The Wild Blue Yonder

Written by Burl on May 22nd, 2009
P-51B YF-W at Steeple Morden, 355th FG, 1944

P-51B YF-W at Steeple Morden, 355th FG, 1944

Lt. "Buzz" Burlingame and P-47

Lt. "Buzz" Burlingame and P-47

You never know what will arrive in the mail. Here, on the cusp of Memorial Day, arrives a small packet of photographs of my father and of one of the fighters he flew out of England during WWII. The packet comes from a nice aviation enthusiast in Missouri who collects autographs of World War II pilots, and he thought he was writing to my father.

Both of my parents have died in the last year, and I need to compose a note to this fellow to say he’s just too late. This “greatest generation” is vanishing rapidly.

My father was a career Air Force officer who flew continuously from 1942 to 1971, when he retired from the Air Force, and he continued to take the controls on occasion when flying with his buddies. I inherited a love of aviation from him, but not his skill at balancing checkbooks.

I miss my parents tremendously. I’ll be visiting them at Punchbowl this week.

Here’s a little essay on our last trip together.


5 Comments so far ↓

  1. I know how hard it is to lose your parents. I have photos like these (of your dad) of my dad on my wall, as you know. I think it’s especially hard to lose them so close together.

  2. gigi-hawaii says:

    That was a wonderful essay, Burl. Has the S-B done away with My Turn columns for good? I miss them.

  3. Burl says:

    I don’t know. I’m just a worker bee there.

  4. mutt says:

    Bill was a handsome man right up until his last day. My mom really enjoyed their (perfectly proper) lunch dates. Such a charmer … classic Burlingame style. Same goes for you, sonny boy.

    The “new, edgy, trying something different, breath of fresh air” S-B editorial section probably won’t be doing any My Turn columns, would be my guess. Too bad, it was one of the more fun parts about my former job. Oh, but who needs journalists writing about stuff that interests them, anyway?

    But if anyone does want to see them, a note to the publisher or editor wouldn’t be inappropriate. They don’t know what’s missed until readers tell them.

  5. rob "burl" Burlingame says:

    Burl looks just like my brother. Great to see Burlingames in history.

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