For a brief period in my childhood, I thought I was meant to grow up to be a pilot. Not a modern pilot, mind you. A gentleman flyer of the days long past. An ace of the air with goggles, scarf, and a flashy crimson biplane.
For heaven’s sake, how did that happen?!
Well, I was six or seven years old or thereabouts. I was hanging out in the evenings with my dad at his tavern called the Hitchin’ Post.
Yes. That’s right. A grade-schooler. At a tavern and liquor store.
Does that alarm you? Hmmm. Then, it may be a bad time to mention that on Saturday mornings, my little sister and I also used to open the place up with our dad. My job was restocking the packs and cases of beer in the coolers.
Anyway, I was at the bar. A couple of my relatives (Uncle Steve and his cousin Lil’ Earl) would shout out “Aaron the Baron” whenever they saw me. To this day, I assume it was nothing more than an easy rhyme to them.
And I consumed lots of Red Baron® pepperoni pizza at the time. I also like how the little pepperonis curl up into these diminutive bowls filled with pools of shiny serene grease. And I’d usually eat the pizza at home while playing with my Lego® stockpile.
But I digress.
So, “Aaron the Baron” plus Red Baron® pepperoni pizza equals future in early twentieth-century aviation. Even as a little child, I could form strong associations from the most tenuous connections. And I still do!
Yes. You’re right. There was no educational point at all in anything I’ve said here. Your point being?
Tune in next time to find out how I got the nickname “Stottlemeyer” from a mailman.