Remembering David, Ned and Bryan
Published 11:29 am Wednesday, May 10, 2023
David Roy Jackson was the late Clois’s son, not the Wrecker guy. Clois was Aunt Mildred’s friend and one of the Columbus Lions VIPs (Visually Impaired Persons). Lion Lee Berry and I used to visit Clois at Christmas and on her birthday.
I met David once; I had already met his wife Inez at Columbus Baptist Church where she was pianist. Inez had called me because some of the keys were not working in the Baldwin concert grand that Peter Kutt had provided to the church.
I never knew Ned Dick, but he was the younger brother of my classmate DeBerry and his older brother known as “Moby.” All are now deceased; Ned was born after DeBerry and I graduated in 1947. I would like to have known Ned, as he was apparently an easy-going friendly sort like DeBerry, whom he resembled. You don’t know the late Bryan Lilley, but he sang in the choir of Hampton Baptist Church with us. He drove a truck for UPS, and thought he wanted to be supervisor. When he was promoted, he soon wished he was still one of their drivers! Bryan’s wife Barbara had a lovely voice, and often sang solos for us.
The first week of May is eventful for me because I enlisted in the Air Force May 3rd, 1948, and Fran and I embarked on our first cruise May 5th, 2005, to Alaska. We accompanied friends Jim and Judy North at their invitation. It was only a few weeks after my first open heart surgery, and I told my surgeon that I could relax and walk on board the ship same as at home! He agreed . . . I took a 30-minute walk around the promenade deck every day!
I chose an excursion to a riverside restaurant via floatplane. I chose the Dehavilland Beaver with its radial engine rather than the larger Otters which had been converted to turbine engines. The pilot put me in the right seat when Fran told him I am a pilot; Judy North photographed me. I use the photo on my book covers as “The Happy Copilot.”
I sent Fran’s Mother Marguerite to Alaska in my place for Fran’s second trip; we also took her to Bermuda on a cruise with us. Fran and I enjoyed a dinner meeting with local Lions in Bermuda. I think Marguerite enjoyed both cruises very much. She captivated the small boat’s captain when we took an excursion around Bermuda.
Attending regional and national conventions with the Piano Technicians has enabled Fran and me to visit major cities in the United States and Canada. We note with satisfaction when watching “Aerial America” shows on TV that “we have been there!” We noticed in visiting Toronto and Niagara Falls how clean Canada is and how “not clean” New York is by contrast.
We went to the top of the Arch in St Louis, and boarded the USS Constitution docked in Boston. Our friend Ty Martin was its skipper during the Bicentennial; he had supervised her restoration and then welcomed Queen Elizabeth aboard. Ty had insisted on re-installing the diagonal braces that prevent the ship from hogging, thus assuring that her high hull speed continues as she takes to the seas annually.
I knew that John Trevolta has a Boeing 707 which he flies and parks at his Hollywood mansion. I just learned that Tom Cruise has a P-51 Mustang which he flies, so I suppose that playing a naval aviator in Maverick was easy for Tom! We have a ¾ scale P-51 flying replica at the WNC Air Museum.
Garland would like to hear from you at 828-859-7041 or firstname.lastname@example.org.