Wednesday, February 22, 2017

When Biplanes were young. -A hidden history. by Mark W. Ó Brien

 Ononta'kahrhon -(Cradleboard Hill) from the old Clarksville Airport Runway. 

"When Biplanes were young. -A hidden history."

For the longest time I had heard rumors about the Clarksville airport but it was elusive, off in the woods someplace, on private land they said, where I would never be able to see it obviously.
The story goes, that a World War I Vet bought his biplane after the war and brought it home to. Then he came up here on the escarpment and acquired a very special piece of farmland with a natural bluestone runway along the cliff edge. They say he used to fly in and out at will until the power companies acquired enough of his lands through eminent domain so as to make the runway too short to actually use. Years passed. The woods collapsed around it and it's location became legend...
One day my friend Mike offered to help me remove rubble from the backyard of the house I had recently purchased. I had been struggling for months with a wheelbarrow, load by load and was beginning to feel that the job would never end. We made arrangements for him to come over with his Kubota and a trailer on my day off. A Kubota for those of you who don't know it's a small miniature multi use bulldozer type of vehicle.
It took all of 15 minutes for him to load half of the pile on the same trailer he had transported the Kubota on. Then he drove the trailer off to some nearby location and dumped it in a clean fill.
When he came back for the second load I inquired as to where he was disposing of the materials. "It couldn't be very far off" I said, "you weren't gone for long." He told me he had a client who owned "the old Clarksville airport" who was looking to shore up the cliff edge at one end of the runway. "It was five minutes away and I could come along and see it if I was interested, on the next load." "What? Really?" I thought, "Can this be happening? What luck!" "Sure." I said, hiding my excitement as best I could...
Soon, the last of the debris's were loaded onto the trailer and I was happily piling into the truck. Buckling up, off we went down the road! Suddenly, he veered from the road into a field, steered between an opening in a split rail fence and plunged into the woods! As we raced precariously up and down along a dirt path, in between trees, over and around rock formations, the trailer happily following us towards the cliff and the edge of reality, I gripped the door handle in nervous anticipation and an uncontrollable ever-widening shit eating grin spread across my face!
Suddenly, there we were, as if transported to a secret world! The truck stopped, and I stepped out into another time. When I looked up, not surprisingly, there ahead of me was my loadstone, my muse, Ononta'kahrhon! (Cradleboard Hill.) as it must have appeared in primordial times. And I was there, actually there, if only for a moment.

World begins breathing
My mountain comes into view
Always my heart leaps!

© Mark W. Ó Brien 01/Jan/17

Ononta'kahrhon -(Cradleboard Hill) from the old Clarksville Airport Runway. 
Close-up v#2.