The Remarkable Story Of Helen Hill

My Lady Wonder Wench and I have just returned from a walk up Helen Hill. We do that every time we come home from a flight in our little airplane.

 Helen Hill isn’t big. Only a handful of people even know it has a name. It’s a mostly un-remarkable bump in the landscape, named after a woman who led an un-remarkable life. All Helen did, all her life, was teach her kids to care about each other, go to church, work hard, and be proud of being American.

 Let me tell you Helen’s story. Once upon a time, quite a while ago now,

Helen lived in Boston. She struggled to bring up three sons and a daughter, while her husband served in the U.S. Army. Times were tough for Helen. Boston winters are cruel, especially when you’re living in a cold water flat, where the only heat comes from a wood fire stove in the kitchen.

 My Lady Wonder Wench is Helen’s daughter. Ms. Wench remembers that dinners were usually soup and crackers and maybe an egg. And some nights, Helen told her kids they were, “Making so much noise,” that she had to leave the room while they ate…and she didn’t.

 Helen’s husband, Walter loved the ocean. When he came home from the service, he spent as much time as he could out fishing. Lots of times, he took the little girl who grew up to become my Lady with him. He was a brilliant guy, who took part in the liberation of Hitler’s Dachau concentration camp. He was a sensitive tough guy, but the terrible things he saw there scarred his emotions terribly for the the rest of his life. But Walter liked riding with me in my little Piper airplane. When he died, as he requested, I scattered his ashes over the Atlantic Ocean just off Long Island.

 Helen lived a few years longer. She was afraid of flying. But one early June morning, she took a deep breath, and asked me to take her up for a few minutes. It was a CAVU day. That’s pilot talk, and it means, Clear And Visibility Unlimited. Blue skies…bright sunshine…the air was still. Helen climbed up on the little step, then up on the wing…buckled the seat belt, and tightened it to the stun position. Then she closed her eyes, and started saying the rosary. We took one turn around the pattern at the Hanscom, Massachusetts airport, and the little airplane made the gentlest landing of her entire career. Helen got out, walked over to my Lady, and said, “It was lovely. Why are you sometimes afraid.” It was a totally un-remarkable flight. The kind of flight every new flier enjoys best.

 My Lady Wonder Wench is also my “Propchick.” She’s been on more than a few flights in “Bump your head on the ceiling of the cockpit” turbulent weather with me. She also made it through a white knuckle flight over Long Island Sound one memorable night when some of our instruments failed while we were still in the clouds. So she just smiled and said, “I’m glad you enjoyed it, Mom.”

 Helen died a few years ago. But she enjoyed that one, un-remarkable flight so much that she asked that her ashes be scattered on a hill, overlooking an airport. So we scattered her ashes right over the beacon at our little home airport, New Garden Flying Field, just outside Philadelphia. And when we come home from a flight, Ms. Wench always says, “Hi Mom. We’re home. I still love you.”

 Dick’s Details Quiz. All answers are in the current podcast.

1- What do kidnappers and Uncle Sam seem to have in common ?

2- What did 40% of atheists say about owning a bible ?

3- What do people who work nights seem to have in common with people who work days ?

Dick’s Details. They take your mind off your mind.

 My Lady Wonder Wench and her mom Helen had an interesting relationship. Women’s relationships are always more interesting than men’s. We’re easy. They’re not. I think that’s because in some ways, they have to be tougher and certainly smarter than we do. I think when God created Adam, He took a look at what He’s done, and figured He better create women, because it was pretty clear that we were going to need a lot of help. That “help” should be a two way street. We ought to help women in return. But very often, they are kind of left to do the best they can by themselves. There’s a story about that in the current podcast. It’s from the Night Connections 2 personal audio cd. It’s called, “Daddy’s Girl.”

 The day she was born, our daughter Kris opened her eyes, looked at me, squinted a little, gave a little half smile…and went back to sleep. From that day on, I always tried to be the kind of guy she thinks I am. I don’t always make it. But I always try.

 Daddy’s Girl is from the Night Connections 2 personal audio cd. If you like it, you can just keep the current podcast. Or if you want a fresh copy, just go back to the home page and download it from the Night Connections 2 icon on the home page.

 Daddy’s Girl isn’t about Helen and my Lady Wonder Wench. I wrote it about a waitress by the name of Dolores. My Lady and I had the honor of knowing her for a while. We last saw her very early on a Christmas morning, looking very tired, and trying not to look sad. It was a long time ago. And we often wonder…and hope…that she’s ok.

 So now you know the true story of Helen Hill…an un-remarkable bump in the landscape, at a tiny, un-remakable airport, informally named for a woman who led a life that most people would call un-remarkable. . All Helen really did with her life was, teach her kids to care about each other, go to church, work hard, and be proud of being American. Of course the reason that we can call her life “un-remarkable,” is that it’s pretty much like so many other ordinary American lives, that make America what it is…such a remarkable place to call home.

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