I was born in Montevideo, Uruguay to American parents. My father was working for DuPont as a sales manager for the Dyes and Chemicals division for South America. I lived there with my older brother and mother. I have vague memories of the large home we lived in. Montevideo is the capital of Uruguay and is situated on the southern coastline. I believe our home was very near the ocean.
My mother passed away when I was four and a half years old. When my father informed DuPont, they immediately recalled him to the company’s headquarters, which, as the time, were in Wilmington, Delaware not far from the Brandywine River. It on that river that DuPont had manufactured its gunpowder during the 19th century.
I remember the day my father took us to the airport just outside the city limits for our flight to America. It was 1954, before the age of jets, and we were to take a TWA flight to New York. I stood with my brother and father at the ground level gate as we waited to board our flight. I looked through the chain link fence to our plane. It was one of the most beautiful things I as a young boy had ever seen. I distinctly remember the tail end of the plane had three fins. I would discover years later, we were flying a Lockheed Constellation to New York.
I have few memories of the flight itself. It was the first time I had ever flown on a plane, but if I had fear of flying, I think I would have remembered. However, I do remember when we flew over New York City to land at LaGuardia Airport. What a sight! The Empire State Building looked amazing to a young boy of my age. The pilot brought the Constellation in for a very smooth landing.
After staying in a hotel in Manhattan for the night, the following day, my father and brother took a cab to a train station, which then took us to Wilmington, Delaware. Years later when I was attending Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, I would take the same train line to go home for Christmas vacation. I enjoyed growing up in Wilmington and had fond memories of my youth.
My father remarried in 1955 to Helen Wilkinson. He had met her shortly after his time at DuPont in Wilmington, and she was a wonderful mother to me and my brother. We were joined with a sister some years later. My step mother was my advocate when my father would say No to those times when I had to ask for permission. Where my father was from the Land of No, my mother was from the Land of Yes.
Yes is the most beautiful word in the English language.
Anthony Young ©Personal Spaceflight Advisors LLC
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