My Uncle Andrew flies a small plane. It has one propeller mounted at the nose of the plane and two wings mounted at the roof. It only holds four people and it helps if they are small. He’s my mother’s brother but when I ask her what he does for a living she just smiles and pretends she didn’t hear. He flies all over the United States and always has stories to tell about some narrow escape or how he managed to get some important person somewhere just in time. He laughs a lot, my mother says that’s how we know he’s making a joke but sometimes he’s really funny! Uncle Andrew just showed up last night, just before dinner. My mother complimented him on his timing; my father just looked him over real good, I’m not sure my father approves of him but I know very little. After dinner he went out to his rental car and brought in his sleeping bag, that’s how we knew he was spending the night. We watched TV for a while, he pointed out places he had been and some of the actors that had been in his plane.
Early this morning Uncle Andrew tells my mother, “I’m taking your kid.” My mother asks him a few questions, he gives her vague answers, nobody asks me anything so I’m sitting beside him in his rental car. He has a big grin on his face, I’m wondering if I’ll live through the day.
“You got a best friend?” he asks without looking at me while he backs the car out of our driveway.
“Ricky,” I answer feeling like I just ratted out my friend.
“Where’s Ricky live?” I just point up the road. My Uncle Andrew points the car in the right direction.
“Where that little car is in the driveway,” I say as soon as we can see Ricky’s dad’s car.
“Little car is right!” my uncle says, all excited. “What is that?”
“Honda,” I’m still not sure of what I’ve gotten Ricky into, I’m not sure what I’ve gotten myself into. My Uncle drives up into Ricky’s driveway and stops the car with a slight skid just a few inches away from Ricky’s dad’s car.
“See if Ricky wants to go with us,” my Uncle is already in waiting mode, it doesn’t cross his mind that I might need to let Ricky know where we are going. I just follow my instructions.
Ricky takes the back seat, I take the front and before we are completely buckled in Uncle Andrew backs the car out and heads up the road, away from town, once he takes a right turn I see the sign that says Airport and my worst fear and greatest hope become our next adventure. The plane looks small on the outside but on the inside it’s even smaller, about the same size as Ricky’s father car! We sit and wait while a truck comes and fills the wing with gas.