It is 2:00 am. An hour ago I closed shop. The work taking me late into the night over the last three weeks is the (re)building of one of two wings for my 1946 Piper Cub. I have restored these once before, in 2010. Less than two years later, I destroyed them just after takeoff outside a small town I did not even know the name of in Ohio. The first restoration and subsequent crash took a lot out of me. I had dedicated a year of obsessive work and many thousands of dollars to the rebuild. Thankfully the self-imposed demands of the first restoration are gone. And even though the current work is taking me past midnight, not unlike before, now it is because I am enjoying the process and there are few places I would rather be. Time is flowing faster this time around. It seems in a flash three weeks have come and gone. From screwing on the first rib to nearing completion, where did the time go?
After turning in each night my ritual usually involves an online check. News, emails and an aviation update. Tonight, though, a few clicks led me to my high school exes’ website. There each class has its own page and lists each student. Known locations or marriages are shown beside classmates as well as a few photos. My class brought back a flood of memories from my high school days, which ended almost eleven years ago. “There’s so-and-so, I haven’t seen them in ages. Haven’t thought of so-and-so since graduation. And so-and-so, I took her and her son flying at the last airshow. She used to hate me!” But then next to one name a link: “decd”. Deceased. Dead. Gone.
Those four letters…

What space do you fill with your time? Also, Einstein died in 1955.

I went in search for more. A few graduates from recent years had the link. Some unfortunate soul was born with a defect. Another was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Another hit with cancer. I knew some of these people, others I did not. Then I went way back in the classes. 1955. Ten years after the end of WWII. The year of that incredible Chevrolet Bel Air. Eisenhower was President. And conveniently 50 years before my class graduated. Forty percent of the class of ’55 showed “decd”. That means when our class reaches that 50 year mark forty percent of us will have set sail. Which 4 out of 10 will it be? What will this 2/5ths have accomplished, built, or destroyed? Who will be left behind to reminisce and get even older? Who will be the last one, the one begging the good lord to take them away because they are tired of peeing on themselves? Who and what, if anything, will stand the test of time from my class of O-Five?
Many times over by now my name could have been supplied a link – a cold barren plot in internet land where centuries from now someone can stumble upon me after a mistaken click (aren’t links and clicks mind control by now?). Who the heck lies here they may wonder. And what will they read? “Jared died at 88 after choking on a cookie.” “Jared died from a texting driver.” Or maybe, “Here is a dude that lived every minute until he ran out of minutes.” What will it say? Time will tell.
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About Jared

Jared Calvert is a volunteer caretaker of Ranger Airfield. He is a commercial rated pilot and owns several flying and project vintage aircraft.

One Response to “TIME”

  1. Interesting read….have gone through similar thoughts myself….but you have captured in words 🙂

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