17 December, 2010

Profile 44 - UPDATED! F6F-5 Hellcat as flown by Harold Thune

Wow!  From pencil studies to nearly finished in five days - that's a record for me.

This 'Cat is going back into the hanger until I get info on markings - hopefully in the next week or so.  Then, I'll put them in, quite like the real process when a factory-fresh Hellcat obtained her squadron marks.

Something to think about in the meantime - Harold is about 88 years old now.  In the span of his life, he's experienced economic calamity and boom, world war, travel to outer space...and four BILLION people added to earth's current occupancy.

I don't want to wax philosophical here - I do it badly anyway.  But, in 1920, the earth's estimated population was 2 billion.  Today, it's over 6 billion.  What that means to us, at least to me, is this - soon  the cumulative wisdom and energy of Harold's Generation will likely be absorbed into humanity and dissipated.  Like steam.  And it seems so...much like a waste.

Today, Harold's son - a United States Senator - is tasked with representing his state in all issues of American policy, including the profoundly far-reaching issue of Social Security for the elderly.

Politically, my views are unimportant.  But I do believe in activism and I encourage my generation to become active in the Social Security issue by doing one thing - connect with them .  Invite, engage, consult, but know that relationships with people who've already trodden our Roads Less Traveled is vital to the social fabric.

On one hand, the above airplane is just a drawing.  But on the other, it's an excuse to ask deeper questions, interpret the past and cast a clearer vision of the future.

[laughs] I'll get off the soapbox. However, it's a good time to think about this stuff, especially if Grandma/Grandpa are going to be a part of your Holiday experience. With some good luck, the next post will be Thune's finished airplane, excerpts from my interview and a few cool artifacts, too.  I hope to make it worth your time. :)