a poem about the North American P-51

Those running short on time and are not interested in how things are going here are invited to scroll down past the three paragraphs that follow this one so they may read my introduction to the poem, and the poem.

It has been tooooooooo long since my most recent posting here, thanks to higher priorities, all having to do with making AeroKnow Museum worth visiting when visitors visit. To date, not one volunteer has offered to spend time helping here at the museum.

My friend Dale Jensen promised last spring to produce a video tour to share at You Tube. Another friend is helping sort material at his home, which is fine with me, and helping with the protracted task of creating a foundation for new AeroKnow web page presence using WordPress instead of Dreamweaver. Master Sergeant Rick Shanner of the Illinois National Guard has kept me informed of progress with the removal of gate guard aircraft from the former 183d FW main gate and plans to relocate them in a public area outside the new main gate.

 There are many missing links at the present website, and while I am spending time correcting them, other priorities require me to spend less time there than I’d like. . . . . I still need for up to four people to volunteer to spend an hour or two a week accomplishing things at the airport museum. I will extend my museum  open hours to accommodate your interest in helping evenings. The museum is also  open 2:30 to 6:30 Saturdays and 7 am to 6:30 pm Sundays. If you care to help when I am here between 5:30 and 8:15 most other mornings, you are welcome then as well.  E-mail me — writer@eosinc.com — if you want to arrange a visit that might lead to your helping as a volunteer.

While re-organizing the museum’s large collection of files about the North American P-51/F-51 Mustang, I found the following poem which I wrote on Christmas Day, 1990 and dedicated “to Dave McLaren and other friends who admire the airplane.”

Ode to the P-51
by Job C. Conger, IV

Through Christmases fleeting
and good people greeting,
and things, mostly good, said and done,
my mind harkens back
when I entered the track
that would lead me to the  P-51.

In my halcyon youth
when my courting of truth
took a back seat to just having fun,
I began the affair
as I dreamed of sleek air-
craft, especially the P-51.

The school days and sweet women,
my head and heart swimmin’
from each battle fought, and most won,
a profound satisfaction
was mine in the action
of learning the P-51.

Facts and stats aren’t the thing,
or a laminar wing,
or the fantastic things that it’s done,
or the fast rate of turn
that made enemies burn
which drew me to the P-51.

There are times when I ponder
the bright dreams of blue yonder
and a flight that I have not begun.
I sure hope there’s a place
in that heavenly space
for friends, family and a P-51!


About Job Conger

I am a freelance aviation, business and tourism writer, poet, songwriter. My journalism appears regularly in Springfield Business Journal and Illinois Times. I am author of Springfield Aviation from Arcadia Publishing and available everywhere. As founder/director of AeroKnow Museum (AKM) and a volunteer with American Aviation Historical Society (AAHS), I created this blog to share news about AKM activity and aviation history.
This entry was posted in aviation, Illinois Air National Guard, P-51 Mustang, poetry, Springfield, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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