I Believed I Could Fly

Superman

In 1956, my father returned from a one-year tour of duty in Turkey. Our family moved to Greenville, South Carolina. The Unites States Air Force stationed dad at Donaldson Air Force Base, a C-124 airfield that emphasized air transport and called itself the “Airlift Capital of the World”.

My first memories are from living at 201 Maco Terrace in Greenville from 1956 – 1958. That was also the first house my parents owned.

My favorite TV show during those days was Superman. Superman always began, “Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! Look, it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Superman! … He fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice, and the American way!”

In 1956 and 1957 I would run around the house with a towel for a cape and wearing only my brief undies pretending I was Superman. I would have my arms stretched out in front of me, my head down as I was flying around the living room and kitchen.

One evening I decided I would try to fly. I got on the couch and then stood on the arm of the sofa. Suddenly I jumped with arms outstretched.

Instead of flying, I feel like a rock. My forehead found the corner of the coffee table. I didn’t fly but instead received a big cut. We had to get in the car and drive to the emergency room at Donaldson AFB. The wound was so severe that blood was flowing from my forehead into my eyes where I couldn’t see.

I asked my mother if they would get me a seeing-eye dog if I went blind. Suddenly, the laughter filled the car. My parents were laughing at me.

The doctor also chuckled as I received the fifteen stitches to stop the bleeding as mother retold the story. I have heard the seeing-eye dog story for over fifty years.

The happy ending was I got stitches, didn’t go blind, and learned I couldn’t fly. Growing up a military brat was a never-ending adventure.


Jimmie Aaron Kepler is a novelist, poet, book reviewer, and award-winning short story writer. His work has appeared in over twenty venues, including Bewildering Stories and Beyond Imagination. When not writing each morning at his favorite coffee house, he supports his writing, reading, and book reviewing habit working as an IT application support analyst. He is a former Captain in the US Army. His blog Kepler’s Book Reviews was named a 100 best blogs for history buffs. You can visit him at http://www.jimmiekepler.com.

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