Dear Mr. Ranfranz,
Having just visited your web site CharlesLindbergh.com I would like to donate a personal memory of mine.
I learned to fly in Hawaii (Oahu, PHNL) during the 1970's when I was 16. In fact the flight school I attended (now sadly gone) Hawaii Air Academy (not the current similarly named school ) was used by Mr. Lindbergh to charter himself to Hana Maui on at least two occasions I witnessed. Although I did not have the pleasure of conversing with him, it was enough to be seen and acknowledged by him in person.
I was a lineboy at the time servicing the schools planes in exchange for reduced rent and lessons. His pilot for the charters has never shared much of his experience piloting Mr. Lindbergh, most likely at his request, perhaps because he hadn't much to say to him. I was told that Mr. Lindbergh politely refused the offer to take the controls when offered on one occasion at least.
My own reverence for this icon of aviation was to visit his grave site as an 18th birthday present to myself. I rented our schools Cessna 206 and being commercial rated by now, flew some friends to Hana Maui and as a side benefit to myself, rented a car to drive to Kipahulu, the burial place of Mr. Lindbergh. I was told his grave site was rather obscure (whether it is still, I don't know but hope it is...) and difficult to find, in respect may I elaborate no further on it's location? I did find his plot, it's simplicity and eloquence at once was evident. No Mausoleum or even a vertical headstone marked his final resting place, (of his body at least, his spirit is flying now and forever I'm sure.) A fairly small field of river rocks smoothed by the centuries, perhaps 4' X 6' at most, bordered his flat marker, I can not recall if it was marble or not, but below his name and dates was an engraved quotation from the bible, Psalm 139:9 "If I rise on the wings of the dawn., if I settle on the far side of the sea..." The appropriateness of such a choice must have been at his request. He was aware of his impending death (cancer) and took a very active role in his own funeral planning, going so far as to even build his own simple wood (pine?) coffin with his close family friends.
I came away from this experience with much awe and admiration for this simple quiet man who had no idea what he had truly gotten himself into when he landed at le Bourget.
Would you be so kind to visit my own website listed below, and sign my "logbook" register? I'd be honored Patrick.I have enclosed a few pictures of the formerly existent Hawaii Air Academy.
Thank you for your consideration.
"...and of the living, none, not one, who truly loves the sky, would trade a hundred earth bound hours for one that he could fly."
~ Gill Robb Wilson
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