22 July, 2011

Profile 55 - "Little Horse" as flown by a damn good friend

Presenting Little Horse - not as she fought in WW2 but as she rides today.  

Just to be clear to readers - this is not the airplane Ken Dahlberg flew in WW2.  It's close, but not...perfect. Lot's of little details aren't quite right - and that's no biggie considering "D-5" Mustangs aren't exactly found on street corners these days.  

Instead, it represents one that was restored and flown by an aviation enthusiast a few years ago.  Though I've never stated that my art was ever 100% historically perfect*, this Little Horse will be my only exception to the principle of "Old guys and their airplanes."

Hear me out.  Over the years, I've been so fortunate to get to know men of great accomplishment and character that I can't possibly express my gratitude.  Many of the pilots in this blog have been more than gracious with their time - they've become the grandparents I never had...and our families have become interconnected.

It's huge.

And mostly?  The  fun, fellowship and guidance I've received has changed how I view aging and the role of the elderly in life.   60's activist Jerry Rubin is reported to have made the quote, "Don't trust anyone over 30."  Hell. I've learned not to trust anyone under 80!

(I know one WW2 pilot that probably just blew his martini through his nose laughing).

Now...this Little Horse has nothing to do with Ken Dahlberg, the 354th FG or even WW2.  It's solely a gift for a guy as a thank you for years of business support and loyal friendship.   And the guy just happens to be the man who restored, flew - then sold, the Little Horse as shown above.

The patron and I met for coffee to talk over the project and I asked him why he would want the restored version and not the historically significant one. "This one is significant.  I knew Little Horse meant a lot to him.  He's meant a lot to me and my family."  

Facts and data are one side of History.  The other side are the improbable connections and relationships we collect.  Together, they make up reality.

And...it looks like we might end up getting Ken involved ANYWAY!

Stay tuned.

*True story.  I had a pilot and independent experts bless a plane I did years ago only to have a long-lost photo pop up (years later) to reveal that the nose art wasn't exactly as shown.  Every time the presses start up or I hit "post" for my website, I hold my breath just a little bit...