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The Mother and the Pilot   
Friday July 8, 2005
By Dawna Curler

Welcome to As It Was: Tales from the State of Jefferson

Dave Lowry, a long-time Southern Oregon orchardist, now in his 90s, has lots of stories to tell about growing up in the Rogue Valley during the early 20th century. One he recalled, involved a world-class pilot and his well-supplied mother.

Medford, Oregon, has an eventful aviation history stemming from the development of one of the first commercial airports in the Pacific Northwest. In 1924 several biplanes piloted by an Army Air Corps flight team landed there. The planes and pilots were in-route from Seattle to San Diego having just made history by completing the first 'round-the-world airplane flight.

David Lowry's family was among the crowd gathered at the airport to welcome the pilots. The way Lowry tells the story, the pilots seemed uncommonly heroic to the earth-bound spectators. As Lowry and his family watched one of the "World-Fliers" trying to wipe an oil smear from his windshield with a rag that itself was oil-soaked, Lowry's mother, who was ever prepared for messy situations, solved the problem by handing the aviator a diaper. Putting the whole thing in perspective, Mrs. Lowry's actions illustrated that a mother with a clean diaper, or handkerchief, and a little spit, can tidy up almost anything in the world!

Today's episode of As It Was was written by Dawna Curler, contributed by James E. Huston, the program engineer is Raymond Scully.  I'm Shirley Patton. As It was is a co-production of JPR and the Southern Oregon Historical Society.  To Share stories or learn more about the series visit asitwas - dot- org

Sources:
Contributed by James E. Huston
Alley, William. "Round the World to Barber Field," Southern Oregon Heritage, Vol. 3, No. 4, 1998, pp. 8-11; Huston, James E., memoirist for David B.Lowry, "The Adventures of a Rogue Orchardist, A Memoir by David B. Lowry," unpublished manuscript, 2003.

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