i’m trying to deal with my memory loss. soon, i will schedule an appointment with my doctor who will then most likely refer me to a neurologist. it’s not that i can’t remember anything, it’s just frustrating because so many things escape me. for example, say, i don’t understand something, how something works or why it is as it is…i’ll ask the question and i will get an answer. i think, ok, it makes sense and i think, i will remember this. and i don’t. my childhood memories are almost non-existant. finishing a book is a task. i rarely remember historical facts or events, especially those i should. this was not always the case. i’m convinced the years and years of antidepressants, antipyschotics and the like have messed with my brain. we don’t know how these drugs work nor do we know the long-term side effects. i will take a pill the rest of my life, i am fine with that. but i have decided to confront these things i feel i have no control over. maybe i can prevent further memory loss. i can’t say this is unstoppable although most days i feel it is. because i’ve never given up. because i don’t believe in “can’t” and i won’t back down.
and so after a long discussion with my swain, i know he is right. it’s possible there are things i can do. i can “learn” in a different way. i can do something different. i will start with the book, don’t know much about history. kenneth c. davis answers questions on american history. everything from, who really “discovered” america to what were the thirteen original colonies to what happened at wounded knee to who was miranda?
my swain suggested i write things down. on some days this will be the place. we’ll see what happens. and so, what happened at kitty hawk?
on december 17, 1903, two self-taught engineer-inventors named wilbur and orville wright did something that other people had only dreamed of for centuries. in a 750-pound plane powered by a twelve-horsepower motor and launched from a railroad track laid in the sand dunes of kitty hawk, north carolina, they flew the first heavier-than-air craft. surprisingly, their initial success didn’t cause much of a stir. many people, including members of the press, initially did not believe them. even the u.s. army was dubious and refused to offer the wrights a contract for more than three years. but their first flights launched a revolutionary era of aviation heroics. it is astonishing to think that those brief flights would lead to a moon landing only sixty-six years later. in september 1908, orville wright took the first passengers on a flight. one passenger, thomas selfridge, holds an unfortunate distinction. he was the first man to die in a plane crash from injuries suffered on september 17, 1908.
a week or so after september 11, 2001, i traveled to north carolina with my family, a vacation in the outer banks. i was depressed and beyond bored, hanging out with my parents and their friends. playing cards and watching the shocking and sad images on television. one day we drove the short distance to the wright brothers national memorial. the grounds included historical markers of each attempted powered flight, replica camp buildings and a 60-foot granite monument on top of big kill devil hill (a 90-foot dune) honoring the wright brothers. i remember walking the path of their attempted flights, hearing a loud roar and looking above in the sky to see planes patrolling our borders. it was a sad day for me, but this is one memory, thankfully, that will not escape me.