The Liberty Gazette
June 9, 2009
June 9, 2009
The View From Up Here
By Mike Ely and Linda Street Ely
Linda: Linda DuBois winks through an impish grin as she talks about meeting Jon. “I had to introduce him to my family of aviators.” She also had to warn him about her Flight Instructor brother, Carl. “He’s going to take you up in his Ultralight and turn off the engine, but don’t you scream. He’s going to try to scare you and he will win.” At first, I felt sorry for Jon, until he offered, “What Carl didn’t know was that I was as crazy as he was.”
Jon hadn’t flown before, but it had been one of those things on his list for years. “Dad and I had planned to buy a Piper Cub to go flying and fishing together, but he passed away before we could.” So it wasn’t until he met Linda that he finally got a taste of aviation. And what does Linda want people to know about that? “I am so proud of him. He started flying in 2003, at the age of 65!”
About that same time the couple began shopping for an airplane of their own. A Commander on the front cover of a flying magazine, with an article detailing its attributes, caught Jon’s attention and helped narrow their search. Their first choice was one they located in Baltimore, but the broker said it was sold. So, they looked at a few other planes, including a Piper Saratoga, and even made a trip to Kerrville, where Mooney is manufactured. Linda loves the story of the Saratoga flight. “We were still undecided, hadn’t found exactly what we wanted, when this Piper salesman asks if we want to fly the Saratoga to see how we like it.” Thunderstorms in the area shortened the demo flight, but when they got on the ground the dealer asked Jon, “So, how many hours do you have?” Whenever Jon recounts his answer it brings out Linda’s lively giggle. “Well,” Jon said, “I think about 10 or 12 now.” Linda chomped at the bit to add, “The dealer’s eyes almost bugged out!”
“We got a call from the broker,” Jon adds, “the sale of that Commander in Baltimore didn’t go through, so I said, ‘Consider it sold,’ and off we went to pick it up.” But that’s another story.
Mike: The happy newlyweds did finish their flight training at American Flyers, a nation-wide flight training group with a location in Tomball. “We took two months, got a room, and stayed up long hours studying together; newlyweds, already squabbling in the Best Western,” laughs Linda. She flew barefoot and after they both passed their check rides, the examiner told her, “You’ll have to take care of him.”
And take care she does. They have fun where ever they go. “We had been taking golf lessons and were flying in to Sugar Land when Jon noticed a golf course. He almost missed the airport,” Linda explains. “On the radio, everyone gets so happy with us,” Jon rolls out through a gentle southern laugh. “One time we were headed to Louisiana. We were heading sort of not straight there,” he starts, but Linda joins in, “We were headed north instead of east,” and Jon quickly sews up that story with, “ATC got us straightened out.”
The never-dull couple and their fiercely protective six-pound Rocky are enjoying life with well-deserved flair.
Mike and Linda can be reached at Texasavi8r@aol.com.