Avian Dreamers
a lasting tribute to the men and women who pioneered the skies
from Bear Wallow Publishing Heritage Collection of Fine Prnting
-- Celebrating the History of Flight --

Avian Dreamers by -- Jerry Gildemeister
with original art by -- Tim Larson
author-signed limited edition - isbn 0-936376-07-4
-- $45.00
240 pages, edition bound - 8" x 11" in size
11 color plates, 77 black & white photos, and 4 route maps
Special 40% Publisher-Direct Savings -- $27.00
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       Down through time, winged objects have appeared in legends, fables, and religious drawings throughout the world, so there is little doubt that the prospect of free flight fascinated mankind for thousands of years before it became a reality. Historic documents indicate that many tried to take wing and soar like an eagle, but all attempts of sustained flight failed until the early 20th Century when two bicycle-building brothers finally made a breakthrough. After years of experimentation, it was not until December 17, 1903 near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina that Orville and Wilbur Wright succeeded with the first powered flight in history. That day, these two brothers from Dayton, Ohio opened the gates for exploring a new frontier; but as incredible as it seems, flight just didn't catch on right away in America. The nation was full of skeptics, and it was rare to to find anyone ready to believe that man would ever take to the air. In addition to the inventiveness, daring, and determination of the Wright Brothers, it took a few others to join them in seeing the possibilites of flying in imagined terms and working diligently to make a dream come true. To recognize the marvelous achievements of early-day flight, we have created Avian Dreamers as a lasting tribute to the daring men and women who pioneered the skies.
          Avian Dreamers opens with Flights of Fantasy, the early history of those who dreamed and experimented with the prospect of manned flight. On Powered Wing follows, and details the efforts and successes of Orville and Wilbur Wright over a hundred years ago. Next, The Exhibition Years introduces you to the first genera of pilots. Here, among the group, you will meet Charlie Hamilton, probably the most foolhardy of the Glenn Curtiss flight team . . . . . and then mingle with the crowd and witness the fiasco of events at the 1910 Belmont Park Meet on Long Island where Ralph Johnstone and Arch Hoxsey flew in high winds to the first backwards air race in history; and witness the judges changing all the rules to allow American pilot John Moisant to win the last race of the day. These exhibition pilots were outstanding, but within the year all three fell victims to their aerial exploits . . . . . Then, take wing and travel along with Cal Rogers on his forty-nine-day, eighty-six-stop transcontinental odyssey flight of his Vin Fiz aircraft across America . . . . . be awed by Katherine Stinson as she proved that women could fly as well as, and oft-times better than their male counterparts . . . . . and finally be dazzeled by the aerial antics of The Ultimate Exhibition Flier Lincoln Beachey who believed he was born to fly, and proved it with his electrifying performances.
          As America entered World War I as a rank amateur in the air, Wings of War brings you amazing stories of early-day military pilots, like: Ace of Aces, Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, legendary Raoul Lufbery, and the maverick devastator, Lt. Frank Luke, all meeting the enemy face to face in the skies over Europe.
         Blazing New Frontiers details the shaky start and uncertain progress of the U.S. Aerial Mail Service. Decked out in leather coats emblazoned with official badges, the pilots were imposing figures, but they had their work cut out for them . . . . .Dean Smith's first attempt at flying the mail exemplified the early days of the new industry . . . . . Jepp Jeppesen took drastic steps to be sure he wouldn't become the next bad statistic . . . . .and Hank Boonstra had to leave his DeHaviland mail plane high in Utah's Uinta Mountains to make his way to safety in the dead of winter.        
          Barnstormers, record seekers, and speed demons take to the air in The Glory Years, starting with king of the daredevils, Omer Locklear who walked the wings of a Curtiss Jenney, and Danny Grecco who thrilled the crowds with his death-defying stunts . . . . .Charles Lindbergh quit his nightly mail run to solo the Atlantic, and Tex Rankin defied superstition to gain national publicity for his flying service . . . . . Petite Ann Bohrer discovered, too late, that an over-sized parachute was nearly to be her undoing, and Jessie Woods flew off with a pilot to escape a miserable life on the prairie. During the 1930s Dorothy Hester became Queen of the Stunters as she set records that have lasted into modern times . . . . .Wiley Post amazed the world with his endurance flights around the globe . . . . . Roscoe Turner, without question the most flamboyant pilot to ever grace the airways with his pet lion, Gilmore, strapped in as co-pilot, dominated the race circuit and thrilled crowds around the world.
          In Last Flight the world was in shock over the death of Wiley Post and humorist Will Rogers on the Alaska frontier in 1935. . . . . then the disappearance of Amelia Earhart and her navigator two years later on their around-the-world flight captivated everyone, becoming one of aviation's greatest mysteries of all time.

          These are but a few of of the aerial pioneers you will meet and stories that you will thrill to in Avian Dreamers, a limited printing, case-bound edition which brings you not only the history of early-day flight, but also a marvelous collection of personal narratives and historic events lavishly illustrated with over 90 images, including meticulously restored historic images, never before published photographs by author Jerry Gildemeister, and original oil paintings of vintage aircraft by artist Tim Larson.

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to preview the cast
of aviation pioneers
The Veteran Barnstormer
Original Oil Painting
by Tim Larson
Avian Dreamers
Lasting Tribute to the Men and Women Who Pioneered the Skies !
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