Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Today in History: Flight

02 alligator02 balloon pilot







What do this gator and this man have in common? On this day in history, two amazing flights occurred.

The first was in 1843 on a quiet street corner in Charleston, SC during a major thunderstorm. An alligator (not the one pictured) was taken up in a waterspout and dropped onto the corner of Wentworth and Aston streets. According to the Charleston Mercury, “The beast had a look of wonder and bewilderment about him, that showed plainly enough he must have gone through a remarkable experience.” That’s right friends – he survived the trip!

The second was in 1982 (I was a mere 18 months old at the time) when Mr. Larry Walters (seen above right) rose nearly 16,000 feet into the air, sitting in his lawn chair. He was carried upward by 42 helium-filled balloons. (Sadly, Mr. Walters is no longer with us, after taking his own life in October 1993).

I admit I have never attempted to raise myself into the sky with balloons (or anything else for that matter); however, I am quite fond of the story Peter Pan, and if it were possible to be sprinkled with fairy dust and fly off to Neverland, I would be all over it! (I would bring Oliver, too, of course).

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