Those thrilling days of yesteryear... - Tom Speerstra
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As boys growing up in the rural Midwest, my brother and I were very fortunate to have been fetched up across the road from a small sod landing strip. As a result we were both bitten by the aviation bug at a young age. I have many fond memories of lying in the tall grass at the foot of a walnut tree on the edge of the field watching the Sunday flyers carve circles around our little sod strip in the hollow in the hills.
Champs and Cubs and T-Crafts plied the skies in seemingly endless circuits culminating in feather soft landings on the sandy, short cropped, grass runway. On the odd day we would sneak into one of the old corrugated metal hangars and sit in the cockpit of one of the now ground bound taildraggers to smell that never to be forgotten aroma of leather and sweat, 80 octane and straight weight motor oil; and to hold the "stick" in our hands and make motor noises. Aviation romance digs into your soul when you start out this way, and it never lets go.