What Goes Up
Just about forty years ago, I was in a rock and roll copy band. We had a few songs that we wrote, but we mostly copied the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and to my dismay, Paul Revere and the Raiders. We were pretty good for youngsters though.
One late afternoon, the drummer and I went to check out the set up at the Youth Center where we would be playing later in the evening. Satisfied that the set up was under control, we left. There is not a lot to do in the majestic flat lands of the upper high plains of Texas. Almost always, you are pulled to the sky. They are so big there. The eyes and the spirit seemingly have no other place to reside.
Smisson and I had some time to kill, so we decided to buy some 10 cent gliders at the convenience store and go down to the park that was in front of our houses. Smisson was a neighbor and his name really was Smisson.
His middle name was Mulkey, and just for the record, he was the third.
Anyway, we took our gliders out of their plastic wrappings and assembled them. There are really only four pieces. There is the main fuselage, the wing that slips through the slit in the fuselage, the back wings, and the rudder that slips on the top of the fuselage.
I put mine together quickly and fine-tuned the wings and rudder. As I did, I said to Smisson, “Watch this Smisson, it will never come down!” I pointed the glider into the ever constant Panhandle north wind and sent it off.
It did what all gliders do. It went down, picked up speed and lift and then went up and over up side down and started to head for the ground where it actually, (and I do remember this faithfully) touched the very top of a delicate wild flower stalk. Then it picked up speed and lift and begin to head back up again. This time, instead of going over backward, it stalled for just a moment and began to dive back towards the ground. As it began to head for the ground it picked up speed and began to climb again, and this time, it climbed a little higher than the time before. Then it stalled. Then it accelerated toward the ground and then turned up and ascended even higher. Then it began to dive and pick up speed again.
But this glider seemed to have a mind of its own. It kept its nose into the wind. It continued to stall, descend and pick up speed and lift, then turn its nose up and move higher into the sky.
It went higher and higher.
It kept climbing.
Smisson began to laugh. Soon, I was laughing with some kind of ecstatic joy. By now, the glider was several hundred feet in the air and it had worked its way north of the park towards the street. We followed it, laughing and looking at each other like we were in the first act of a good space invasion movie.
We got in the car and followed it as it continued to stall dive and climb, stall dive and climb, stall dive and climb.
We followed it to the north side of town before we completely lost sight of it. The last time we saw it, it was still climbing.
Like I told Smisson, “Watch this Smisson, it will never come down”
It never did.
Smisson and I made a deal that day. We decided that no one would believe this story, so we agreed to tell no one. We went back and played that night with that certain kind of smile that you generally get from doing something illegal.
I learned that sometimes, the forces line up
Labels: personal philosophy