Viewing page 124 of 228


Apparently I was IT!

The culmination of my talk was a contract with Curtiss and my agreement to leave within three days for Hammondsport. Today I still can't quite pinpoint my truest feelings about it. Sure I was scared, plenty scared. Yet the idea of returning to some arena that furnished thrills and excitement pulled me like a magnet.  The idea of being a nobody and a [[strikethrough]] nonthing in [[/strikethrough]] nothing in New York's millions had irritated me. Here was a chance for the brass ring.

My friend's reaction to the plans and agreement quickly deflated my soaring optomism [[sic]].  "You've got to be insane. If only someone could get to you and stop you."  In a more humble frame of mind but undeterred, I went to dinner at the old Roof Garden of the Hotel Astor in the company of these same friends. One of the group was Royal Smith, advertising manager of Vogue Magazine. Much of the conversation hinged on my current 'air infatuation!' It was starting to wear a little thin when Smith took me by the arm and walked me to the edge of the Astor roof and said, "Bugs, let me show you something.". He pointed [[strikethrough]] to the street [[/strikethrough]] down where people resembled little black dots jumping around over a chalkline that I knew was a street, with autos very much resembling small black bugs moving among them. The [[strikethrough]] pictur [[/strikethrough]] vision jolted me.  I turned, went back to the table and said "Sorry to break up such a pleasant party but I must go back to the hotel and pack. I am leaving tonight for Hammondsport." My heart told me it was now or the lead in my heart would be transferred elsewhere and [[strikethrough]] I've [[/strikethrough]] I'd never do it.

Sunrise in Hammondsport made me realize I was two days early and my arrival was just one day after Glenn Curtis [[sic]] had returned from France. My introduction and reception left a great deal to be desired. Curtiss froze right up and passed a few chills along 
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact