Monday, September 24, 2012

His Choice

Can't get it out of my head. I see it when I close my eyes to try and sleep. I see it when I look at a blue sky. I see it when people are talking to me. I don't hear them.

It's only been 10 days and I've replayed it a thousand times.

Down he went, beyond a distant tree line. He would come back up. Yes! Yes, he would come back up. He's okay. He is. He's okay.

Then the smoke.

I shouted. No. Screamed. No. No. No. No. No. I sank to my knees. Cried. Bawled like a baby

The others didn't see it. Their back was turned to it. They wondered why I cried.

I cried for the best friend I had ever had. A friend I knew better than anyone knew him outside his family. I cried for the man who I shared that wonderful machine with. The machine he loved. Said it had changed his life. Said he had never dreamed he would do what the machine had let him do. He made his choice and knew the risks. Accepted them.

I hardly knew him when we decided to buy it. Violated every rule in the book. No agreement. No contract. No nothing but a hand shake. 

And for fourteen years we worked on it, tinkered with it, fixed it, improved it, caressed it, displayed it to thousands, flew it with untold relish.

And all those years, never a cross word passed between us. Not a single argument.

My friend. My friend.

George “Bud” Myers.


I chose the skies
That few have known
To follow where
The winds have blown.

To battle storms
That none have seen
To find seas of gold
And lands still green.

And if some day
I don't return
Don't cry for me
Don't be concerned

For high above
The clouds will sing
For a world I loved
And silent wings.

The Choice
by Geoffrey H. Tyler

23 comments:

Scott said...

Well put dad. I think you said it best Friday night. You said, "There's a hole in the hanger floor over there where there used to be an airplane you loved. But there is there is a hole in your heart where there used to be the man you loved." Your words honor him. It was a privilege to know him.

S. J. Crown said...

What a beautiful, heart-wrenching tribute. Your words come from a deep place I can, at best, only begin to fathom, and the words I might add ring hollow. But if, in a lonely room, or field, or forest, I remain very quiet and pay close attention, straining my ear, listening for even one whimper from those silent wings, I swear to God I can hear those clouds.

Mark Johnson said...

Very heartfelt and emotional post.

Please accept our condolences for your loss.

Mark Johnson said...

Very heartfelt and emotional post. Please accept my condolences for your loss.

Frank Van Haste said...

Alan, I'm so very, very sorry.

Ralph Hood mentioned the mishap over on AvSig; didn't know about your relationship with Bud.

This thing we do with airplanes means that we play with Fate for high stakes more often than most. The joys are great; so are the sorrows.

As soon as I can, I'll turn West and raise a glass to Bud Myers. I know many others are doing the same thing.

Sincerely,

Frank

K1MGY said...

Here's a news report about this:

http://whnt.com/2012/09/21/moontown-crash-victim-remembered/

Quite a fellow and quite a loss.

Anonymous said...

Keep your chin up Captain. My condolences.

amulbunny's random thoughts said...

My sincerest condolences. May heaven always be filled with clear skies and the wind at his back.

Cedarglen said...

My heart goes out to you, Alan and to 'Bud's' family. Both are in my prayers this week. Flyers know the risks, and joyfully accept them with as much professional skill and caution as they can muster. And I know tha this does not make your personal loss any easier. I'm glad that you shared this with your readers and yes, it still hurts all of us. Best wishes, - Craig

Cedarglen said...

Alan, my heart and prayers and with you and with Bud's family this week. With some losses, only time can begin the healing process. Take some time and be good to yourself and to Bud's family. Best wishes, -Craig

dedgemon said...

Was working in the hangar tonight. just like any other night. Kept expecting to see George next door, or here the music. Or have him drop in for a chat. Empty.

Still think about Keavy the same way, just empty.

We've lost too many.

dedgemon said...

Was working in the hangar tonight. just like any other night. Kept expecting to see George next door, or here the music. Or have him drop in for a chat. Empty.

Still think about Keavy the same way, just empty.

We've lost too many.

dennis utley said...

Just want you to know that I cried also when I heard the news. I did not know Bud....but I do know you, and the pain is you feel also affects all of us who care so much about you. Hang in there old friend, and know in your heart, that we really do care. I am sure some day when the pain gets somewhat less, you will write more about Bud so we all can remember him as you do. Let me know if I can help out someway.

Anonymous said...

George "Bud" Myers lived a long and full life. Sadly, the same cannot be said of the 17 year-old student pilot Chris Smith who died in the same accident.

Sheila said...

So saddened by this story tonight. My heartfelt condolences to and best wishes for all the family, friends, and aviation-lovers like me who feel your deep pain at this loss.

Anonymous said...

My condolences to Bud's family and to you Alan. Your tribute has touched me. I know you will miss him much.
Judy

bradcockrell said...

"... the best friend I had ever had."
Dad I'm sorry. I didn't fully understand.

I do now.

Mike Murphy said...

Very sorry for your loss, Alan. Yes, we've lost too many.

Liss Sterling said...

What a beautiful, truly heart-wrenching tribute to your amazing friend, Alan. Thank you so much for sharing this. I was there on Saturday and still shaking my head at the loss. I'm so sorry you have to miss him so much, but it speaks so much about him that you do.

Dave W said...

Mr Cockrell, Alan - I am nowhere near as eloquent as you or your other followers and friends, but I too feel compelled to offer my condolences to you and all who knew of George....

With fondest regards

Dave from the UK

capnaux said...

The whole aviation community mourns with you, Alan. Sounds like Bud was a fantastic man and a fantastic pilot. So sorry for your loss.

whick said...

So very sorry Alan...Keep your chin up... Whick

Craig said...

Alan, I am very sorry for your loss. You have my sincere condolences and prayers. Losing a great friend brought close throught the bond of a shared passion of machine and sky must be tough.
Keep writing. You do it well.