In 2013, the Dow Jones closed above 16,000 for the first time ever. In 1973, an 18 ½ minute gap in one of Nixon’s White House tapes concerning Watergate was disclosed. in 1963, the Kennedys arrived in Texas. In 1934, the Yankees purchased the contract of Joe DiMaggio (and became known as the best team money can buy). In 1877, Thomas Edison announced the invention of the phonograph.
But the item that most piqued my interest was from 1783. That’s right, 231 years ago. On November 21, 1783, the first successful flight was made in a hot air balloon. The pilots, Francois Pilatre de Rosier and Francois Laurent, Marquis d’Arlandes, flew for 25 minutes and 5½ miles over Paris.
November weather in Paris isn’t so different from what we have here on the peninsula. It’s generally rainy and chilly and most days the thermometer hovers between 40 and 50 degrees.
So why did these French guys suddenly decide the time was right for them to take to the sky in a hot air balloon? In comparison, I looked up the Wright Brothers first flight. Unbelievably, their maiden voyage aloft was on December 17th!
Then I began to wonder if perhaps during the spring and summer, these men all had “better” things to do, like plant and cultivate crops or do something that would put food on their tables. My mind wonders and wanders quite a bit, imagining how the timing evolved as it did.
And speaking of timing… Going up in a hot air balloon is still on my Bucket List. I’ve flown in a helicopter twice, (over the Great Smoky Mountains in the fall, and over the waterfalls of Maui in the spring) but I haven’t had the opportunity to go aloft in a colorful balloon basket—yet I have every confidence that someday soon I will!