Arise My Love and Come Away with Me

Arise My Love and Come Away with Me

by Wendell Ware


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This love story is set against the backdrop of war that would forever change the lives of people around the world.
Wynn Cary's desire for flying leads him from youth into adulthood to become a pilot. At the University of North Carolina, he meets and falls in love with a beautiful, young woman who shares his passion for flight.
Doey Brooks is a junior at the school of law at Duke University and is studying aviation. A chance meeting brings them together and a love is born.
As their relationship grows, World War II stalls their plans as they are called to duty. The fears, hopes, violence and faith in our country shadow an intimate story of a love that will never die.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781468586565
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication date: 06/15/2012
Pages: 396
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.88(d)

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Arise My Love And Come Away With Me

By Wendell R. Ware


Copyright © 2012 Wendell R. Ware
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4685-8656-5

Chapter One

New Beginnings

On May 21, 1927, Charles Lindbergh flew a single-engine Ryan monoplane, The Spirit of Saint Louis, across the Atlantic Ocean to Paris, France. The lapsed time was thirty-three and a third hours. I was nine years old.

It was the same year that I retired my cowboy suit and stabled my broom for a horse in the garage, and declared that I was going to be an aviator. Instead of playing cowboys and Indians, my playmates and I donned aviator helmets bought at the Kress Dime Store, and with outstretched arms zoomed and swooped around the neighborhood, making our version of an airplane's engine noise in flight.

Mother, alarmed at my ardent interest in aviation, countered with a plan of her own. I had shown a mild interest in music, but it was just a small flame that threatened to be no more than a flicker. Together, my parents conspired to change the direction of my future. For Christmas that year, I received a violin, one of Sears Roebuck's best. I believe it cost nine dollars. For the world I wouldn't hurt their feelings, but when they saw me strumming the violin like a guitar, they knew their son would never play first chair in the string section in the New York Symphony Orchestra.

Mother was not discouraged. She had offered piano and violin lessons. They were her favorite instruments, not mine. A few weeks later my dad said that he was sorry that I had no interest in music "but your mother and I ..." I stopped him and said that I did like music, but I had no interest in taking piano or violin lessons, "those are girls' instruments!" He asked me what I would like. "I'm not sure," I said. "I think that I would like to play a trumpet or trombone."

"You're not big enough to play a trombone," he said. "I'll talk with Mr. Fitch. He runs the Fitch Band School of Music. We'll have a talk with him and maybe you can make up your mind."

A few days later he said, "We have a meeting with Mr. Fitch on Saturday. I want you to pay close attention to what he says and ask any questions you may have. It's a big decision for you to make. Mother doesn't want another fiasco like the one we had with the violin."

"What does 'fiasco' mean?" I asked.

"It's an ignominious failure," he said.

"What's 'ignominious' mean?" I asked.

"It's an unexplained failure," he replied

"Oh?" I said.

"Oh! Look it up!" Dad replied impatiently.

I liked the sound of the word and rattled it around in my mind for a few days looking for a word to go with "fiasco" to make a sentence. The closest I could come up with was the word "nuance." "Fiasco of the nuance" sounds high tone, but I never found a way to use it. Oh well, I suppose it was an ignominious failure.

During the summer we built model airplanes of balsa wood and rice paper. Rubber bands extending from the tail to the nose of the plane connected to a balsa wood propeller providing the power for them to fly. Mostly they just crashed, leaving nothing more than a heap of irreparable parts and a reminder of the two or more weeks of our time spent building them. At the public library we found a book written by F.B. Evans that contained diagrams of every part of a single-engine plane, with words supplied by Orville and Wilbur Wright.

We learned why our planes crashed and what we could do to make winners of our failures. We learned about pitch, roll, and yaw, and spoke in terms of dihedral and torque, and why weights and balance were so important. We spoke in a language that we called "Airplane."

We read stories of World War I flying aces that had replaced our heroes of yesteryears, Tom Mix and Ken Maynard, with stories of Eddie Rickenbacker, who destroyed 21 German planes and became America's ace of aces. After the war, Rickenbacker, a member of the famed 94th Hat-in-the-Ring Squadron, became president of Eastern Airlines. Frank Luke gained ace fame by destroying German planes and balloons. His name lives on to identify an Air Force base in the city of his birth, Phoenix, Arizona.

When I was ten years old I started hanging around the Albert Whitted Airport. After church one Sunday, I begged my mom and dad to take me to the airport. It wasn't an easy sell. I had to do a lot of begging, but with a sniffle or two, and promises made that even an accomplished politician couldn't keep, I carried the day ... I thought.

Our auto, an Oldsmobile touring car, changed directions and headed to the Bay Front Airport. My sisters, Irene, age 14, and Ruth, age 13, had other plans for a day that did not include the airport. I thought their arguments were flawed, and in a loud argumentative voice let them know how much I didn't like silly old girls.

"One more word out of any of you, and we go home. Now, calm down or you will stay in your rooms for the rest of the day." When my dad spoke like that, it was an honest-to-gosh non-negotiable edict. Mom added her soothing voice, with logic that we all understood, and utter silence from the back seat reigned. We drove down Second Street south to Beech Drive, and Dad parked the car at the curb. Before me, lay the most beautiful sight in the entire world.

Along the margin of St. Petersburg's strip of Tampa Bay lay the airport named for Albert Whitted, whose father was one of the pioneer developers of our city of sand and palmettos. Albert, his son, was a U.S. Naval flight instructor stationed at Pensacola, Florida.

One unfortunate day he was flying over an area designated for flight training, teaching a cadet how to recover from stalls on take-offs and landings, when a stay wire on one of the wings of his biplane snapped. The plane, about a hundred or so feet in the air, rolled to the left and crashed into a field at the end of the runway. Albert was killed, but the student lived to fly again.

Along the south boundary of the field stood two hangars; one for airplanes and another giant hangar for the Goodyear blimp Mayflower that, along with the tourists, spent the winter here. There was an attached single-story office building that one day would become the home office of National Airlines Inc.

I started walking along the fence to where a small crowd had gathered to watch, as two men were preparing to take their place in the cockpit of the Ford tri-motor passenger plane. The passengers were probably tourists adding one more experience to their winter holiday to take north with them.

I watched as the plane taxied to the east west runway and turned east into the wind. I could see the pilot and co-pilot as their hands moved easily about the cockpit adjusting dials and flipping switches. I could only imagine what else they were doing; but I did know that their hands, eyes, and hearts knew the magic of flight.

I watched spellbound as the three roaring engines pulled the plane faster and faster down the runway. The wheels of the plane were, like dipping a toe into bath water to see if it's too hot or too cold, cautiously testing the air for the right moment to break the bonds of earth. The plane found that precise moment and, like an aviation expression of the day, "climbed like a home-sick angel" into a beckoning sky.

When the plane disappeared into that bright Sunday morning sun, my imagination took flight. I had loosened one of the ties that bound me to the earth. I heard my father say, "Let's go!" With visions of flight safely locked away in my memory, I followed him to the car.

"Well! It's about time," my sister Irene said.

"Hush," my mother said, as we started for home.

I had no time for a debate with my sisters, I just said, in a civil voice, "I'm sorry." It was the moment I knew that the wonderful days of childhood were coming to an end. I started by giving my sisters the same respect that I gave adults. It took time to learn new ways to get what I wanted, and the transition was not easy. I also increased the scope of my reading to include history, and, most especially, I became a habitual Saturday visitor to the Albert Whitted Airport.

Chapter Two

George Baker

George "Ted" Baker was a five-foot-nine muscular man carrying a weight of one hundred and eighty-one pounds. He had dark brown hair and eyes that were always searching for the next rung up on the ladder to success. As a partner of an automobile and airplane leasing company, he sat in the lobby of a Chicago hotel reading the Sunday Tribune. He was there to repossess a Cadillac sedan that was leased to a Mr. Samuel Jones, a known member of a Chicago gang. The monthly payments on the car were two months past due.

For just a moment, however, Mr. Jones was completely forgotten as an article in the newspaper pointed the way to a new and exciting future. While the new future beckoned, Mr. Jones slipped from the elevator and disappeared through a side door into the alley where the Cadillac was parked. Ted finished reading the article that told that all airmail flights had been grounded for safety reasons, and there was to be a complete reorganization of the nation's airmail routes. The article called for responsible companies to bid for segments of a grid of routes that covered the country. The last rung on Ted's ladder to success lay before him. Without further thought of Mr. Jones, Ted left the hotel committed to starting a new career.

He convinced his good friend and partner Lew Bower that their future success did not lay in the leasing business, but rather as owners of an airline. Ted had recently learned to fly and he was confident that he and Lew could bid for a segment of the airmail routes. They owned two single-engine Ryan aircraft that had been leased to a Chicago businessman. The planes had been used to fly illegal liquor from Canada to a seldom-used field on the southwest side of Chicago. The cargo was consigned to a customer whose well-guarded person and name was Al Capone. When Ted and Lew discovered that the planes they owned were being used to import illegal booze, they cancelled the lease and had two used Ryan aircraft on their hands.

The Ryan was kin to the Spirit of St. Louis, flown by Lindbergh. Until 1932 the United States Army Air Force had carried the mail. In severe winter weather, obsolete airplanes that were not built to fly in such weather often crashed, causing loss of life. Compounded by the lack of pilot training to fly under such conditions was enough to "stay these couriers from their appointed rounds." Those were the reasons given for grounding the airmail service and implementing a new government program that would turn that service over to civilian companies.

The government would step aside and solicit bids from newly formed organizations for sections of a new air route system that covered the nation. When the bidding was over, Ted was awarded 109 miles of route, the shortest in the country, connecting St. Petersburg and Tampa with Daytona Beach. It was a segment of air miles that Eastern Airline's president, Eddie Rickenbacker, declined to include in their winning bid for the entire east coast from Miami to Maine. It was a decision that he would live to regret.

The dollar and thirty cents in Ted Baker's pocket represented his total net worth; the name of his new airline, National Airlines System, represented his total optimism. For Ted, the 140-mile route was really more than he could afford, but he had his foot in the door. With help from his partner and a Wall Street firm, he organized his new company and prepared the two used Ryan planes for duty. His calling card was soon printed proclaiming him to be the President of National Airlines System. Spread across both sides of the planes were the words National Airlines, a name that in no way described an airline with a short mail route and two obsolete airplanes with a passenger capacity of only two. Even with a full load and both planes constantly in the air with paying customers, the odds of survival would still be doubtful. Without the expansion of planes that could carry more passengers, and a generous cash infusion, the future looked grim. But, with the addition of optimist Ted Baker to the equation, survival was assured.

A couple of investors with money to risk gave credibility to the airline's future. National soon purchased two used Stinson monoplanes from Western Airlines, each with a passenger capacity of ten, and the Ryan aircraft were history. In time, the network of routes would grow to honor the name that would become not just national, but international, with many destinations in the United States and Europe.

Chapter Three

Chance Meeting

A hot August sun spread a blanket of heat over St. Petersburg that tested the young woman's will to continue. Her name was Sally Weatherford. As she walked by a park, trees with leaves that fanned the air created an oasis of cooling relief as she paused for a moment before a monument. Slowly, she read the names of local men who had died in the trenches of France in "the war to end all wars."

Sally was a visitor to St. Petersburg. She had graduated from the University of Virginia with a master's degree in English and a minor in history. For almost a year she had searched for a position in academia. She followed every lead in her home area, but none were successful. She didn't want to live on inherited money, as her father had. Even though it was family money that had put her through college, she now wanted to earn money from any job that would pay for an independent life and not compromise her Episcopal morals. Sally recently extended her search radius to include Florida.

Standing there, she heard a woman's voice say, "Are you a visitor to St. Petersburg?"

She turned to the woman and replied, "Yes, I'm visiting from Virginia. I'm hoping to make my home here if I can find a job."

"Good luck," the woman said, as she continued into the park in search of a bench where she could rest. Her name was Maggie McGregor. She was the owner of a small lunchroom across the street from the Albert Whitted Airport.

A rumor, with more truth than doubts, said that a new airline would soon become a reality and the Whitted Airport would become its home base. With that glimmer of promise, Maggie decided that the time was right to transform her rundown lunchroom into a real restaurant. Red-checkered tablecloths would cover the bare tables. A candle and a vase with fresh flowers would be added for the dinner patrons. The bare walls, including the suggestive picture of a Hollywood screen queen, would be replaced with suitable pictures of aircraft and notables in the aviation world. Over the doorway there would be an airplane propeller. She was even thinking of live piano music. But first she would call Mr. Reeder, the franchised dealer of Wurlitzer's Music Company that leased jukeboxes, and find out what it would take to have one installed in her diner.

All morning she had been shopping for items that would address her dream of the future for turning Maggie's Diner into an eating emporium. She had a cook and a waitress, but the waitress named Zelda came to her from a basement bar in Gulfport where sailors gathered to spend their money on beer and sexual favors. At least Zelda was dependable, even if she was a little crude, and Maggie decided she'd keep her as she looked for someone with a little more class. The problem was she needed to attract someone good enough that she could afford.

Maggie looked down the path and saw the young lady she had just spoken to approaching. As the girl came near, she said to Maggie, "I looked for an empty bench, but they are all taken. May I share yours?"

"Certainly," Maggie replied, as she moved her packages closer, making room on the bench.

"It's beastly hot," the girl said, with a hint of British accent on the word "beastly."

"Yes, it is," Maggie replied. Her hair hung in waves around her shoulders and her bright brown eyes, with crow's feet, reflected the charm and satisfaction of the flawed world she knew. She was wearing a sleeveless dress with a soft color of summer green. She was on the tall side and slim.

The young lady was tired, hot, and in a pensive mood. For today, she had given up her search for a job and now sat on the bench in the shade of a green oasis in the middle of the city. Bells from the church tower across the way tolled the hour. She gave little notice of the petite lady who sat on the other end of the bench. Maggie looked at the young lady and said, "It's very warm for April."


Excerpted from Arise My Love And Come Away With Me by Wendell R. Ware Copyright © 2012 by Wendell R. Ware. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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