Fighter planes and stunt men, and much, much more, put on quite a quite a show at Westover Airforce Base this weekend. What could be better than standing on the hot tarmac watching these enormous metal birds tear through the sky, twist at high speeds, make a roar that sounds like the sky ripping open, launch upwards just to nose dive straight toward the ground, fly in formation mere feet from other planes?
Seeing it, at least some of it, from my very own back yard.
Why I am posting a preview of something that I’m not scheduled to post for three more days? Or for that reason, why am I posting something I have only begun to write?
Because I know I won’t be able to sleep. What I had the privilege and the luck to witness has probably excited me into sleeplessness. My adrenaline is still running.
But how is this a “Retro Wednesday” post? Well, besides the long history of some of these planes that were both on static display and in the air, this is why:
In October, 1940 Babu writes:
Saturday, October 5th, 1940
Chester Modzelewski, Jake and I went to the air show in Westfield this afternoon and saw two crackups. One fellow didn’t come out of a spin.
I just transcribed this passage the other day. Does this mean at this airshow Babu witness two pilot’s deaths? Airshows were likely a different thing in those days but, after just reading that, my heart stayed in my throat every time I saw this from my back porch:
There is so much historical and personal connection to these planes, to that base, to what was happening today. I can’t wait to unbury what a can of it now and show you how it all connects. Sometimes working on this project makes me feel..not quite like a part of me is there in the past…but I guess it sometimes shows me the echoes of those many years ago in the present.