“Overcome space, and
all we have left is Here.
Overcome time, and all
we have left is Now."
I JUST WANTED TO FLY
No time to think.
There are some times when a situation demands an immediate physical response and you naturally react totally avoiding the thought process. Example – if you accidentally touch a hot surface you don’t consciously think you need to remove your hand from that surface. Such was the case with this near collision. Our airplanes were orange. And all I remember seeing was a flash of orange straight ahead. If I had taken time to think about my best course of action I don’t believe I could have survived the resulting mid-air collision. There are times in life when there is literally no time to think. You may have to trust your instincts.
There are times in your life when events seem to line up perfectly and have a lasting impact on the life you will live. You may question how these events came to present themselves in the manner and fashion that they did. Consider this. What were the odds that a commercial airplane would be flown off of predetermined air routes at extremely low altitudes directly over my parent’s back yard? The airplane was practically new, that type having gone into initial service in less than three years before that event. Was this just a chance encounter? Do we attribute it to luck, destiny, fate or maybe an important moment in God’s plan? I only know that if I had not seen that airplane that day the rest of my life could easily have taken a completely different turn.
Relationships are extremely important. During my early years I had very few of them outside of my family. We lived in the small town of Hominy, Oklahoma in a home that was located on school property some distance from other homes. Because my brother was five years older and was often sent off to schools in other cities, I grew up almost as an only child. And I had little or no other contact with other kids and families. In fact, to this day I cannot remember visiting another community while living in Hominy. When moving to Boley I had a chance to develop a friend. It would be my very first and only friend at that time. I guess that is why my friendship was so important to me. I learned a lot about the need for a close relationship out of that experience. It would form the basis for relationship building that I would carry for the rest of my life.
My first understanding for the existence of other nations started with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December the 7th, 1941. It would be World War II. My first experience with the complexities of racial differences started during that same period. I really didn’t understand it and I truly didn’t care. I felt very secure with my life with my parents and all of my needs and desires were fulfilled. So when circumstances required my interaction with white people, rather than try to truly understand it I had personal desires and objectives that were present in spite of any difficulties with racial conflicts. And I accepted racial problems as “just the way it was”.
Early on I was attracted to music. Much later I would learn to appreciate music as the “language of the soul”. I do not know the basis of my attraction. I just know I was fascinated listening to music, later learning to play a musical instrument and, later in life, I would learn to compose and perform music. It seems that it was my emotional therapy and to this day it brings me great satisfaction and provides a healthy outlet even during times that the world seems full of noise. Later in life I developed an association with a gentleman who was an accomplished psychiatrist. I remember when he said to me, “Jim, you will never need to abuse drugs, because you have your music.”