Just two weeks after the funeral, Bill provided my first plane ride, in a two-seater V-tailed Bonanza. As a teenager, Bill had wanted to own a cabin cruiser. By the time he got out of college, his interest had moved from aquatic to aerial. So he took flying lessons and bought his own plane, a little Piper Tri-Pacer. Before getting an instrument rating, he cracked the plane up in a thunderstorm a few years later. Since then, he had joined a flying club from which he could borrow the speedy Bonanza. Flying the 400 direct air miles from Minneapolis to Midland, Michigan took just two hours, offering little time to ponder the very different world I was entering.

 

     Lorraine met us at the airport, in the Volkswagen Bus. She introduced me to Spook, the excitable Dalmatian, who came along for the ride. With their equally excitable two-year-old daughter Chris, we drove the short distance to their home in a well-manicured subdivision. They gave me a tour of the house and showed me to my room. I had my own room! The room had a built-in desktop next to a sliding-door closet. It was a modest-sized home by current standards, but still much newer and larger than any I had ever lived in and most I had even visited. I looked around outside for Wally and the Beaver, but they were nowhere to be seen. Still, I felt sure the Cleavers lived somewhere nearby. 

 

Copyright © 2007 by John Maberry