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.

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