Saturday, April 14, 2007

Birthday Imagination

I was born the year this ad appeared in Look magazine: one part of a nationwide marketing program that “The Airlines of the United States” created and used to promote a return to traveling by air. (More of these here.)

It not only commemorates my birthday – 13 April, 1945 – it’s a reminder. My daddy was in the US Army Air Corps, in B-29s flying out of Guam. He was still there, still at war, when I was born.

See that plane above the kids’ heads on the right? That’s a Douglas DC-3, the civilian airliner version of the aircraft I served in during my stint in Southeast Asia, 1970-1971. We called ‘em C-47s (even though the official US Navy designation was R4D)…old, WWII-era birds by the time we flew them out of USNS Sangley Point in the Philippines. I’m a member in good standing of the McDonnell-Douglas “Mach Nix” club: when so many other people were in jets, I was flying around in prop jobs.

I look at ads sometimes and imagine how many connections there are. One of advertising’s attractions. Yesterday, I celebrated. Got lots of calls and cards. Barbara and I went out for fresh oysters and Manhattans.

“What’s it like up there?” Age is no barrier to the imagination. Thanks to everyone for their best wishes and their thoughts.

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