On Gravity

When I was a kid planes flew directly over my house all day long.  They were bound for Kennedy Airport which was only eleven miles away. The aircraft were spectacular, especially the big 747s and DC-10s lumbering over Carle Place at about 2000 feet. There is not a single time that an airplane passed over that I didn’t stop and look at it. And I do the same thing when I see one today.

Naturally, I wondered what would happen if one of them fell on my house. Sometimes they looked a little too low or sounded a bit weird —and they often seemed to be moving so slowly that they could never stay in the air. Carle Place once had several busy airfields as neighbors, so plane crashes were part of the local history. In 1929 two planes crashed on the same day within a couple of miles of each other. But planes were always crashing on Long Island —I even knew someone whose house had been hit by a plane decades before.

It’s best not to dwell on airplanes dropping out of the sky. At least not  if you ever want to get on one again.

4 thoughts on “On Gravity

  1. I lived right close by you for a few years in the mid/late ’70s in military housing on the base at Mitchel Field. Used to ride my bike over to Old Country Road to have breakfast at Thomas’s. Mmm mmm good!

    I, too, used to look up at the planes inbound for JFK . . . but the one I remember being most awed by when I saw it was the Concorde cruising over at subsonic speeds. It was like being a part of some futuristic EPCOT center simulation, right there in the middle of Hempstead Plains.


  2. Small world! We used to refer to Thomas’s by the Carle Place name: The Ham & Eggery.

    I don’t know if I’d enjoy Long Island these days, but it was a great place to grow up. We’d bike everywhere; once my dad had to drive down to Jones Beach with a pair of bolt cutters because I lost the key to my bike lock. He was not amused.

    By the time we were kids there were no planes at Mitchell Field, but interestingly to this day there’s still a chunk of runway: http://tinyurl.com/chgfoo

  3. I get back down to Long Island every so often and have re-visited Mitchel Field, Thomas’s, Eisenhower Park, etc.

    Some things were the same, some are radically different . . . the Cradle of Aviation Museum, for instance, is in a hangar that was essentially derelict when I was there, so we used to hang out in it, smoking.

    They were building the “new” Nassau Comm Coll when I was there, so we used to hang out there, too. Smoking. It’s weird to see it old and worn now.

    The old runways were awesome back then . . . the base was largely abandoned, and there was SO much cool stuff to be found. I had written about it on my pre-TU blog with some pics years ago . . . I’ll have to see if I saved it. There were old bunkers and building where we used to hang out (smoking) . . . lot’s of cool stuff.

    I have great memories of being a teenager there!

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