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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

lessons from "The Wright Brothers"

Sally and I listened to The Wright Brothers by David McCullough on our drive to and from Maryland.  I quickly realized I could not do another trip with popular music and recalled Crackerbarrell's rental program.  I'm grateful they still offer these CDs you purchase then return with a small fee deducted. So smart to get you into their store- Sally enjoyed the "treat" stop and I picked up Easter goodies!

This book's content, history and lessons for real life of today were fantastic! Some simple thoughts to share:
-Wright Bros efforts to bring motorized flying, the birth of flying today to us- $1000- this included their travel from Ohio to Kitty Hawk, NC.  The public money funded similar effort happening in DC, on the Potomac river - $7,!  The author's point- private industry is an impressive way to make progress and get things doe.
-I loved learning about the bicycle shop, the production of their bikes, name selections, photography- all things of interest, that tied to flight and innovation and to funding their dreams.
-I continue to be amazed and grateful for the dedication and focus of these two men- their partnership in business and quest for flight.
-The phrase "building an airplane while flying" has been said about projects at work.  I've heard it used and I used it to describe what is happening with my work. The book brought the concept home.  The Wright brothers figured out they had to fly their machine to understand what it needed.  The nuances of the rudders and wings- they could take off but not go far- it was while on the machine they figured out the next step.  The book shares the passage and notes of one brother comparing the effort to taming a horse. I paraphrase: You can sit on the fence post and observe the brunking beast, or you can get on and learn what your body needs to do with him.
-Of course the lesson of failure- it isn't failure- they are steps to success- just getting off the ground with the first flying machine was important. The crashes.
-The regard for risk- the brothers only flew together late in the plane's evolution-understanding the risk of their efforts and not wanting to loose what they've learned.
-art and science- lots and lots of science, but art is part of the journey, the gut, the feel, the human element that is hard to document- not to mention sweat, hard work and hours, days, years of attention and focus.
-letters- thank heavens for letters- so much of this book is taken from that documentation. But also notes- the scientific process!
-Sally says she learned about their sister- her amazing dedication and support! 
-So many names for flight- past and present- the gliding world and the research happening their that The Wright brothers incorporated into their research- this ties to the building and airplane while flying for me.

Of course we hear these lessons often and know them. This book brought beautiful important history to life for me. Sally and I while traveling to Maryland thanks to the author's narration visited Kitty Hawk without bridges- only way there was by boat! We think life there today during the winter is isolated?  The commitment to their research- their journey from Ohio to NC- trains and boats.  We vacation in the Outer banks and love the Wright Brother Memorial and exhibits. This book provides new insights and will inspire a return visit soon.  

Ohio Pride- Dayton- the museums there have been calling but now they are shouting!  We must go visit!!  The book is quite clear about the love and commitment to their home of Dayton.  The innovation in the area- Ohio is a special place for so many reasons.  I love Licking County's history our innovation.  It is good to hear more stories from all over the state. I'm proud of Ohio and what we have and continue to offer our country.  

Life on Newark-Granville Road loves a good book, enjoys sharing "extroverting" about the book experience and was happy to do so with Sally and now you!

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