The Great Flying Machine of 1989

As a birthday treat, I asked my brother and sister (to be pictured tomorrow with my brother’s post) to roast me on this blog. I knew their words would make me laugh, but I didn’t expect they’d move me the way they did. Thanks, Emily and Andrew. You’re the best.

Jamey has always had a knack for building “stuff.” As his younger sister, I’ve always (not too surprisingly) had a knack for being skeptical of such construction. My parents tell me I used to systematically and routinely knock down Jamey’s block towers (or block buildings or block amusement parks or block solar systems…Jamey’s creativity was lost on my unobservant, bulldozer-style mentality).

When Jamey and I were older, he and his best friend Trevor decided they would build a hang-glider. They were impressed with the expensive hang-gliders they saw soaring over Jockey’s Ridge in the Outer Banks, a favorite vacation destination for almost all Virginians. Jamey seemed convinced he could become airborne by building his own hang-glider using duct tape and a few large cardboard boxes. I remember Jamey and Trevor working diligently on the hang-glider in the living-room but I didn’t actually think my parents would let them bring it to the beach. After all, the minivan needed to hold all sorts of beach paraphernalia…was the hang-glider going to fit??

As you can see from the photos, the hang-glider did fit in the minivan (perhaps the beach towels had to stay home, I can’t remember). While my memory is a bit fuzzy, I do think Jamey became airborne. I also think his flight was more a product of the wind on top of the huge sand dune than of Jamey’s superior construction skills. But, I digress. The point is that Jamey courageously carried his homemade hang-glider up to the top of Jockey’s Ridge and trusted that the corrugated cardboard and grey tape would prevent him from tumbling into the large abyss of hot sand. He was not disappointed.

Jamey hasn’t lost his knack for building “stuff” as he’s gotten older. Nowadays he builds intangibles, like TypeTribe, and tangibles, like a cat condo. As I ponder what the next creative project might be, I would like to tell Jamey that I’ve lost my unobservant, bulldozer-style mentality. I’m proud of what he’s developed and I won’t be knocking it down.

Happy 29th, Jamey. Enjoy your day.