[If you’re not an aviation or history buff, you might not know about the long legacy of adventurers, innovators, and enthusiasts that exists in Iowa - particularly the eastern part of the state. That’s why Scott M. Fisher, an aviation expert who grew up in Davenport, decided to write a book on the topic. Below, Scott offers just a few surprising highlights from his new book book, Eastern Iowa’s Aviation Heritage, which is now available through Arcadia Publishing.]
Before I started this book, I had only vague knowledge of the balloon ascensions that occurred in Iowa along the Mississippi River in the 1800s; certainly no knowledge that women participated. I like how the photo clearly shows the frail balloon structure and how she’s just hanging on to that flimsy parachute bag with her fist and that determined look on her face. She represents the courage and unfortunate anonymity that female early pioneer aviators faced, not just in Iowa, but everywhere.
“Old Timers.” All these guys, the Livingston Brothers, Ralph Reed, Ole Oleson, etc. represent so many other young Iowa kids who were pioneers in the “old days” of fabric and open cockpit biplanes, yet never stopped flying or promoting aviation to later generations, not only giving generously of their time, but also just plain having FUN doing it, right up to the end of their lives. That also reminded me of other Iowa “old timers” I grew up around, not necessarily in aviation, who genuinely enjoyed sharing their time and stories with young people. Our lives are so much richer for their having taken the time with us.
|Irv and Irene Lindner.|
To learn more about the new pictorial history book, Eastern Iowa’s Aviation Heritage, visit http://bit.ly/iOmeIn. Enter code “TourIowa” for 20% off your purchase.
Commentary by Scott M. Fisher