Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

My First Love...

Recommended Posts

I don't get over here much any more for personal reasons and to those who have PMd me concerned about my absence I thank you.  I am alive and well and still installing scenery and aircraft on my new computer here in the old folks home.

This morning I installed an old favorite.  One I wrote a story about it once.  I know I have published it here before but some of you might not have read it.  So here it is again.

My First Love
I was in about the 7th grade.  It was after school and I was going to a friend’s house along Van Ness Avenue, the street that all the automobile dealerships were on.  

I was almost to the corner of Sacramento street when I saw her.  I think it was the Studebaker dealership.  There she was standing to one side of the floor.

I went inside and walked right up to her and put my hand on her side.

A dealer walked up to me and said, “How do you like her kid?  Do you want to sit in her?’

I didn’t say a word, I just nodded and stepped into the cockpit of a Luscombe 8A.  It was beautiful.  I had no idea then what the instruments on panel were for or any idea how one mght fly in her.  But I gently put my hand on the stick and curled my fingers around it.  I moved it back and forth sideways and fore and aft.  I luxuriated in the smell of her.

I noticed the rudder pedals and scrunched down a bit and moved them forward and back with the toes of my shoes.

After a while I got out and just walked around her touching her here and there.  I had never seen a real airplane this close before but I was suddenly in love.

As I started towards the door of the dealership one of the salesman yelled, “Come back anytime kid.”  

The next afternoon I went to the library and picked up some books on airplanes and how they worked.  

I went to the dealership every day after school.  I would sit in the airplane and walk around her for a while and then go home and read my airplane books.  I learned how an airplane flies.  How the controls worked.  

One day after school when I was loving my beloved Luscombe a man in an elegant suit and tie came over and said, “What’s your name kid?”  I told him, “Noel.”

“Well, Noel, climb in and I’ll show you how it works.”  He told me he had flown P-47s in the war.  Then he proceeded to demonstrate the controls for me.  We climbed out of the cockpit and he walked around the aircraft while I followed and he moved the ailerons and rudder and elevator and explained what the aircraft did when those controls moved.  I just got my first flying lesson.

The next afternoon I went to the dealership and my beloved Luscombe was gone!  I went inside and one of the salesmen told me the boss had taken the wings off and moved it to an airport on the Peninsula so he could start flying.

I was heart broken.  But I still had my books.  I started buying flying magazines with my allowance and eventually found a picture of a Luscombe I cut out and taped to the wall beside my bed.

As time went on I graduated from the 8th grade and went to high school.  Then after a summer working high up in the Rocky Mountains in Glacier National Park I came back home and joined the Marine Corps.

Four years later, after I got out, I got a job as a file clerk for the Southern Pacific Rail Road in their claims department.  I was still living at home with my parents in Mill Valley.  I took the bus to San Francisco every morning and when it went through the underpass of Highway 101 on the way to the Sausalito bus stop I could see Commodore Center across the road.  And on the pier on floats was a beloved Luscombe.  Not the yellow one I had seen when I was in the 7th grade but a blue one.  Along with the Luscombe was a Republic SeaBee.

One Saturday I borrowed my Dad’s car and went over there.  I found out I could learn to fly that Luscombe on the GI Bill.  I signed up and they helped with the GI Bill paperwork and in two weeks they called me to schedule my first lesson.

My introduction to flying was in a Luscombe 8E on floats.  The side by side seating and the stick instead of a yoke was familiar since I already had several hours just sitting one of them a decade earlier.

I soon soloed and did my solo cross countries to San Luis Reservoir and Clear Lake.  San Luis Reservoir was fun because I flew by the San Francisco and Oakland airports and would sometimes see a DC-3 or DC-6 landing or taking off.

I still have a picture of a Luscombe hanging on the wall.  The hours I have flown Cessnas 152s and 172s and Piper Cherokees and Moonies and even a Piper Aztec have not diminished my love for my beloved Luscombe.  I think our first loves remain in our hearts forever.
  • Like 15
  • Upvote 3

The tires are worn.  The shocks are shot.  The steering is wobbly.  But the engine still runs fine.

Share this post

Link to post

It's so lovely to hear from you again Noel, thanks for that tale,

All the Very Best Noel


Share this post

Link to post

Welcome back "home" my dear friend! 

  • Like 1

Fr. Bill    

AOPA Member: 07141481 AARP Member: 3209010556

     Avsim Board of Directors | Avsim Forums Moderator

Share this post

Link to post


Kinda like I feel about airplanes.  Semper Fidelis!



James M Driskell, Maj USMC (Ret)



Share this post

Link to post

Great to see you back again Noel.

It is always a worry when someone goes missing!

I liked your story as well.

Edited by VH-KDK
  • Upvote 2

Share this post

Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
  • Tom Allensworth,
    Founder of AVSIM Online

  • Flight Simulation's Premier Resource!

    AVSIM is a free service to the flight simulation community. AVSIM is staffed completely by volunteers and all funds donated to AVSIM go directly back to supporting the community. Your donation here helps to pay our bandwidth costs, emergency funding, and other general costs that crop up from time to time. Thank you for your support!

    Click here for more information and to see all donations year to date.
  • Create New...