Sunday, May 06, 2018

Back Barnstorming - T.W. Bill Neville

Back Barnstorming
Commentary by T. W. Bill Neville

BACK in Indiana where basketball was the “plasma” of all sports, I remember only one other challenging crowd pleaser, “BARNSTORMING!”

For those of you not familiar with “it”, it consisted of WW-One airmen who would go from town town trailing air ads that offered airplane rides to those brave enough to spend $5 for a minute ride while they were “dusting” farmers fields on contract.

I never had either the $5 dollars or the courage to go, but several of my buddies did and secured “bragging” rites in the neighborhood. That and their driving every Saturday night in either the “demolition” derbies, the midget car and the Harley/Indian motorcycle races, confirmed their bragging rights all over the County.

The best I was able to accomplish was the Soap Box Derby and when I could afford it some “Glider” flights. Little did I know, then, that those experiences were preparing me for a lifetime as a ”travelling” salesman.

Oh, and by the way, my first commercial flight was in 1952 in a Lake Central DC 3, out of Indianapolis to Detroit and return. Little did I know that in 1958 I would take a job where over a span of almost 40 years, I would be flying on business at least once a week. Upon retirement, one of the requisites of our move to Florida was that we would be within 2 hours of an airport so that my wife could fly to be with families in Indiana, Pennsylvania, California, South Carolina, Illinois, and France. BON VOYAGE!

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