Saturday, October 29, 2016

Tiny planes flying underground in Cleveland


     As far as the World Series goes, you didn't think it was going to be easy did you?
     Otherwise, about all I have to say is that I was hurrying to the airport in Cleveland on Monday, having popped into town to write a quick scene-setter for the paper, when I noticed a small model of this very familiar red and white plane mounted on the wall over the tracks. The Granville Gee Bee R-1, my favorite plane, winner of the Thompson Trophy at the National Air Races in Cleveland in 1932.
     The RTA stop at Hopkins Airport sort of had a mixed aeronautical metaphor going on — antique racing planes on the walls, jetliners on the floor.  It didn't quite mesh, but give them credit for trying. 
     I should dig out the story I wrote about the plane —another day, it's late. But I had the honor of talking to the pilot of the Gee Bee, Jimmy Doolittle, the same Jimmy Doolittle who later led the raid on Tokyo in 1942. If I remember correctly, he was in the phone book in Arizona, and was more than happy to chat about his brief time in the cockpit of the Gee Bee. Flying it, he said, was like "trying to balance a pencil by its point on your fingertip." Or words to that effect. It had stubby wings, an oversized engine and a little sump of a tail, and killed several of the men who flew it, but not Doolittle, who won the race, stepped out of the plane, declared the era of racing planes over, and never raced again. 
      Decorating train stops is one of those small details that brings joy to city life, though Cleveland certainly has nothing on Chicago, which has been installing gorgeous mosaics and artworks at certain 'L' stops. Though I liked something I saw in the subway in Paris -- they had glass cases displaying wares from nearby stores, as advertising and display. That seemed a good idea, though security is no doubt a concern. 
    Anyway, I spent the entire evening watching Game 3 of the World Series, am feeling — tired and subdued — so this post will have to be brief and slight. I have to admit, the game was not a font of fascination, which could have been forgiven had we won. But we didn't win. 



  1. great game last night. i love it when the pitchers shut down the offense. those glass merchandise cases are called vitrines. you see them a lot in fancy hotels. I've built a few

  2. Security is a problem -- no doubt. What do we do? Cameras everywhere? Constant surveillance? We've all read (or at least heard of) "1984." And that's a concern as well, that the government, big business, terrorists, competitors will find out more about us than we're willing to reveal. I for one (and maybe I'm the only one) would like to see speed cameras everywhere. If the speed limit is unreasonable, change it, but the fact that the law is violated by everyone cannot be denied and I (again for one) am not comfortable with that, especially seeing that people die right and left who might not have died had some driver had the fear of the Lord (or the law) in his head. And as to deterring theft or vandalism, I believe cameras are effective and if nothing else, help law enforcement identify perpetrators. Of course, they'd be even better at that if we all had an ID chip implanted in our brains at birth, but I'll stop way short of suggesting that such be done or even thought of.



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