I have lost a good friend, a fellow pilot, a UFO and a bodhran player. A UFO? And what’s a bodhran player, pray tell? I will explain but first a word or two about Ev.
Ev was a seven-time Connecticut state cycling champion; and a national undefeated 200-mile record holder. He served honorably in the U.S. Army’s First Cavalry Division, infantry, on the front lines in the Korean conflict, and was awarded two Purple Hearts. He loved cycling and dancing but flying was his passion.
Ev knew Charles Lindbergh and the family personally very well and authored two books comprising the complete history of the Spirit of St. Louis from its conception to its place in the Smithsonian. Ev wrote three books and was the pre-eminent authority on classic Ryan airplanes. He was proud of his flights in the rare 1936 Ryan ST, the only survivor of five that were built. A model of the Ryan hangs from the ceiling in his kitchen.
Ev performed as “Solo the Flying Clown” in air shows around the northeast. His was the first flying clown comedy act at the world famous Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome in New York. He flew several of Rhinebeck’s early aircraft. For one summer, Ev performed as a wing-walker atop the wing of a 1941 Stearman PT-17 biplane.
A UFO in this case is a United Flying Octogenarian, a member of an international society of pilots who are, or were, active licensed pilots at the age of 80 or older. I believe his last flight as pilot in command was one I flew with him earlier this year in his 1953 Cessna 170B. Now about the bodhram. It’s a celtic tympanic instrument. I hope you enjoy the video. Do go full screen.