Friday, April 3, 2009
Red Dress Diary - Entry Four, Love Is A Ride On A B-17
Mad Dog's gettin' married! Every Friday we're reading from her "secret" diary as the big day approaches! Shhh... Here's the four entry:
The best gifts we receive usually don't cost a lot of money. They come straight from the heart, and really do have a lot of thought behind them.
Tom recently heard that rides on a vintage B-17 aircraft were going to be offered at a local air show. After deciding that I would probably kill him if he spent $425 on a half-hour ride, he opted to buy forty dollars worth of raffle tickets in an attempt to win the flight for me.
My Dad was the radioman on a B-17 during World War II, and Tom knew how much it would mean to me to be able to sit on that tiny seat, surveying all the communication equipment my deceased father would have used during his thirty-five successful bombing missions.
Tom told me about this "second anniversary of our meeting" gift and I was thrilled. It didn't matter if he won. It was the idea that he would, one: remember the day we met, and two: want to give me such an emotional experience. And then--he won!
I took my amazing ride on a sunny Sunday afternoon. I had mentioned my father to someone as we boarded. Immediately a crew member took me to the radioman's seat and strapped me in. Then he whispered, "You Dad is here with you."
I got more than a lump in my throat looking out the little window, as we soared above the trees in that enormous plane. I tried to imagine what horrific things Dad might have seen during combat, and I was once again thankful that he and many other men and women made such great sacrifices to insure my freedom.
Tom and my father never had the opportunity to meet, but I know my Dad is happy to know that I am marrying a man who gave me such a wonderful, loving gift.
Melinda (Mad Dog)
Check out the full story and photos of Mad Dog's B-17 flight on Milkbone's April 6th blog entry!