“Guilty Pleasures,” Greg’s October column


“What’s your ZIP Code? And did you arrive by car, light rail, or bus?” asked the Heard Museum admission attendant.

“None of those – I flew here by light airplane,” I answered.

“There’s no check-box for that,” she replied, quizzically.

By now you know I’m a pilot who’s hard-pressed to take wing without a purpose. Jean and I had just returned from a month overseas; before that I’d been overbooked with work, and afterwards grounded with a cold. Now all I could think about was flying. But where?

I did have some practical objectives. After languishing for five weeks the Flying Carpet might have bugs to iron out before launching on serious missions. Then there was our aging Scottsdale airport car, which hadn’t been driven in months. Was it even operable? Jean most often uses that car and I didn’t want her stranded on her next errand. But I had no pressing reason to fly to Scottsdale or anywhere else.

“What about that bola tie show you’ve been wanting to see in Phoenix?” asked Jean. A hint of  “I’m sick of hearing about it,” tinged her voice.

“That’s quite a journey for a 30-minute visit,” I replied. Still, it was the only suitable day trip currently on my destination list. Friends know I’ve long been enamored with bola ties; they’re the only neckwear in my wardrobe. I’d vowed to tour the Heard Museum’s nationally acclaimed exhibit when next in Phoenix on other business, but was it worth a special trip?

“You want to fly the plane, right?” said Jean, exasperated. “You want to drive the airport car. And you want to see the bola tie exhibit, right? So fly the plane to Scottsdale, drive the car to the museum, and see the exhibit!” Guilty pleasures had now been officially approved by direct order…

Read the story in Greg’s October Flying Carpet column, “Guilty Pleasures.” (First appeared in AOPA Flight Training magazine.)

Top photo: Thomas “Tommy” Singer (Navajo). Silver and turquoise bolo tie, 2009. (Courtesy the Heard Museum, Phoenix.) See more photos here.

Visit the Native American Bolo Tie Exhibit at Phoenix’s Heard Museum through November 4th, 2012, and then at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport Terminal 4 Gallery from February through June, 2013.

©2012 Gregory N.Brown

If you enjoyed this story, you’ll love Greg’s book, Flying Carpet: The Soul of an Airplane. Autographed copies available!

4 thoughts on ““Guilty Pleasures,” Greg’s October column

  1. Love your column Greg! I use a Battery Tender Jr. to prevent a dead car battery when I am gone for a month.

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