I gaze at the the last plane my father ever built. Lonely, hanging from the ceiling of my office, going nowhere, slowly yawing in the artificial wind of the HVAC vent. Small, bright translucent yellow and sky blue. So like my dad, though not obvious to the casual visitor.
My dad was large, 6’4″, perhaps another inch in his prime, lean, and thin but not skinny. He bore the weight of war and the joy of family with few complaints and an ambition trimmed to meet those demands. The plane is small; bright only in places necessary to make it seen after landing in unexpected places. Pale blue as in calm. Trim, efficient, stable in the uncertainty of air high above becalmed grass and gravel. Beautiful to those who understand how to see a man and a plane doing what they need to do without pretense. Floating on the thermals of time.