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Tuesday, October 01, 2002
I just learned that Scott Ott, of Scrappleface fame, and I have some geography in common. I probably should have realized that earlier, based on his name. Scrapple is ... , well, you don't want to know what scrapple is. Suffice it to say that tastes great and is a favorite dish in a wide area around Philadelphia. I have never seen it anywhere else in the country.

I took flying lessons at an airport a few hundred yards from Scott's home at the time, run by Bill and Mary Jo Smela, who later became friends, instead of just the people who rented me an airplane for an occasional hour. Bill was a wizard. He could both fix and fly anything with wings. And he could also fly a lot of things without wings: I heard that he had once accepted an invitation to fly the Goodyear blimp. I swear, if he saw a brick with a propeller on the front, he would climb in and take off.

They had a tradition that when a student soloed for the first time, a piece of his shirt was cut off, labeled with name and date and hung on the office wall. Despite the fact that the airport has long since changed hands, my tshirt tail might still be on display (if it hasn't decayed from the passage of time).
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