The Earl E. Myers Story
Page 1 of 4 Pages
After completing my flights from Kuwait, I semi-retired and started developing the 40 acres that I had purchased while in Kuwait. I sub-contracted the construction of a house on that property to provide us with long term living quarters and, in the meantime, found temporary accommodations until it became available.
|Clearing of the land was the next item. It was all covered with big oaks and pines with the exception of about 200 ft. that was cut back from the road. The land had good percolation. There were no big holes that needed to be filled in. I had walked the property twice on earlier trips back to the States. There was a large lake just at the edge of the Northwest corner of the property.
I purchased a Ford 8N tractor with a bush hog, scraper blade and harrow from an elderly Afro American who had several cattle. It seemed that the cattle kept his property mowed quite well and he had no further use for the equipment.
Area Map to locate Deland, Florida area.
|One of his cattle liked to chew on the upholstery of my Ford F-100 pickup truck. Incidentally, that truck had over 240,000 miles on it by the time I finally sold it. The engine had been changed once but the transmission was the original. The weeds that were covering the plus or minus 200 feet from the road were about 8 ft. tall, as it had not been cut in years.
I started mowing the portion close to the road. Not having enough visual cues to aim myself, I picked a tall oak tree at the end and started out heading in that direction. After cutting the first swath and looking back it was not very straight. After that I could see enough to cut the proper way. It took me 3 days to clear that portion of the property. It was so relaxing and soothing to be away from radios, telephones and aircraft engine noise and a stop at the North end where I had subcontracted the 3 bedroom house and have a cold beer and then start over again. I looked like a freak after cutting with all the dust and dirt that was created by the mowing. I had often heard the statement “A change of work is just like a rest..” There were times, then, when I wondered if that old adage was really true.
I started a woodpile of downed Oak and Pine trees that Mother Nature had felled and had enough firewood to use in the fireplace when needed for a long time. I never downed a tree and the property restrictions were such that no trees could be removed except the ones that need to be downed for the houses to be built. I went to the county and started out my conversation with “Will you give me help in planning the sub-dividing of my 40 acres?” They picked up on that as most all their contacts with property owners was hearing their complaints. My plans that I had drawn up, sailed thru with very small changes and I ended up with 40 lots for development. They approved the road where I wanted it and the work began. We named the tract name “Krinkelwood.”
It took some time to clear all the land that I wanted cleared for the road. I sub-contracted that part out as I did not have the heavy equipment to do the job. Now the lots began to sell. If cash was not available for the sale, I would hold the paper. At that time the interest rates were above 15%. I only had one family that asked for an extension. I agreed to their extension because they had always made there payments on time. The homes to be built would have to meet my approval and also that of the county. The majority were three bedroom homes, with a few being four bedroom. The business venture was quite successful with the interest rates as high as they were at that time.
I still maintained my flight proficiency by accepting fill-in missions for someone that wanted to go on vacation or was physically unable at the time. One contract was with a major food company in Dallas. The aircraft was dirty inside and out. Also the Capt. did not have a current physical and when checked by the FAA, he was grounded and his certificate revoked for good. I stayed about two months until I could obtain a good crew for them. Then it was back home and more work on the development. Once again, it was good to be away from aircraft.
The Quito Adventure
After all of this heavy thinking and doing, it was time for yet another change of pace to do something different. For a destination, I picked Quito, Ecuador. Soon, my son, Kipp, and I were on our way via American Airlines. A brief stop at Tacuman International Airport, Panama and then on to Quito. Quito is about 9,400 ft. elevation and the 707 we were in struggled to compete with that altitude. The High Andes Mountains were just to the North and rose to 15,000 ft. plus. They were usually snow capped and so beautiful. The approaches had to be followed exactly as just to the North of the runway was the city and it was close. No short cuts. Landing was at sun up and the Hilton was close by. Nap time for sure.
About 4 pm our trek about the city began. Quito has multitudes of history and was doggone interesting. Good restaurants and "refreshments". Just about 1 hour North of Quito was a small village named Ciudad Mitad del Mundo. It was known as The Center of the Earth, with a latitude of ZERO, ZERO, ZERO. We were there on the 21st of March in time for the Vernal Equinox. They say you weigh less at the center of the earth due to the bulge... I don't know if they meant my bulge or the earth's. At noon on the 21st of March, when standing, there is no shadow from your body with the exception of your own feet on the earth. We visited this unique small city and it was an astounding experience.
There was an ethnographic museum with inside displays of the various cultures that make up Ecuador. This includes the Colorados, an afro Ecuadorian group, men who color their hair red from Henna. There were many indigenous groups with the most famous being the Otavalenos from Otavolo where the daily market place is breathtaking.
Since there was no jet lag to contend with, it was late when we finally crashed and we were up early the next morning. and on our way to a new adventure. Everywhere we turned we saw something new and different. The city is rich in cathedrals and they bury their dead inside under the floor. Many centuries of history are sealed in those floors and walls. The street vendors sell a dozen roses for $1.00. The roses are big and beautiful. Ecuador is the largest exporter of roses in the world. Then it was back to our brand of civilization and the work at hand.
Soon it was off to Bermuda for 30 days that lasted 6 months. I was flying a Lear 36 model. I found a small cottage on the South side of the island. It had a pink beach with caves under the bluff that it sat on. Flights were mostly non stop to London, flying the great circle route. Bermuda is so beautiful.
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