a voyeur. twisting around the tangle of the plane’s arms and legs to watch. holding my breath with expectation. the wind is a new lover’s touch skimming the wings in tender urgent collision. finger tips of gentle pressure cause indentations to ripple the taut fabric. anticipation reined in with labored patience follows soft, lingering hesitation. tempered desperation. the wheels leave the ground with no announcement. free, the plane strains for the ecstasy of the air. it is the relief of walking onto a quiet veranda from a stuffy room. a bit nauseated from too many people. too much to drink. i can breathe now.

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the view from an open cock-pit biplane

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Sadly, it’s over — both my ride and the Bartlesville Bi-plane Exposition. After 23 years, the Nat’l Biplane Association voted to discontinue the Expo after the June 2009 event.

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