The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.


Greetings to everyone in Western Illinois. Some say we are in the lazy hazy days of summer. As an old time saying, I suppose it is true.

There is still hay to be made and yet some crops to be sprayed. The airplane overhead gives notice to the fact we remain on guard for new enemies to our crops as he drops his weapons of protection for a good harvest.

Even the "crop dusters" plane has taken on a new sound as his engine is "turbin." It delivers much more power, safety, and greater accuracy.

At one time, not so long ago, they would have a man on the ground mark'n out the territory to be sprayed. By and by, he would drop some sort of Kleenex to spot each width he had sprayed. It was truly a "wing it" operation and "fly by the seat of your pants".

The pilot was a person of challenge, and individual judgement determined his success. Occassionally men like "Danforth" and others didn't make just the right decision. They paid a heavy price for their mistake.

The job remains dangerous, even in these modern times. However, with GPS and other accurate instrumentation, as well as much more powerful turbin engines, one feels a bit more comfortable for the pilot.

Men like "Dave Gillen" have been doing it for years and have a good safety record.

Two years ago last August, I traveled past a spot in Central Iowa and noticed a wrecked small plane out in a bean field. All occupants lost their lives. Last week as I traveled near the same area, same road, same airport, same bean field my thoughts were on that tragic accident of two years ago.

As I drove by that beanfield, to my agast, I noticed a pile of junk piled, unrecognizable, nestled in the soybean plants.

As it turned out, just a short time earlier, a pilot had crashed his small homemade, aircraft on its maiden flight, just short of the runway. All was lost-pilot, plane, and a hole in the beanfield.

What ever plans the pilot had for later in the day, that evening with his family and friends, or the next day as the bright sunshine ushered in a glorious new day-was also lost for him as well.

One's heart beats heavy for those involved. It serves as a reminder of the importance of safety, as well as the shortness of life. Shorter for some than fer others.

When I am dead,

forget me, dear,

For I shall never know,

Though o'er my cold

and lifeless hands

Your burning tears

should flow;

I'll cancel with

my living voice

The debt you'll

owe the dead-

Give me the love

you'd show me then,

But give it now instead.

And bring no wreaths

to deck my grave,

For I shall never care,

Though all the flowers

I loved the most

should glow and wither there,

I'll sell my chance

of all the flowers

You'll lavish when I'm dead

For one small bunch of violets now- Give that to me instead.

What saints we are

when we are gone,

But whats the use to me

of praises written on my tomb

For other eyes to see?

One little simple word

of praise

By lips we worship said,

Is worth a hundred epitaphs-

Dear-say it now instead.

And faults that now

are hard to bear

Oblivian then shall win;

Our sins are soon forgiven us

When we no more can sin.

But any bitter thought of me-

Keep if for when I'm dead-

I shall not know,

I shall not care,

Forgive me now instead.

This poem, by Lady Celia Congreve, worked its way through my mind as I passed by that unfortunate chap in the wreckage, in the bean field, just short of his intended mark on the airport landing strip.

It's a reminder that life is short, and shorter for some than for others.

Keep on Smile'n

Catch ya later

Barnyard Bruke