By Joseph Stachon, Captain
Last week we had another somber day. One of our favorite TALOANS took off on his last, long flight. We have lost Ran Reid - - and the loss is beyond measure. My favorite author, Robert Ingersoll, repeatedly stated, "Your goal in life should be to be happy and try to make others so". By that standard Ran was a Prince. He surely reached and exceeded that goal. His stories about his early life in Texas and other parts of the world (some real and some fictional) delivered with his inimitable Texas drawl, would make the rafters echo with our laughter. Many times Ran told me how he loved to go "flittin" in his open cockpit biplane – "Red Baron" style, with helmet and goggles, leather jacket and with a white silk scarf streaming in the wind. We will always remember and love that image of Ran Reid.
The following poem, "High Flight" by John G. Magee, Jr*, I'm sure, describes the rapture and ecstasy that Ran experienced while "flittin".
OH! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split cloud, – and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of – wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up, the long delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark or even eagle flew
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.
*John Gillespie Magee, Jr. was nineteen years old when he was killed in action on December 11, 1941. He was acitizen of the United States serving with the Royal Canadian Air Force in England
Captain Ran Reid and Miss Hawaii