"My first glimpse of an airfield came on Halloween Eve of 1921. We got off the Toonerville Trolley and walked toward our new home, smack in the middle of Curtiss Field. I remember the kids were already out trick or treating, wearing costumes like devils and skeletons, but nothing they wore could have stunned us more than the first airplane we saw.
     We were walking along this grassy field where Macy's department store stands today, and here comes this flying machine. It seemed to be bearing down on us, tail high, propeller spinning, roaring like a thousand buzz saws. I was sure it was going to slash right through my whole family. but it rose triumphantly from the ground like an awkward bird and passed over our heads, belching clouds of black smoke.
     Later I found it was Bert Acosta, the bad boy of aviation, an Errol Flynn type, fond of liquor and women. Acosta was hanging around a bar and nobody knew what time it was. He jumped in his plane, flew a circle around the Metropolitan Life Lock Tower in manhattan, and flew back to the bar to give a report. A few years later I was bringing him cigarettes at the county jail where he was cooling off for a few days."

From Getting Off the Ground by George Vecsey & George C. Dade,
E. P. Dutton, 1979
  George Vecsey George Dade  
  GEORGE VECSEY, author of the bestselling Loretta Lynn and many other books for both children and adults, currently writes about religion for the New York Times. He lives on Long Island with his wife and three children GEORGE C. DADE was Director of the Cradle of Aviation Museum at Mitchel Field, Long Island, president of various aviation clubs, and recipient of numerous aviation history awards. He grew up in a former aviator's barracks at Curtiss Field, Long Island, and subsequently founded an airplane packing business. He was married and had three children. A founder of the Cradle of Aviation Museum, he died in 1998 at the age of 85..  

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