Lindbergh visited Carmel to demonstrate his glider

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Lindbergh visited Carmel to demonstrate his glider on the slopes at the mouth of Carmel Valley, I would think in 1930 because I was five at the time. Everyone from the Monterey Flying Club--or whatever it was called, run by Colonel Watson at the old airport where we spent every Sunday when my Dad Reuben Sydney Tice flew his Great Lakes Trainer--was invited to fly. There was some damage, and the part was taken to Tice Electrical Shop in Monterey to be fixed. My Mom who was bookkeeper phoned me at home in Pacific Grove to get five cents from the maid and take my first solo bus ride to meet Lindbergh in the workshop in back. I remember reaching up to shake his hand beside the motor coil-winder machine. I remember either before or after out on the slope with lots of people, and the launching of the Bowlus glider by means of bunge- cords stretching from the nose on either side. There was a typical breeze from the ocean and each flight after some passes across the slope ended in the field at the base. Clint Eastwood has since preserved the slopes by purchasing the land. My cousin Corwin, a few years older than me, had the honour of having his foot stepped on by Lindbergh that day, who "Excuse me," and Corwin "It didn't hurt." I always envied my my cousin for that. I'm told by family members that Charles and Anne stayed at our big new house at 410 Pine Avenue in the maid's downstairs room with bathroom, overnight, to excape the publicity. My Dad was always hobnobbing with celebrities, he was famous as an outstanding inventor, an acquaintance of John Steinbeck, born the same year and in the same town of Salinas as him in fact. My Mom and Dad very likely entertained Amelia Earhart out at Col. Watson's since the flying community back then was small and intimate. They earned money by dropping leaflets advertising and local merchants' and business club activities. The Macon would drone over our house an flights up and down the coast, making a tremendous noise and taking at least five minutes to pass. I didn't know it was only about 1500 feet up, about as high as it was long, so the sight and sound was a great thrill, especially when they were practicing with the small airplane(s) launching and retrieving, which sometimes occurred while passing overhead. Quite a lot for a little five year-old to absorb.

Needless to say, I became a glider pilot and still cling to motorgliding, which disappointingly never caught on in North America. My own flying was done mostly in Sweden where I worked for Litton in the sixties and later in Canada in the eighties. Thanks for the opportunity to unload some of my memories of Lindbergh. I just remembered: When Billy Wilder made the "Spirit of Saint Louis" I was flying out of the San Fernando Valley at the field where Hank Coffin was building one of the three flying replicas, not the exact copy for ground shot, but one of the two with windshields. No one wanted to fly the actual copy--too dangerous! In spite of all the fine work, the screenplay hokum in that film has not aged well. Too much "slapstick." But now that I live in Nova Scotia, the depiction of that part of the flight I found very authentic. That man, and his wife, who made their further flights so real, are part of my life.

Thanks for the opportunity. Dick Tice.

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