This was written by John Steinbeck during the time he was a correspondent inVietnam. This is in the current issue of Vietnam magazine. I wanted to share it with other who flew as my brother Jerry did.
“Alicia, I wish I could tell you about these pilots. They make me sick with envy. They ride their vehicles the way a man controls a fine, well-trained quarter horse. They weave along stream beds, rise like swallows to clear trees, they turn and twist and dip like swifts in the evening. I watch their hands and feet on the controls, the delicacy of their coordination reminds me of the sure and seeming slow hands of (Pablo) Casals on the cello. They are truly musicians hands and they play their controls like music and they dance them like ballerinas and they make me jealous because I want so much to do it. Remember your child night dreams of perfect flight free and wonderful? It’s like that and sadly I know I never can. My hands are too old and forgetful to take orders from the command center, which speaks of updrafts and side winds, of drift and shift, or ground fire indicated by a tiny puff and flash, or a hit and all of these commands must be obeyed by the musician’s hands instantly and automatically. I must take my longing out in admiration and the joy of seeing it.”