Skip to content

Boulevard of Broken Wings

January 13, 2011

Do you ever have one of those moments where a random memory pops into your head, unbidden from the recesses of your mind?  Yeah, that happened to me the other day.  Whatever the trigger was, I found myself remembering last September, as Nikki and I drove from El Paso, TX to Phoenix, AZ, across the red-rock-filled desert on I-10.  About a half-hour past Tucson, a strange sight greeted me off in the distance to my left.  Hundreds of airplanes sat lined up in row after row about a mile away, at some kind of weird airport.  It was just out in the middle of nowhere and there was such an eerie stillness surrounding the place; not a single plane was lifting off or landing.  They just sat there, abandoned.  I logged it away in the back of my mind, curious to learn more about this oddity but it was eventually forgotten.

Fast forward to the present.  For some reason my mind drifted back to that day’s drive and the airport out in the desert.  Through a little bit of Google Map magic, I was able to trace my route along I-10 using the satellite view and locate this lonesome landmark.  Check it out and see for yourself:  Pinal Airpark, a repository for decommissioned commercial aircraft, stored in the dry climate to stave off corrosion in case they ever get pressed back into service.  It is a veritable airplane bone-yard.

Why do I share this?  Well, I guess this small-town Kansas boy just hasn’t seen anything quite like it, so it struck a chord in my memory and I just had to share it.  But it also seems to me that this would make an interesting focal point for a story of some sort.  Who works out there?  What does there day consist of?   What is it like to be surrounded by empty metal shells  that once defied gravity and carried hundreds of people up in the air and across the globe, in a feat that just over a century ago seemed like science fiction?  What is it like to spend everyday in a monument to the temporary lifespan of the pinnacle of human achievement, a reminder of the finite window of usefulness of both man and machine?  Perhaps there is a kernel of creativity that will spring forth from my mind in regards to these varied reflections pin-balling around inside my subconscious.  I guess I will have to keep that one in my back-pocket for a rainy day.

So if you are ever driving down that stretch of I-10 northwest of Tucson, take a look out on the horizon and take a gander at a unique and unusual sight.

Advertisements
4 Comments leave one →
  1. Chris permalink
    January 13, 2011 3:40 pm

    I would pay to read this…

    “What is it like to be surrounded by empty metal shells that once defied gravity and carried hundreds of people up in the air and across the globe, in a feat that just over a century ago seemed like science fiction? What is it like to spend everyday in a monument to the temporary lifespan of the pinnacle of human achievement, a reminder of the finite window of usefulness of both man and machine? Perhaps there is a kernel of creativity that will spring forth from my mind in regards to these varied reflections pin-balling around inside my subconscious.”

    Natl Pizza Week has been good to you (we ate Papa Murphy’s Chicago-style in honor of it).

    Your post reminds me of the famous scene from the TCM classic “The Best Years of Our Lives”

    http://www.theminorityreportblog.com/2010/05/30/on-the-radio-the-best-years-of-their-lives-and-ours/

    • luminousvignettes permalink*
      January 14, 2011 1:55 pm

      “I would pay to read this…”

      I must be a generous man then, because I just keep putting it out there for free!

      Seriously though, thanks for the encouragement Chris, I really appreciate that you read (and write!) on my humble blog here. I saw yesterday on The Summit several guys discussing that we don’t have enough writers in our Fellowship; I hope I can one day make some small contribution to solving that problem, though I don’t know that I personally have much to share with the already wise men in our movement like yourself.

      Thanks for the movie recommendation, I am familiar with “The Best Years of Our Lives” by reputation only and will have to check it out. I think my Film History of WWII class in community college watched it but I was sick that evening and missed out.

      Also glad that you are enjoying National Pizza Week, Papa Murphy’s is a delicious and delightful choice of which I am quite fond.

  2. Chris permalink
    January 14, 2011 2:18 pm

    I meant to tell you that I watched an especially good movie on TCM the other night–one I had never scene or heard of before. You might have heard of it, but would definitely like it. It was called “The Rabbit Trap.”

    This 1959 review is rather brutal> http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9D03E6D7133CE63BBC4D52DFB6678382649EDE

    Somehow I missed the young Don Rickles in it!

    • luminousvignettes permalink*
      January 16, 2011 7:42 pm

      Thanks for the movie recommendation Chris! I look forward to checking that one out!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: