As childhood friends of over 60 years now, it was with special pleasure that my wife, Pam, and I gave Ray a special 70th birthday gift of a flying lesson. That included actually flying the plane for about 25 minutes – what a thrill. When I asked Ray how it felt to be 70 and learning to fly, he replied, “I never thought I’d ever be 70 at all!” But then we never think of that far into our future when we are young, do we?

Come, enjoy the day with us in the video below as Ray’s wife/soul-mate (and also another lifetime friend) changes her mind and agrees to go up in the back seat and fly with him. In the final scenes, Ray takes the back seat as I take my own turn at this adventure.

In answer to your question, no, neither of us intends to become pilots, just two young friends still enjoying life together after many decades.

PS: In all those many years I can honestly say we have only had one time of angry words (well, even they weren’t that angry…). As young teens we were enjoying a Summer of chess (each Summer we seemed to focus on playing one particular game all Summer) when I had Ray in check-mate. He pulled a move where he switched two chess pieces in one move to get out of check. I accused him of making that up while he steadfastly said it was a valid move. Later I would learn of this unique two-piece move called “castleing” – I think that’s right – so it was a legit chess move, BUT, as it turns out you can’t use it to get out of check. “max nix!” To be able to say we’ve had many times together over those 60+ years and that was the ONLY time of any disagreement, well, that’s saying something about a very special friendship. Wouldn’t you agree?

Now, come fly with us . . . at Trenton/Mercer airport in central New Jersey, Tuesday, September 13th, 2011 – a bright and beautiful day for flying and friendship adventure: