Like so many youngsters of his age, Waldo Waterman looked up at the heavens and wanted to fly. The Wright brothers had already done their thing, and the skies were becoming littered with aviators. In 1909, at the age of 15, Waldo built himself a glider, a year later a powered flying machine. Not quite enough power it turned out; it seems Waldo was mostly adept at crashing things.
But Waldo soldiered on. He studied aeronautical engineering and turned to teaching the theory of flight. Theory was one thing, but Waldo still had the driving desire to build flying machines. In 1932, he introduced his Waterman Whatsit, a flying wing with a cockpit on top and a tricycle undercarriage. It crashed a lot. A few years of tinkering led to an improved flying wing, he called the Arrowplane that actually stayed in the air from Santa Monica, California, to Washington DC as part of a government competition to produce a flying machine that would cost under $700 to build.
Nobody could get the cost down that far, but attempts by Henry Ford got Waldo to thinking flying car, and the result was his Arrowbile. The cockpit was now below the wing. It had a radiator grille, a single headlight, automobile type doors and a single Studebaker automobile engine. Its successful maiden flight took place on February 21, 1937, when the Arrowbile, lifted off, landed safely and drove off into the sunset.
Unfortunately, the story kind of peters out here. Only five were ever produced, the five that were bought by Studebaker.
The Grass Is Always Greener . . .
Erma Bombeck took her humorous observations on suburban life from her weekly hometown paper to 900 newspapers throughout the U.S. and Canada. Born on February 21, 1927, she also published 15 books, many of which became bestsellers. She died in 1996.
“My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first one being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint.”
“If a man watches three football games in a row, he should be declared legally dead.”
“In general, my children refused to eat anything that hadn’t danced on TV.”
“Never loan your car to anyone to whom you’ve given birth.”
“I didn’t fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian”
“Ironed sheets are a health hazard.”
“Seize the moment. Think of all those women on the ‘Titanic’ who waved off the dessert cart.”
“When humor goes, there goes civilization.”
On February 21, 1975, former U.S. attorney general John Mitchell and former White House aides H.R. Haldeman and John D. Ehrlichman were each sentenced to 30 months in prison for their involvement in the Watergate scandal. Some four dozen people, many of them top White House officials, were found guilty of one crime or another.