What better way to spend a summer afternoon than playing tag with a good friend in Piper Cubs. Mike and I would roam Montana skies looking for challenging landing spots. We took turns selecting a field or road to plop down on while the other followed. Some landings were ego boosters. “Let’s see if he can get down on this jeep trail.” Others were easy in-and-out for a picnic lunch or snooze by a river.
I found my Piper J-5 rotting away in the back of an Oklahoma crop duster’s hangar. The sad little plane ended its days as an agricultural sprayer and had been neglected for a number of years. With the purchase of an old flatbed trailer and a few hundred yards of rope, I hauled the derelict back to my Montana shop and restored her to life once again. I have no doubt she enjoyed bouncing in and out of wheat fields much more than the life she had previously lived dowsing them with chemicals.
The J-5 played an important role in the love story of the aviator and the hippie, as told in my book, Schellville.