This week . . . so much crazy, so little time!
Par for the course, I suppose. Take the United States Air Mail, for example.
On May 6, 1918 Major Reuben H. Fleet received a summons from Secretary of War Newton D. Baker. Their discussion: a new airmail service—a partnership between the War Department and the U.S. Postal Service. Basically, the conversation went something like this. Baker informed Fleet that he’d been recommended to get it going. “’The first plane will leave Washington (DC) for Philadelphia at precisely 11 a.m. on May 15th. President Wilson will be there”, he said.
And that was that.
It didn’t matter the planes were not up to the task, or the pilots had yet to be trained, or the route had yet to be mapped. A national press release had been issued. Fleet had eight days to modify planes, train pilots, and plot their course.
It was on like Donkey Kong.
So it was May 15, 1918 the U.S. Air Mail service took flight. It was a turbulent start, mind you. After four failed attempts to get the plane going, they finally realized the gas tank was empty. When Army Lt. George L. Boyle finally took off in the Curtiss JN-4HM “Jenny” biplane—to a crowd of spectators that included President Woodrow Wilson, U.S. Postmaster General Albert S. Burleson, and Assistant Secretary of Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt—he barely cleared the trees. His compass failed; he followed the wrong land markings, flying South, rather than North. Nearly out of gas, he made an unscheduled landing, during which he broke the prop on the plane. And the 140 pounds of mail aboard? It had to be loaded onto a truck and drove back to Washington.
The point I’m making is this, some weeks are not for the faint of heart. The good news: they’ll be little more than history before you know it.
Needless to say, I hope this note finds you laid back and victorious. If, however, you’ve weathered a hectic, uncertain, and otherwise rough week, chin up! Better days are on the horizon.
And may the weekend prove a lovely time to recover . . .