More about Terry

Published 11:47 am Wednesday, April 26, 2023

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I should have mentioned that Fran’s brother Terry took up skydiving when he was assigned to write about the Navy’s jump team. He learned sport parachuting from the experts in the “Chuting Stars,” the Navy’s exhibition team of skydivers.

While stationed at Lakehurst, New Jersey, Terry invited us to live in his house while he went on leave for a week. We took him up on the offer, and he took our small children with him. We were therefore able to visit New York City daily. I drove in and back by way of every bridge and tunnel possible (engineer at play). 

On a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I was able to buy their copies of Fran’s favorite Renoir, “In the Meadow,” and my favorite Cassatt, “Child in a Straw Hat,” which I call “Poor Pitiful Pearl.” There is so much that can be read into this painting, which I suppose is the reason it is regarded as art worthy of being in a Museum.

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We have been “confined to quarters” for the last several days while our car is in the shop for a new clutch. We were taking Fran to our cardiologist in Brevard when the car quit on the Miller Mountain section of I-26; Jackson towed the car to Warren Durham and Jeannie kindly brought us home (she remembered us from the Hendersonville office of Carolina Ophthalmology). Our neighbors have been picking up our food at the dining room and bringing it to us, since we have difficulty climbing back up the Hill . . . have to stop and rest several times!

With our tax refunds now deposited into our bank, I decided that this is a good time to buy an honor brick through the WNC Air Museum. I want to honor Oscar Meyer and my other primary flight instructor, Tommy Stocks. I am as pleased to have Oscar’s signature in my logbook as for Orville Wright, because Oscar designed and built his first airplane and taught himself to fly it. 

Oscar’s airport and flying school was on a large plain near Hendersonville. The WNC Air Museum is nearby, so the brick is as close to the airport where I learned to fly as it can be. The airport has a new owner now, but it does not do enough business to sell fresh avgas! It does have many hangars rented, though.

Business aircraft nowadays are quite sophisticated, with elaborate navigation and communications radios, and are often powered by jet engines. Those planes use the Asheville airport, which caters to their every need. Oscar’s former “flying field” is paired with the Johnson Field grass strip to serve all the planes such as I flew and many people still own: the low-powered, non-radio equipped birds like the formerly ubiquitous Piper Cub.

Terry has been my enthusiastic passenger in many flights in my little airplanes . . . he commented that the airstrips looked small until we got into landing position, then they got much bigger. After flying off Navy carriers he commented that they too look small, and don’t look bigger when on final approach to land on them!

Terry also sings and plays guitar. He sang with a small group in his high school and early college days. He also maintains a beautifully landscaped yard; he therefore hates the deer that eat on his plants. Terry used his people skills as head of the Brownwood Chamber of Commerce for several years. I have added all of this to help you understand why I love this brother (in-law, but we don’t add the modifiers) and hold him in such high esteem.

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