Viewing page 164 of 228

JChapter 4 Page 63

Summer 1911 found me on the receiving end of an invitation to fly from Nassau Field in the Town of Nassau Boulevard,  The town of Nassau Boulevard later became a part of Garden City, Long Island, but at that particular moment it was the real estate promotional brainchild of Timothy Woodruff, a former Lt. Governor of New York.   It was situated about three miles from Mineloa and was the swankiest aviation field to date.  Never before or since such elegance.  A few gorgeous mansions had been built in the area before Timothy Woodruff decided to build Nassau Field.  He decided to really lay it one and he did. He remodeled one of those magnificent mansions in an area about a quarter of a mile from the field.  It was both a club house and residential quarters for the aviators.

Captain Baldwin cheerfully gave me permission to move the Red Devil to Nassau Field and lodge myself in the clubhouse.  Nassau, compared to Mineola was like comparing Park Avenue to lower East Side.  The field was rolled smooth as a table top; there were twenty hangars in an ell shape at one end of the field with the aviator's name on the front of his individual hangar.  The complex included a small grandstand, a judges stand, a gravelled walks and occasionally there would be refreshment stands set up under big gaudy umbrellas.

The clubhouse was almost overwhelming.  What had been the conservatory of the fine mansion, was now the dining room.  This was an area of about fifty bybtwenty. [[strikethrough]] and [[/strikethrough]] It was glassed on three sides. Living kconditions for me were a far, far cry from the Gold Bug and the room in the house of the superintendent of the Mineola Fair Grounds.  The atmosphere was quite, quite different.  Socially the flier living at Nassau Field had it made as far as social distinction was concerned.  He shared a residence with such famous sir names as Earl Ovington and his charming wife, English flier Claude Graham White and his sister, both titled; Al Welch, the first man to be instructed by the Wright Brothers and others——

Transcription Notes:
Reviewed - removed the [[sic]] & [[no period]] - no comment on formatting, errors etc required

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 As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology.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