I was born in the 50s. Mother died when I was three and I was raised by my maternal grandparents. As a result, I learned to read from the books that were used to teach my older brothers who were born some eighteen before I was. I read wonderful storybooks of the deeds of the heroes and Gods of the Greeks illustrated by Maxfield Parrish. I had a set of “The Book of Knowledge” (an encyclopedia) printed in the thirties that showed the travel time to the planets by steam locomotive. This last my explain my later love of surrealism.
My very first book was a very large one that taught me the alphabet, beginning with,
A is for
Of course by the time I read those words the great airships were a thing of the past and all that remained were their poor relations, the Goodyear blimps. It took me a while to fully grasp this reality. After all, they were in the encyclopedia (1936 edition, remember?) so they had to exist.
As a result, I grew up watching with awe and wonder as the astronauts rode the pillars of fire into the night sky while at the same time yearning for a Zeppelin with which to set sail upon the clouds at a more leisurely speed. Now steam punk and airships are all the vogue and as the price of gasoline continues to rise there is talk of bringing the grand airships back into production. There is already one in the San Francisco area taking passengers aloft and the Zeppelin Company is still around and creating new modern designs.
I may not ever get my jet pack, aber Ich Kann einen Zeppelin haben!
Isn’t it great living in the retro-future?
Be seeing you.
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