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Ghost Friends

Here is a peculiar story of ghosts and the concept of time. When you are young, you are probably close to being your most normal. You have had less delinquent influences, and unless your parents beat you, were probably optimistic about your chances of becoming a (fill in the blank) when you grew up. We all remember having friends when we were younger, and we used whatever was in front of us to have fun somehow.

The story goes that these two pilots met at a bar in an airport in Chicago, Illinois, while waiting for their flight back to Louisville, Kentucky. They were to share the flight. One would be the copilot, and the coming flight would be his first on this size plane. The other pilot was retiring after 30 years of flying, and it was to be his last flight.

“Are you nervous at all?” said the younger pilot to the older one.

“Shouldn’t I be asking you that?” said the seasoned pilot.

“I mean about retiring. Not being able to fly anymore.”

“I have flown my share, besides I have some other things that have caught my interest from traveling around the world.”

By hour 2 into this 6 hour layover, the pilots had exhausted most of their basic conversation talking-points, like how they both grew up in the same neighborhood in Kentucky, and both went to Kentucky University. The older pilot, perhaps a little agitated with the endless waiting that goes along with flight travel blurted out, “you know it wasn’t even really my own idea to become a pilot.”

He told the younger pilot that a boy that he used to hang out with as a kid, gave him the idea. They would hang out at this huge tree in the woods and pretend it was a space ship. He said that the kid would go on and on about becoming a pilot. He was always the first one to go higher up the tree, and always would talk about new engine technology and modern aviation.

“You know I have a similar story,” the younger pilot noticed. He had met a kid when he was younger, whose fascination with planes gave him the idea of becoming a pilot.

“What happened to your friend? Is he a pilot?” the younger pilot asked the older one.

“No, actually on one of the days when I wasn’t there, I was at pop-warner football, that kid fell out of the tree and died. I never went back there again after that.”

The younger pilot thought back to try to remember his brief time together with the kid in the giant tree fort. Their descriptions of tree sounded the same, but there are a lot of trees. The young pilot had known the kid from the woods briefly, yet he, like his peer, had taken from the short friendship a desire for flying. Neither pilot could remember the kid's name, or anything specific about the way he looked. Who knows.

It is important to know, when dealing with great heights and steep drops, it is not the fall that will kill you, it is the sudden stop.

(3 Ghost Kids in a Tree)

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