Remembering Lib & Sadie

Published 11:14 am Friday, April 5, 2024

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Elizabeth Boone lived across the breezeway from us here at White Oak. We opened our doors at the same time often, as Lib took her dog Oscar for a walk several times a day. 

Had I known that Lib was an English teacher, I would have shared my columns with her. Also, I would like to have invited her over to tell us about her travels! Her obit says that she had set foot on every continent, including the Antarctic, where she saw polar bears. It is always better to see animals in their natural habitat rather than in a Zoo!

Lost another great friend, Sadie McKaig. I tuned her piano for years as she saw to it that various little boys in her care had piano lessons. Sadie was a radiantly lovely lady, serving as a model for celebrated artist Charles Quest, whose portraits of Sadie adorn many Museums.

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Sadie was active in both her church and community. She was the first female chairman of the Deacons at Tryon’s First Baptist Church. Sadie was a beautiful presence everywhere she went. I was privileged to be her friend; always looked forward to time with her.     

I am trying to get used to not having a car and not driving. I do enjoy riding with others because I get to look around, observing the many changes in the landscape that occur. Our son is happy that I am not driving . . . he did not like for me to drive as far as Hendersonville (20 miles)!

I am looking forward to not having the expenses of a car: gasoline, insurance, not to mention new tires periodically! Now I am giving copies of my books to the people with whom I bum rides repeatedly. But what do I do next? Dunno; but I will think of something! 

I have been reminiscing about the wonderful life I’ve lived. Memories are about all that’s left for me now! Yes, I have been to the top of the Washington Monument and the Gateway Arch at St. Louis. We drove across the Golden Gate bridge and on down, a 17-mile Drive to San Diego. We had lived in San Diego for some four years and enjoyed going to its wonderful Zoo at least monthly.

We got to travel to Seattle from Dallas twice . . . My company designed and built the aft fuselage and tail feathers of the Boeing 747  in Dallas and shipped them by rail to the huge new plant in Everett, Washington.  I made a comment about the Grand Tetons as we approached: the “tremendous mountains.” On the second trip our almost four-year-old son Thomas asked, “Isn’t it about time we saw those “tremendous mountains?”

My brother Bill had mentioned an upcoming trip from San Diego to Yellowstone, so I told him that he should see Jenny Lake. He sent me a small vial of “Jenny Lake water” that I still have. 

Friend and colleague Ed Blake designed the pressure bulkhead of the 747. We found him later at Colonial Williamsburg cutting very realistic silhouettes . . . I bought some for all of us. My late Uncle Ethan photographed our kids and Fran’s brother Mitch took the photos to Viet Nam,  where an artist painted them. The portraits hang at the head of our bed. 

I got my name on the great Boeing 747 by designing the little forward spar in the vertical stabilizer and its link to the fuselage.  I also designed the “SOB Skin” (wonder how I got that job? SOB stands for “Side of Body”) of the Boeing  Supersonic Transport. It was later canceled. More later.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

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