Texas based author Kathleen M. Rodgers’ poetry featured in new exhibit at The Cradle of Aviation Museum, Long Island, NY

Updated August 1, 2015Aviators, Poets and Dreamers @Cradle of Aviation

Three of my poems from the book Because I Fly (McGraw-Hill 2002, edited by Helmut H. Reda), are on display in this new exhibit which asks the question, “Why do we fly?” Most writers dream of getting their books on bestseller lists or made into movies, but how many authors see their work featured in a museum?

Cradle of Aviation  Museum exhibit featuring A Little Boy's Dream

Aviators, Poets and Dreamers runs from July 18th through Labor Day. The exhibit will then travel to libraries across Long Island. A photo of my husband seated in an A-10 cockpit (circa 1980) appears with my poem, “A Little Boy’s Dream,” penned in 1986 when we lived in Alaska.

Kathleen with her husband, Tom Rodgers (retired USAF Fighter Pilot/Commercial Pilot) and Rod Leonhard, Creative Director at Cradle of Aviation Museum, Long Island, NY. A photo of Tom Rodgers seated in an A-10 cockpit, circa 1980) appears with Kathleen's poem, "A Little Boy's Dream" to the far left of this photo.
L-R With my husband, Tom Rodgers (retired USAF Fighter Pilot/Commercial Pilot) and Rod Leonhard, Creative Director at Cradle of Aviation Museum, Long Island, NY. A huge thanks to Rod for selecting “A Little Boy’s Dream,” “The Searcher,” and “To Live To Fly” for the exhibit. Behind me, friend and former fighter pilot Brad “Booger” Hachat’s photo appears next to the poem “The Searcher,” penned in 1987 as a going away gift.

 

kathleenmrodgers' section @Cradle of Aviation exhibitUSAF Capt. Tom Rodgers featured in Aviators, Dreamers and Poets @ Cadle of Aviation Museum JPG

 

 

 

 

To read more about the exhibit, please click here.A Little Boy's Dream by Kathleen M. Rodgers, right of photo

 

Cradle of Aviation Museum

Charles Lindbergh Blvd.

Garden City, NY 11530

General (516) 572-4111

Reservations (516) 572-4066

Summer Hours

Open 7-Days, 9:30-5:00 through Labor DayExhibit at Cradle of Aviation Musuem

 

 

 

With NJ based writer Barbara Castiglia (L) and Long Island based editor/author Dina Santorelli at the museum exhibit. Barbara and Dina have known each other for years and we are all Facebook friends, but this is my first time to meet them both in person.  Barbara drove two hours both ways to come see me.
With NJ based writer and former New Yorker Barbara Castiglia (L) and Long Island based author/editor Dina Santorelli at the museum exhibit. Barbara and Dina have known each other for years and we are all Facebook friends, but this is my first time to meet them in person. Barbara drove two hours both ways to come see me.

#AviatorsPoetsDreamers

“A Little Boy’s Dream”

Posted June 13, 2015

 

"Wings of the City" by Mexican artist Jorge Marin in Sundance Square, Fort Worth, TX. As my husband, Tom (a retired fighter pilot/commercial airline pilot), stepped up and spread his arms out against the sculpture, I thought of a poem I wrote for him many years ago when he was still flying fighters. “A Little Boy’s Dream” captures my husband’s childhood dream to fly.
As my husband, Tom (a retired fighter pilot/commercial airline pilot), stepped up and spread his arms out against the sculpture, “Wings of the City” by Mexican artist Jorge Marin in Sundance Square, Fort Worth, TX, I thought of a poem I wrote for Tom many years ago when he was still flying fighters. “A Little Boy’s Dream” captures my husband’s childhood dream to fly.

 

 

 

“A Little Boy’s Dream”

© Kathleen M. Rodgers From the book, Because I Fly (McGraw-Hill 2002)
© Kathleen M. Rodgers
From the book, Because I Fly, compiled by Editor Helmut H. Reda (McGraw-Hill 2002)

 

 

 

The Lady Let Him Fly … a poem that keeps touching lives

Susan Hunter's first husband, Bruce Netardus, was killed 8/10/92.
Susan Hunter’s first husband, Major Bruce Netardus, was killed 8/10/92. Her mother had it rendered in needlepoint.

I wrote this poem for the wife of a USAF fighter pilot after his plane hit a mountain in Norway in 1987. Over the years, the poem has appeared in numerous military journals and in the book Because I Fly (McGraw-Hill 2002). It’s also depicted in needlepoint and cross-stitch, and I am always honored to learn how it keeps touching lives years after I wrote it. (Click on each photo to enlarge the image.)

The Lady Let Him Fly

 Never once

did she bind his wings;

take away his boyhood

paper-airplane-dreams;

Matt and Amy Netardus at their father's grave in Arlington National Cemetery.
Matt and Amy Netardus at their father’s grave in Arlington National Cemetery.

 

nor try to force him

down to earth

when it was the air and sky

that beckoned his worth.

 

Matt and Amy Netardus as adults revisiting Arlington.
Matt and Amy Netardus as adults revisiting Arlington.

Never once

did the lady

hold him back,

or trounce his joy

for an air-to-ground-attack;

nor weep like a spoiled child

when he ventured into the blue wild.

USAF fighter pilot Bruce Netardus clipped this copy of my poem from the Spring 1992 issue of Daedalus Flyer and stuck it under a piece of glass on his desk. After he died a few months later, his wife found the poem and she contact me 22 years later to tell me her story.
USAF fighter pilot Bruce Netardus clipped this copy of my poem from the Spring 1992 issue of Daedalus Flyer and stuck it under a piece of glass on his desk. After he died a few months later, his wife Susan found the poem and contacted me 22 years later to share her story.

 

In the background she would wait

chasing away twinges

for her fighter pilot’s fate.

 

With wings straight and unfurled

he and the titanium bird

lifted above the runway’s end

seeking freedom on the wind.

And when he did not return

the lady waited proud and strong

knowing he’d been – “happy all along.”

From the book Because I Fly (McGraw-Hill 2002).
From the book Because I Fly (McGraw-Hill 2002).

 

And when the aged hands of Father Time

called him home

beyond the sky,

the young flyer smiled

because the Lady Let Him Fly.

© Kathleen M. Rodgers, 1987 Alaska

After Paul's first husband Mike Ayotte was killed in a plane crash in 1990, she found comfort in reading The Lady Let Hm Fly. A few years later she met Dave Mills and he made her smile again. They are pictured here with their daughter, Maddie.
After Paula’s first husband Mike Ayotte was killed in a plane crash in 1990, she found comfort in reading The Lady Let Hm Fly. A few years later she met Dave Mills and he made her smile again. They are pictured here with their daughter, Maddie.

 

 

 

 

USAF Lt. Mike Ayotte killed April 4, 1990.
USAF Lt. Mike Ayotte killed April 4, 1990.
Paula (Ayote) Mills cross-stitch peom PG
After Paula’s first husband was killed in an A-10 crash over Louisiana, she had “The Lady Let Him Fly” cross-stitched and framed. It hangs in her home today. (Click on the image to enlarge.)
MWSA Dispatches Magazine, November 2011.
MWSA Dispatches Magazine, November 2011.