Aviation Trail – Part 8

Somewhere around 1950 during a personal visit to "grandmother’s house" in Indiana, which was anything but rare with many summers spent there, it was noticed that there was no sense of anything being in the sky, no anticipation of anything like airplane up there.  A thought about being vulnerable overhead occurred.  The town was good size, but not huge.  An aunt was asked if they had an airport.  Why of course they did (she a bit irritated said).  What they actually had was probably more of a landing strip hangar for private planes.  In Dayton there was no like sense of being vulnerable from above.  Every once in awhile a plane flew overhead making a lot of noise in the process. 

Kids growing up in seacoast areas are aware of the water far beyond which there are other countries, and people are aware of factories, mountains and other elements of daily life which aren’t there if one is somewhere else.  Aviation was common by 1950, but it wasn’t common everywhere.  Millions of people never experienced the notion of activity overhead.  In all probability some still don’t, but to anyone in Dayton, it’s there, and it was not only there in 1950 but also in 1910.  A few people born before the Civil War would have been aware of it if they lived in or around Dayton.  This is not to be saying quiet, remote places are bad, but there’s a sophistication in the idea. 

To people in other places (personal relatives being evidence) viewing life is different.  The security, danger, necessary speed, oneness of a place and more if the sky is an active place is dimensional — not just length and width but up and down as well.  It is heritage handed down for many generations in Dayton.  People seeing early flight by the Wrights themselves and later seeing moon shots must have had some sense of wonderment that others could never experience.  Earth bound sorts who walked the same streets or even did business with the Wrights, especially as aviation developed modern usage, had to develop a matching outlook. 

Life has a sort of unfolding. 


Africom, Irish Babies, Other News

Africom is a name for U.S. anti-terrorists projects for volatile places in Africa.  The New York Times magazine ran a lengthy article on it, if someone wants a good explanation describing some of the things about it.  There are other sources, but the Times’ report is what has prompted these few words.  It’s a given that terrorism won’t be defeated by or with the traditional methods of warfare.  That something else is being tried is important news for a jittery public.  And, what is really important about it is that it speaks of social changes that need to be made and are being made.  Old ways do not work any longer and it isn’t hard to find people who haven’t changed their outlook. 

The Irish babies matter is another investigative report about the corruption of religious ideals, this time among Catholic nuns in Ireland.  And, again, this is a matter of social changes, this time perhaps described as a scattering of the flock by the unmasking of a surprise wolf that had developed within it.  Again, there’s no need for details here since there are reports that have physically visited the matter. What is certain is that “sincere faithful” are in a system that is collapsing, and therefore they are naturally at a serious loss.  There are a lot of them.  Over the years church law (and customs) changed, but that doesn’t do a lot for those trapped in the old ways. 

Those two news reports are about changes in attitudes, not physical actions such as the building of a bridge or even the results of an election.  There are other matters that are not quite as startling (or maybe fundamental) and there may be some still unknown.  In either case they involve legitimate actions that are contrary to established order, while as a rule things contrary to an established order tend to be illegitimate.  It seems part of society does not grasp a distinction there, and there is an undercurrent of illegality in a spirit of protest.  It is going to be the job of responsible citizens to be defining clear ideas about what’s good and what isn’t. 

The media, too, is ever changing. 

“We Are Austrian.” Part 8

Now, although the Croatian lady identified as Austrian while Croatia was at a key time more or less under the authority of Hungary is revealing of the complexity of things, it is perhaps a simple part.  A bit of hunting through the matter makes one wonder how complex  it can get.  Two words are going to be introduced here.  As stated, that “Dual Monarchy” lasted from 1867 to 1918 (make that “it can be said”) or for about fifty years near the tail end of the material tale of that empire.  It is from that a mass of migrants created a bunch of later day Americans.  That ”two words” only have a real bearing on where great-grandfather (etc.) originated.  If the family came later (or possibly earlier), it’s somewhat inconsequential.   

One starts with the name of a river, the Leitha.  Where is it?  Someplace over there.  A river that runs into the Danube is a good explanation.  Something pertaining to it (said river) can be termed “Leithan.”  And, going a little farther with the idea, the lands of the river might be called “Leithania.”  With that Leithania one should add to the front of the word either “Trans” or “Cis” to create either Transleithania or Cisleithania, which is to describe an area.  The latter, Cisleithania, was the Austrian administrative part of the Dual Monarchy and Transleithania was the Hungarian part.  The words are based on the viewpoint of things as seen from Vienna.  If great-grandfather was born in Prague and came from there he was from Cisleithaniia.  (And, so forth.) 

Of course, the two words are different in the various possible languages (there are a number of them), but the versions given are supposedly rather common.  It’s a start, anyway.  And, some folks “over there” may still be aware of the two words.  That may or may not be of value for anyone going through this discussion, but it seems worth noting.  Coming upon the terms if just reading can leave one at a loss.  According to some fairly reliable sources, after 1867, the description “Austrian Empire” was not in use as much as thereafter it was the Dual Monarchy.  There is not room here now to be going into other things that might cast some light on something like an ancestry hunt, but it should be mentioned there are some for another day. 

Sharing what one finds can be a good thing. 

Thoughts About Home

What is a home?  It’s a base of operations.  Ideally, there are other elements to such, like it should be a place where you can stay put for as long as you wish, but if there is no other aspect, it’s a base of personal operations.  Sometimes things (and people) make it a miserable place, but as long as one can sort of hole up in there, it’s “home” at least until something better can be found.  And, it does not have to be a house, but a degree of shelter (protection) from both the activities of nature and other humans is pretty much an inherent factor although not completely.  So, home is where one goes when there’s no place else to go, and it either has to be found, built or bought. 

The new apartment underfoot, for an unexpected reason, seriously generated strings of thoughts of “home.”  It’s simply a one bedroom apartment.  There is also a kitchen, bath and a good-size room for “living” with a small entry area.  The square foot area is not exceptionally greater than that of the previous apartment, which was an efficiency but spacious enough that a room divider could have essentially made it two rooms.  The previous place, however, never acquired a sense of “home,” possibly because much unpleasantness began within a week.  Instinctively there was the drive to find a place somewhere else that lasted even though the nasty people were eventually gone.

White woodwork around the windows makes a difference, but the efficiency was also going to get white woodwork around the windows.  About forty years of adult life were spent with white woodwork.  Being on the first floor makes a difference.  It is closer to solid ground (like most houses).  The bedroom door was what really brought a home notion into focus; a long mirror is attached.  The original House in the City house had a full length mirror on the living room closet.  It was rarely used, but it was there.  What’s familiar allows people to operate in accordance with past habits.  There is less need for adjusting, which is good if the habits are good. 

Lucking into things is accidental.