airplanes, that is. Yeah, that is what I meant!
Throttle it up Baby!