Some historians claim that the Wright Brothers developed an interest in aviation when their father, Milton, brought them a gift of a toy Peanud helicopter.
There were about 75 people out on that historic field as the ranger handed out the kites. There wer not enough kites to go around to every person. My sons, Wyatt and Jackson had to share. It took them all of three minutes to start arguing. A few moments later Jackson punched Wyatt in the belly. Wyatt punched back. Soon they were in a a knock-down-drag-out wrestling match. I struggled to break them up and maintain an airborne kite at the same time. I sighed, a deep sigh that got lost in the winds of that field. I felt a touch of sympathy for Milton Wright, Orville and Wilbur's father, who gave his sons a toy that inspired them to want to learn to fly. Milton Wright probably does not get the credit he deserves for breaking up the fights between thoes brothers over that toy.
I used to be inspired by heroes like the Wright Brothers. Now I think I can relate more to Milton.
In Brad Meltzer's book Heroes For My Son, Brad writes "Every day, they knew they'd fail. Every time they'd go out to fly--every time--they brought extra material because they knew their fledgling design would crash. Crash and rebuild. Crash and rebuild. But never, ever give up."
That was written about Orville and Wilbur, I think the same could be said for Milton.
After the the WWF match at Kitty Hawk we drove down to Jockey's Ridge State Park to check out the Eastern seaboard's largest sand dune. Again we met my brother Jim and his family. The dunes are a spectacular sight. Standing on the lookout, viewing the 400 plus acres of "living dunes", I was again feeling inspired.
My brother Jim went first. He face-planted in seconds. Learning from my brother's mistake, I took a different approach and tried to push Maxfield down the large sandy hill. I too face-planted pretty quickly, Max fell and went nowhere.
The last two photos are courtesy of my sister in law Shannon. Used with permisssion.