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Finding a treasure in my hometown

By By Charles Smith / special to The Star
Aug. 24, 2003
After traveling all the way from Massachusetts to join 180 other fellow high school graduates at my 50th high school reunion, an old love resurfaced.
So nice, in fact, that my wife even liked her. I found her at Key Field at Meridian Aviation, a very nice Grumman Tiger. Not the four-legged type, but the four-passenger, two-wing type.
Shortly after returning to Massachusetts, my wife, Mary, and I decided to purchase the airplane from its owners who live in Meridian.
After having an experienced aircraft mechanic perform a lengthy pre-purchase inspection and also taking care of some business in Massachusetts, I returned to Meridian to get better acquainted with my new airplane.
I also met again with the previous owners, Dr. Michael and Lynne Taleff. My plan was to depart Meridian early Aug. 11 and fly to Minute Man Air Field in Stow, Mass.
And since I have acquired only 1.3 hours of flight time in this particular type, I invited another pilot familiar with this type of airplane to accompany me on the flight.
After a nostalgic visit over dinner at El Norte Restaurant reminiscing about the good old times during our school years, 10 classmates accompanied me to Key Field to wish me a pleasant flight back to Massachusetts.
I was born and raised in Mississippi, attending Ponta School for the first two years, then Stevenson School. I graduated from Meridian High School in 1953.
A strong faith in Christ is attributed to my rearing in Meridian and to close neighborhood friends and classmates who attended church with me at First Presbyterian Church on 23rd Avenue.
Everything we have, our talents, our gifts and material possessions, are gifts from God, that we might glorify him by our good stewardship of those gifts.
The Class of 1953 was the beginning of the best years of my life, which get better and better each day.
After high school, I did the usual things that many of my other classmates did. I served in the military, worked, finished college at Suffolk University in Boston, went into business for myself and married Mary (all in that order).
I still work as a property manager and occasionally build a house, but my greatest delight comes from working with children, especially those in various church programs.
The airplane will serve to introduce many youth to the joy and utility of small airplanes. Did you know that God uses airplanes to further his kingdom?

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