Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Happy Landings, Bill Taylor

My friend, Bill Taylor, flew west this morning.

 Bill's hangar and his Piper Vagabond were just down the row from me at Bayport (Long Island) airport when I was doing time in NY as a corporate pilot and Confederate spy. His table was a happy one for a cup of tea and good conversation.

Bill 'n' me in the J-3. Bill in front, me in back. At maybe 5'6" he stood very tall in my eyes.

Bill retired from the NYPD after having served in the Marine Corps in China during the last days of World War II and its aftermath. Before the war, he was a tough kid who came out of a hard childhood. Maybe because of it he grew into one of the finest men I've known.

Bill did all sorts of things in his life including stints as a diver and fisherman. Somewhere along the way he learned to fly and loved the time he spent with new friends at the airport. I enjoyed his company very much and have missed him since I retired myself and returned to the South. (Oh, he had some funny stories about his time in the South ... we had some good laughs over that).

He joins his dear wife, Sunny, who died in 2010.

Godspeed, Bill. 

Happy landings. 

Semper Fi.