chapter 3

New Directions

            My life did not lead immediately from higher education, to agricultural aviation.  I made a detour through aircraft mechanics school, flight instructor school, and half the beer joints in the State of Texas.  I didn't learn very much in any of these places.

            I bought an old house trailer and moved onto a little country airport.  I bought an old airplane, a Piper J-3 Cub, and rebuilt it from the ground up.  I set about making my living teaching people to fly, and working on old airplanes.

            It was a poor way to make a living, but I liked it.  During slow times I would hold up in my house trailer, read books, and live off yellow cheese and canned chili.

            I became a hermit, accessible only to those who shared my love of flying.  The world did not notice, much less suffer from, my absence.

            But I had a plan.  My plan did not include continuing my formal education.  My plan did not include becoming a part of the new and rising aristocracy in America.  My plan did not include engaging in any activity that would require that I buy a suit of clothes.  My plan did not include cities, or city people.

            My plan was to seek a career as a crop-duster pilot in out-back rural Texas.   My plan was to get just as far away as possible from respectable society, as well as the emerging tribes of new-age socialists before which "respectable society" was fleeing like a flock of chickens before a pack of wolves.

            One day I sold my house trailer and my J-3 Cub.  That left me owning a pick-up truck, a box of tools, and two, maybe three, changes of clothes.  I packed my bag, filled my tank, and headed south to Laredo, Texas.

            It turned out to be the start of a very long journey.




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