part III

by Leonard Neumann

(An ode to the planes we build and the men who fly them.)

Since Jaybee's nephew was a boy
He'd wished that he could fly.
A wish he'd wish each time he saw
A bird fly 'cross the sky.

"But people don't have wings", they'd say.
"Ah, yes, but if they did,
Then I would fly up to the clouds,"
Answered back this kid.

One day his father bought this boy
One of those plastic things.
A tiny little airplane, that
You fly on tiny strings.

It had a tiny engine, and
It flew, at least a bit!
And how that thing would fly apart
Each time the ground it hit.

But it was made to come apart,
Held on with rubber band,
So though he learned take-offs a lot,
He never learned to land.

One day his Daddy bought for him
A little balsa kit.
And then he used the parts within
To make a plane from it.

He didn't sand it all that good,
He painted it all white.
And since he didn't build it straight,
It didn't fly quite right.

But it still flew, so on this plane
This boy learned how to fly,
Well enough to take it off
And fly across the sky.

But it still couldn't do a loop,
Or fly inverted, so,
Once again the time had come
For this airplane to go.

The next plane had a built-up wing,
A bigger engine, too.
This plane could now do loops with ease,
And on steel lines it flew.

With this plane now he started on
The competition trail.
Beginner's pattern he did fly,
And learned to fly it well.

Then on to Intermediate,
And then another plane.
He needed something bigger now,
Or so he did maintain.

Oh, yes, another engine, too.
His trusty little Fox--
No longer was it big enough--
Went back into its box.

His flying, it got better,
On to Advanced he went.
And, yes, another plane he built,
More money he has spent.

The years went by, the lad we knew,
Became a handsome man
Who now had wife and children, too,
But, sticking with the plan...

He had to climb the final rung,
To Expert now he moved.
And he could now fly with the best,
As more than once he proved.

But something still was missing,
At least in this man's eyes.
He thought he needed something more
To win the biggest prize.

It mattered not that he was good,
That sometimes he was best.
The plane he flew was not as big
As that flown by the rest.

At every contest when he flew
You'd hear from him this gripe.
I can't compete against the rest,
When they fly with a pipe!

So fin'ly it got to him and
He had to have one, too.
Despite how well his old plane flew,
He had to build one new.

A "Super Belcher" kit he built,
A big black pipe within.
'Twas only with this combo that
This man thought he could win.

Titanium gear beneath it,
No cost would now him stop.
Four hundred dollar engine and
A forty dollar prop.

I guess it's true what our wives say
Of kids and husbands, too.
They'll play with toys throught their life,
With toys they're never through.

At times they seem so much alike,
They're always wanting more.
They're never ever satisfied
With what they had before.

But there's one way to tell apart,
Big men from little boys,
Just tally up the price they pay
For all their little toys!