One of my regular hamburger customers was the president of the Farmers Bank in Frankfort.
Shortly after I turned eighteen I went to him and asked to borrow $3,500 to buy an airplane.
The hamburger stand was my collateral. He agreed, and soon I was flying my own Waco 10,
zooming over our farm and out over the valley. My dream had come true.
The airplane's base was Charlie Black's farm on Georgetown Pike. I had paced off a flat
grassy section, declared it an airport and sent out flyers notifying one and all that
Frankfort Flying Service was open for business. I sold hamburgers after school during the
week, and on weekends I gave flying lessons or took people anywhere they wanted to go,
just so long as they had the money to pay for my services.
That same year I enrolled as a freshman at the University of Kentucky. My parents had really
wanted me to get a degree, but the things the professors were talking about - literature,
history, philosophy and the like - didn't interest me at all. I had one thing on my mind -
airplanes - and I spent so much more of my time out at the airport in Lexington than I did
on campus that I soon gave in to the obvious. I said goodbye to the University of Kentucky,
sold my hamburger stands and set out to acquire a different kind of higher education.