Posts tagged ‘paul tibbets’


I recently finished Jeff Shaara’s historical novel, The Final Storm. He has written numerous novels about war, from the Revolutionary War to World War II. He tells a gripping story along with providing a history lesson of the conflict he relates. His approach is to follow important historical figures, such as Eisenhower for World War II, along with the experiences of the common soldier, men who fought the battle.
The Final Storm tells the story of the latter part of the war in the Pacific, from the battle of Okinawa to the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan. There is a great deal of detail given to Paul Tibbets, the pilot of the Enola Gay, the B-29 which dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. This was a poignant read for me for I met Tibbets about eight years ago. He passed away in 2007.
I’m a member of the Mid Atlantic Air Museum. Every year for about the last twenty years the museum has held World War II Weekend on the first weekend in June. Fighters, bombers and transports from the war make their way to Reading Airport in Pennsylvania for the event. Along with the aircraft are military vehicles and reenactors all bringing history to life.
Also present are individuals who played a part in the conflict. For a few years Paul Tibbets was one of the invited guests and that is how I met him. I wish I had read more about him before that occasion. I knew what he did but not much more about the man. I can’t remember what I said to him after shaking his hand. I still cherish the moment but wish I had known more about him.

September 27, 2013 at 6:21 pm Leave a comment


Recently, a Mélange Books author asked questions of the authors with stories published in the anthology Curious Hearts. My question was, ‘Name the most famous person you had a face to face encounter with’. I thought I would share my response with you.

I pondered those considered ‘famous’ that I have met, and I came to a conclusion. Fame is relative. In some circles, a name wins instant recognition. In other circles, the same name would bring the response, “Who?”

For example, during my research career, while working at three medical schools, studying renal physiology I met many world famous nephrologists and scientists. However, unless you were familiar with the area, their names would be meaningless.

I volunteer at the Mid Atlantic Air Museum and work at their annual air show. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to shake hand with Paul Tibbets, pilot of the Enola Gay the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.
I also met Robert Morgan, the pilot of the Memphis Belle one of the most famous bombers of World War II. But to the younger generation, these names might be meaningless.

Our local bookstore, The Chester County Book & Music Company, where I had a book signing for my novel, New Moon Rising, hosts many authors. There I met Jane Smiley, but if you’re not a reader that name will bring no recognition.

For seven years I lived in West Los Angeles while working at the UCLA School of Medicine. In that area of Los Angeles, you are constantly stumbling over celebrities.
One evening, while walking back from dinner with my wife and two friends, this literally occurred. It was in the early 1980’s, and as we walked home from dinner at a local restaurant, we walked past an eatery that was an expensive establishment. There, standing on the sidewalk all alone was a short old man smoking an immense cigar. We had just walked by George Burns.
My most memorable encounter occurred around 1980. I was single then and lived next to a very mysterious woman. She would leave Los Angeles for extended periods of time and ask me to pay her bills. The strange thing was; her return date was open-ended.
One summer Saturday afternoon, after a morning of fishing at Malibu Pier, she knocked at my door and asked for a ride. Clothed in an old sleeveless sweatshirt, I said sure. I loaded my neighbor and her luggage into my VW beetle. Following her directions, I soon found myself in the hills north of Sunset Blvd with my bug passing past mansions.
We pulled into a circular drive, announce our presence, and were met by servants. I brought my neighbor’s suitcase in, and while standing in the foyer, she came in. Wearing a bathrobe and a towel around her hair, strode Peggy Lee. My neighbor was going to be her companion while she was doing a show in New York.

Those are the famous people I have met, and as time marches on, their names fade into the past, to be replaced by those who now bask in glory, but will all too soon fade into the past themselves.
Walt Trizna

October 3, 2011 at 3:57 pm 1 comment


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