Facebook | Kevin Seney Author of “midlife drive”
“The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.”
~ Lao Tzu
My visit to Kittyhawk NC, was such an amazing experience. To stand there in the exact place where the Wright Brothers launched the first airplane, was the experience of a lifetime. My great grandfather, Ralph Seney owned the first airplane in Wyoming back in the 1920’s. (I will try to post a picture). Then his identical twin sons, Frank and Fred were also pilots back in the 50’s 60’s and 70’s.
Frank and Fred were true pioneers. They owned a fishing and hunting resort in Wyoming on Lake De Smet. I grew up hearing the stories from my dad of when he grew up at the lake, and then found myself doing the same things. My older bother and I spent our summers at the lake with our grand parents. What a life. I remember how hyper vigilant we were about rattle snakes. I still, to this day, walk with my head down, watching ahead, and looking for rattle snakes!
We always worked, as 5 and 9 year old boys should. Picking up trash, cleaning fish, hauling trash to the dump (yes my brother drove at 9. I was co-pilot) The tourists that visited our resort were from everywhere! We had many celebrities, like Gabby Hayes, and Robert Taylor. We had our own runway (airport) and many wealthy folks flew in to our resort to enjoy the Wild West in Wyoming.
It was paradise for a young boy.
I grew up thinking that was normal. I guess I assumed that all grandparents had fishing resorts, so they could keep their grand kids for the summer and teach them to fish! All that adventure, was just a part of growing up in Wyoming. Now as an adult, I look back with such appreciation. What a childhood!
My grandfather Frank took me flying all the time. Even at 7 or 8 years old, as soon as we were airborne, he would pass the controls to me. We would just fly. What freedom. (again, I thought that was a normal childhood). I loved to fly the plane. It was a 1965 Cessna 210.
When I was young, I always had dreams of flying. And, I still do. What is crazy, is what I can do with an airplane in a dream. I land on mountain tops, on roads, in back yards. Take offs are always unusual. I am always taking off from city streets, and have to fly under power lines or over them. Always a challenge.
My first wife’s father was a pilot. We would fly to Mexico, and he would pass the controls to me. I remember him one time saying, “you have a good flying instinct!” I guess he did not realize that I had been flying for over 10 years already!
When I finally started getting my license, my instructor said the same thing. “You have a great instinct,” he said!
So, I could ramble on and on about flying, but this is not about that.
When I stood there, at the very point where Orville and Wilbur Wright launched the first airplane, I was transported back to my childhood. Flying with Frank and Fred. What a blessing.
What a gift life is. To experience much. To share much. To feel it all.
I found myself thinking of the last time I saw my Granddad Frank. I remember that trip so well.
My wife, Dana was pregnant with our first child Alicia. My mother kept telling me to come home and see Frank, as he was not doing well. I was busy, and my wife was pregnant, so the trip just kept getting put off.
When we finally landed in Wyoming to visit Granddad Frank, we drove for 2 hours, and when we finally got to town, my mother said, “let’s stop by and see Frank.” We were tired, as by then it was late in the afternoon and we had been traveling all day. My mom insisted, and we decided to swing by the hospital for a short visit.
When we arrived, I had not seen Frank in a long time He was not doing well. I said, “hey Frank, good to see you!” and he said, “it took you long enough!”
He was tired. It was hard to see him so weak. But, once we got the conversation going he was suddenly looking better and he sat up a little straighter. We got talking about old stories, and before you knew it, he was laughing, and was animated just like the old days. Frank was quite the character, and for a moment, he was “Frank” again.
We shared old stories, and laughed for a couple hours and finally decided to go home and visit him again in the morning.
We went home to my parent’s house and got settled, and went to bed. That night in the middle of the night, the phone rang and rang. No one picked it up, so finally I did. It was the Dr. at the hospital. My Granddad Frank had died…
We gathered up everyone in the middle of the night, and went to the hospital. When we got there, they walked us back to his room. The nurse said, “do you want to see him?”
Suddenly, I was a 5 year old boy, afraid, and I could not go into his room. When I finally gathered myself, I walked in to see him.
What I saw was an empty, lifeless body. Frank had already left. He was gone. His body no longer even looked like Frank.
The animated soul, who was momentarily so much younger, just hours ago, so familiar, and so real, was now gone.
This is one of the most important moments in my life.
I realized in that moment, that who we are, is in our spirit. Our spirit fills, and animates our body. Without that, we are nothing. Frank had waited for us to arrive. It took all his strength and that night he let go.
Frank’s spirit still lives on within me; bigger, and more real than ever. Frank stood next to me at Kittyhawk, just as the Wright Brothers did, and I truly believe that their spirits were there with me. I could feel their energy, as the breeze blew in my face.
I just realized that I still have the key to my Granddad’s airplane. A 1965 Cessna 210. I am holding it in my hand now. That is cool… (check out the pic)
Knowing this, is The key to life…
I love you Granddad Frank!
I cannot wait to fly with you again… ks
“The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.”
~ Bruce Lee
Facebook | Kevin Seney Author of “midlife drive”
My Great Grandfather, Ralph Seney had the first airplane in Wyoming in the 1920’s