How Quickly…They are Gone

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I am in a fairly nostalgic mood. Yesterday I posted a photo I took in Iowa and I have been processing other pictures from the past with some new software that I got. As I was going through them, I came across this photo. I remember when I took it (also on the farm in Iowa) I saw the empty swing and thought about the children who used to swing up to the sky in it, trying to touch the clouds. Those children are grown and gone now. They now have children of their own. And it made me think of how quickly they are gone. 

I can scarcely believe my children are grown and have their own precious kids, my grand kids. The toys and swings my children played on are gone now. Now their laughter sounds like adults’ laughter, not the carefree laughter of little ones. I sometimes regret that the time of their childhood is over and gone, yet isn’t that how life is? Isn’t that what it is supposed to be: one generation being born and raised, eventually taking their place in the chain of life that spans the years until they, too, will give way to newer generations. And they will someday sit in my seat as the older generation. I can only hope that when they do, they will be able to scan backwards at old memories and photos and see their life has been as grand as mine has been, that they will have seen their own children grow strong and tall and that they’ll be as proud of them as I am of mine. And someday, God willing, they will see their grandchildren on swings and playing with toys and hear their rollicking laughter fill all of the space in their own hearts…and they will feel blessed as the sun sets.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY:  in 1962, an Air France Boeing 707 crashed on the island of Guadeloupe, killing all 113 passengers and crew members aboard. This crash was only one of five major accidents involving Boeing 707s during the year. Altogether, the five crashes killed 457 people.

The Boeing 707 was built as a modification of the KC-135 military tanker and bomber. The design was altered so that it could carry passengers and it proved to be very popular with the exploding commercial-aviation industry. Although it burned more fuel, the 707 was faster than other commercial jets of the time.

Part of the French West Indies, Guadeloupe is a small island in the Caribbean. Its airport is located in a valley ringed by mountains. Pilots generally dislike the steep descent required for landing. On June 22, the Air France flight failed to descend correctly and crashed directly into a peak call Dos D’Ane, or the Donkey’s Back. The plane exploded in a fireball; there were no survivors.

The flight occurred before the advent of the black box flight recorder and no reason for the crash was ever found.

It was the third deadly crash of a Boeing 707 in a month. On May 22, 45 people died when a plane went down in  Missouri and on June 3, another Air France 707 crashed in Paris killing 130 people. No evidence was ever found that connected the accidents.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: No one is quite sure where the name “Beatles” originated, though the most likely story is that John Lennon liked the name The Crickets after Buddy Holly’s band. Early band member Stuart Sutcliff suggested “Beetles,” and they were for some time known as The Silver Beetles or, occasionally, Long John and the Silver Beatles before becoming the Beatles. The Beetles were also a rival gang in Marlon Brando’s movie The Wild One, which may have also been an influence. John Lennon is usually credited with changing the spelling to “Beatles” to reflect Beat music and the Beat generation.

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