Thoughts from the Publisher : DC-8 jetliner

new-neena-gray.jpgWith all the hoopla attached to the 50th anniversary of the Hancock Oil Refinery fire, I am afraid another half-centennial anniversary is going by unnoticed by most–well, not here.
Tomorrow it will be 50 years since the DC-8 jetliner made its maiden flight. According to Boeing’s Web site ( “On its first flight, May 30, 1958 the first DC-8 jetliner was flanked by a technical chase plane from the U.S. Air Force as it cruised high above the Pacific Ocean en route to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., from the Long Beach Municipal Airport.”
Although I don’t have any photos of the flight itself, I do have several 8×10 glossies of the roll-out which took place April 9, 1958. I have them in my archives because my father, once a security guard at Douglas Aircraft, treasured the pictures and kept them safe in individual plastic sleeves as some might keep autographed pictures of movie stars. He loved those photos. He loved the DC-8. He spoke of it with as much pride as if he had built it himself. And those of you who know me understand that whatever was important to my father is certainly important to me. I absorbed my sentimentality from him just as I have acquired my tendency to hoard from my mother. Put the two personality traits together and you’ll understand why both my office and home are full of memorabilia I consider to be priceless.
Pictured below is a copy of one of those photos along with a DC-8 badge I recently rediscovered in my dad’s old jewelry box. Dad’s been gone for nearly 33 years now and I don’t think I miss him any less than the day we lost him. His enthusiasm for his work, his family and his city (Signal Hill) was contagious. I’m glad I was never vaccinated. dc8-button.jpg
Happy Anniversary, DC-8. Your existence represents an important achievement in the history of commercial passenger aircraft.

One thought on “Thoughts from the Publisher : DC-8 jetliner

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *