The airplane, one of several on the tree, was a frequent symbol given to Dad and my sister since they became student pilots together. And Snoopy, favorite of the Peanuts characters, has made an appearance in gifts to most of us at one time or another. In fact, this year, one of my presents for my sister was a package of Snoopy band-aids (she loves — and frequently needs — cartoon band-aids).
This ornament was given to my Dad back in North Idaho after he got his private pilot license, possible after he’d bought a small Cessna plane. Even before the license and plane, though, his favorite hobby for years has been flying through the air: first with a hang-glider, then in an ultralight airplane he bought with his youngest brother.
We had a grass runway in the field in front of our house, and his ultralight buddies and my sister’s old boss (who had a small helicopter he frequently flew to the next town and back) would often drop in while flying about, just to say hello. It was a fun — and pretty unique! — part of life back then.