Book review creates flood of memories

Every now and then I get a call from the office and the conversation usually goes something like this:

Ben: Hi dad, what’s going on?

Me: Nothing much just watching the Olympics or working on some Rotary stuff but nothing critical … what have you got in mind?

Ben: How about coming into the office. I just got a book in for a review that I really think you would enjoy reading.

Whenever this happens, I know someone has sent in a book that Ben has taken a quick look at and decided he either isn’t interested in trying to get through it or he is simply too busy to try and do it himself.

Well, that’s what happened last week and when I got to the office I discovered the book was Nine Lives – Adventures of a Lucky Pilot by Malvern J. Gross.

Now I’ve met Gross a couple times over the years. He spent a number of years involved with the national Aviation Club, the National Aeronautical Association and the board of directors of EAA so it was only natural that I would have run into him. However, he certainly isn’t a close friend and I really never knew about his flying experiences.

But, I agreed to read the book and do a review. Can you imagine my surprise when I started reading and discovered Mal’s early flying took place in the northern reaches of the State of Maine? I was born and lived in Maine through my high school days and visited many of the places he described … places like Presque Isle, Loring Air Force Base, Bangor (where I was born) and a host of others.

A little farther into the book and I noticed he has a place on Orcas Island in the Washington State San Juan Islands. He flew in West Texas and into the Midwest.

When the author starts describing places where you’ve visited, the book gets a lot more interesting and that’s exactly what I’ve found.

I’ve loved his exploits in some crazy flights during his early days of flying … boy do they bring back memories.

At any rate, I’m about a third of the way into the book and thoroughly enjoying myself, despite my early hesitations. More about his exploits (and maybe some of my own) soon.

You can order a copy of Nine Lives – Adventures of a Lucky Pilot by Malvern J. Gross at … soft cover is $19.95 and hard cover is $26.95. Shipping is $6 for either book in the US.

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