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64 including another Englishman, Tommy Sopwith, who was a Santa Claused young boy and who is now Sir T. O. M. Sopwith, head of the great Sopwith Aviation Company of England. Tommy in those days had an established reputation as our official weather expert. He was one of the best natured personas imaginable and was on excellent and good humored terms with everyone on the field. Mornings we'd line up and wait for Tommy's takeoff in his big old Farnum, one of the biggest and clumsiest looking crates imagainable. We'd kill timev while Tommy made his first flight of the day then we'd crowd around with the inevitable question, "Tommy, old boy, how is the weather upstairs?" If it was rough, Tommyk would reply with his straight-from-Oxford accent, "A bit blubby, a bit blubby, Old boy." Of, if it was calm, he'd say, 'Chuma, veddy, veddy, balmy.! I recommend it. Quite." In 1911 flying was considered as a very new, wild and almost insanely dangerous sport. It was a natural attraction for the young and wealthy. It followed that on Saturday and Sunday afternoons we'd be swarmed all over with fond Mamas and Papas who came to Nassau, trembling a little but pridefully wanting to see their little Sammy or Jimmie, Willie or Joe perform his aerial accomplishments. They took their personal interest in their son's accomplishments to almost the ridiculous. Their questiolns frequently reflected their lack of knowledge. A stupid question would usually bring forth either a wise or a laughable answer. I recall one occasion when a dough-heavy dowager from one of the old and very proud and prominent New York millionaire families approached Glenn Curtiss, who happened to be at Nassau that weekend. The conversation went pretty much like this: "Oh, Mr. Curtiss", she gushed "I think this is all so marvelous and wonderful. So thrilling. So scientific and so daring. This is my first time down here and I just feel that I've learned almost everything there is to know about airplanes. But there is one thing that I still don't quite understand.
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