Friday, August 16, 2013

Today is National Airborne Day.

Here are two airborne true  adventures:
I'll tell you the time we went to Allatoona Dam and airborned  several paper airplanes.   I told this story before, so if it seems you have heard it before, you probably have.  They year was about 1960.  My friend Sam Carsley's (1941 - 2013) was a freshman at Georgia Tech.   
One day Sam came to my house with a cardboard box with no top.  In the box was a neat stack of plain paper.  Sam did every thing extremely neat and well organized. 
In class he had learned some about aero dynamics and wanted to experiment.  We drove to Allatoona Dam and walked up the steep cement steps to the top.    On the edge of the damn, or the Eowah River side Sam neatly made paper airplanes we tossed them  over the side.  Which, I suppose we could have been arrested for littering if caught, but we didn't think about that.
Sam knew what would happen but wanted to see it.  The west wind coming down the Etowah River Valley would swoosh up when it hit the dam.  And when it swooshed up it would catch the paper airplanes we had just contributed to it and carry it high up in the air, sometimes almost out of sight.  Some planes hitched rides with other high winds and went to points unknown and some fell back down only to be caught b another westward wind swooshing up the damn and be carried back up, over and over.
I don't know if they are still rising and falling or not.

We should have put messages on the paper airplanes that sailed off to points unknown.

Another time at Tech Sam learned about Einstein's Theory of Relativity, E=MC(2).    He said in its simplest form one might understand.  He said if you are riding on a bus standing in the aisle and say you put a big X on the floor that you are standing on.  And while the bus is moving you jump up and come back down.  You should come down on the X.  Because you are moving  forward at the same rate of speed as the bus.
So, with that in mind, if you  are in a convertible and throw a beer can up in the air and stop suddenly the beer can is traveling the same speed as the car, and if the car stopped it will land in front of the car.  Sam had a 1956 Chevrolet convertible he had just bought from Anderson Motor Company.    We went to Paulding County, on the dirt deserted roads behind the drive-in theater and the Dallas Drag Strip, which I knew the roads well from slipping in both at different times.   
We chose the far out deserted place because nothing seemed more terrible to Sam as being caught breaking the rules.  
Out on the dirt road in the night time we built up a speed of maybe 35 or about  mph, and  I tossed a half can of beer straight up at the same time Sam slammed on the brakes. 
WHOMP!!!   The half can of beer hit his hood and put a little dent in it. 

That was the end of our  Mr. Wizard-style  experiments. 



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