Friday, November 30, 2007


   Carlene asks "What was it like riding in a Blimp?"

   It was 73 yeas ago I was only 8, and I had never flown in anything before so my memory of that flight are hazy by some things remain.

   First.  You don't go up.  The ground goes down away from you. You stay the same, but objects on the ground around you, cars people, houses, get smaller.  People look like ants and cars look like toys, and you see the tops of houses, like model village.

   Second. I was able to navigate, or at least know where I was.  I looked out the picture window, you;re sitting in a lounge chair in front of a huge picture window, and I could follow streets with my eye right by to my block, miles away.  Of course Grandfather was sitting next to me and pointing things out.  The Blimp used to land in a lot next to the corner of La Brea and Wilshire in Los Angeles, just west of the La /Brea tar pits. With our eyes we could follow Wilshire Blvd to the intersection of Santa Monica Blvd, and follow Santa Monica to Pandora Street, and Pandora two blocks to Holman Ave. It was too far to pick out our house but I knew right where it was.

   I used to use this technique, following streets by eye, when flying my own airplane forty years later.

   The third impression that remains is the huge elevator control , the up and down wheel, that is beside the pilot's chair. I remember its being on the pilots left side, but pictures of blimps nowadays seem to show it on his right, between the pilot and co pilot.  Maybe the Volunteer had only one driver's seat.

   Of course I have been fond of Blimps ever since.  They are huge ungainly things, made gaudy by advertising signs. They are slow and require a large ground crew and can carry only a few passengers at a time./They are completely impractical in the twentieth century.

   I guess that makes them an Art Form.

   The story of Blimps is told wonderfully by former pilots and by the Goodyear Company on the Internet


msecz said...

thanks... I found that interesting

garnett109 said...

the hindinberg was a massive zepplin what's the differance between a zepplin and a blimp?

firestormkids04 said...

Amazing, Chuck!  Although we are about 22 years in age difference, I recognize those streets as my own.  For my mother, the trip from Pasadena/Altadena to Los Angeles was her joy.  It was great for me as well.  I think I liked it better then . . . Blessings, Penny

jckfrstross said...

wow how much fun for you to ride in the blimp:) have a great weekend