Saturday, March 12, 2011

'Fun to reminisce...' Part One

Hello everyone! I'm pleased to add another story today, from one of our blog viewers that wrote in to me recently. Ted Wagner shared his story with us, along with an interesting hobby that we'll get to later! (It must be stated that this story, along with it's pictorial contents, are under copyright and cannot be used for external use or personal monetary gain).

'Every year, about this time, I get the NCA Convair itch. I cannot even put a solid reason on my interest in North Central or the Convair 580 other than this; Every year when I was a boy, my great grandma, Cecelia, would fly down for a visit on NCA or RCA on the earnings she made making afghans. She would stay with us for a week and pick blueberries. She'd always by on NCA/RCA, and always hand carried her 60 pounds of blueberries on the plane, with no help, even into her 80's.

As a boy in the 70's and 80's, one of my fondest memories was going to the Kent County (now Gerald Ford) Airport in Grand Rapids to watch great grandma land and to take her home. Back then, GRR only had NCA, and maybe USAir or United Commuter, so the Convairs were the most frequent traffic seen. Now I gotta say, as a boy, I wanted to see jets! I remember being so disappointed when great grandma showed up in a propeller plane, and so happy when the DC-9 would pull up to the terminal. One one occasion, the flight crew even let me board with her to see the plane . Once, when she checked in, a pilot gave me a set of silver Republic kiddie wings. I kept these until last year until my 2 year old decided to pluck them from the headliner of my car and deposited them down my heater vent! (This has since been replaced by another set of wings).

North Central became Republic, the planes changed colors, I got older and great grandma got too old to visit. My Dad would take us out to the airport very often and we would sit on the hood of the car, a '73 Satellite, which we had for 14 years, and watch the planes land at the public viewing area. Lots of good memories-GRR's first Northwest Orient airplane, including an NWA 747, and Ronald Reagan in Air Force One for the dedication of the Gerald R. Ford Museum. Cheap entertainment for us kids, but it worked!

As I have the dreaded 4-0 staring me in the face, I guess these are some of the memories with any substance to them. What I wouldn't give to hear that low drone of the Allison turboprops roaring to full power for a takeoff! I had no idea of the history of these planes back then, but I do now, largely thanks to sites like yours. I remember the last Convair 580 I ever saw. My family was on vacation in 1987, heading for Duluth, Minnesota. We passed a little airport in Pellston, Michigan and there was a NWA Convair at the terminal. I was so excited! I couldn't believe NWA was using them.

I hope this wasn't too much rambling, but it was sure fun to reminisce!'

I want to THANK Ted for writing in and sharing these memories with us! It's memories and stories like these that keep our blog alive, along with recalling the 'great, old days' of North Central along the Convair 580's.
Please be sure to check in with the blog in the next few days for PART TWO, regarding Ted's interesting'll want to see and read about this!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great story!!! I was always the opposite. If a DC-9 pulled in I was bummed that it was not a Convair, nowdays any DC-9 I see I am happy.