As we ascended into the air, helicopter blades creating a rhythmic murmur above my head, I held my breath and inched slowly to the edge of my seat to look below. I was maybe 7 or 8 visiting my grandfather in Atchinson, Kansas (a town where if you blink, you'll miss the turn). He had called up a buddy of his who owned an old helicopter in request of a favor. My grandfather had made his mission that day to inform me about everything he could of a pioneer and pilot that had graced the little town decades ago.
Earlier that day, we had spent hours touring the house they were birthed in, my eyes wide and head overwhelmed with the facts of a child that had once skipped along the path where my feet were planted. Images of a kid no older than I had swirled to life, folding up pieces of papers into planes and soaring them out the windows of the two-story white house that the grandparents had owned.
The thrill that came soon after entailed us lifting off into the air inside of an old helicopter and being able to look down to see this pilot's face spanning an entire hillside.
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