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October 25 , 2008

O' the Places I've Been


This book captures the memorable elements of the record-making aerial adventure around the world. This trip was made by my partner, Phil Greth, and me in his 1955 Beechcraft, G35 Bonanza. It took place from the May 27, 1988, liftoff at 6:00 a.m. in Waukegan, Illinois, and ended twenty days later on June 16, at the 4:37 p.m. flyby at Waukegan. It became a day of infamy to my youngest son whose birthday was that day, but was forgotten by his father until days later. The book regales the reader with details of the trip, that are expected to be enlightening to a pilot as the craft headed westbound to San Jose, Honolulu, Majuro, Guadalcanal, Cairns Adelaide, Alice Springs, Darwin, Bali, Singapore, Madras, Dubai, Cairo Palma, Santa Maria, St. Johns, and home to Waukegan, but somewhat repetitive and bordering on boring to the non-pilot except for those moments that become exciting due to uncertainties of outcome. This will tantalize most. Details of preparation and afterglow are both mixed in and explored to provide the reader with a “cradle to grave” perspective. Further, it will introduce the author’s father to the extent of giving an explanation of motivations and personalities. Since this was somewhat of a second attempt on the part of these two pilots, there will be the inclusions of two planning and preparation times. It will include many of those friends and relatives who played sub-orbital roles, either knowingly or otherwise. It will give significant background to a lot of decisions and animosities that surfaced on occasion. The planning was intended to be sufficient to cause repeated memories of something told to me early on . . . "If the planning is done adequately, the trip will be a lot of sheer boredom, except for the interjection of sheer terror at the moments when something begins to go wrong." The book concludes with a look back as the twenty years of record holding is celebrated and then closes with the setting of new records and the bittersweet finish to the living of a dream.
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