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What would we tell them, and what would we ask? How would we change if we new what waits beyond space and time? In a journey with his wife, Leslie, Richard Bach travels to a realm where survival depends on discovering what the other aspects of themselves have learned on roads they never took; where imagination and fear are tools for saving worlds and destroying them; where dying is one step to overcoming death. One is Bach's most startling story yet, opening a mystical door on an alternative path to finding ourselves.

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A difficult book to categorize, One is a look at the author's view of alternate pathways and choices he's made in his life. Using a combination of "press the magic button" and elements of Dicken's A Down we dive, spouting our flame from under, Off with one helluva roar! We live in fame or go down in flame. Nothing'll stop the U. Air Force! Minds of men fashioned a crate of thunder, Sent it high into the blue; Hands of men blasted the world asunder; How they lived God only knew!

God only knew then!

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Souls of men dreaming of skies to conquer Gave us wings, ever to soar! With scouts before And bombers galore. Here's a toast to the host Of those who love the vastness of the sky, To a friend we send a message of his brother men who fly. We drink to those who gave their all of old, Then down we roar to score the rainbow's pot of gold.

A toast to the host of men we boast, the U.

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Off we go into the wild sky yonder, Keep the wings level and true; If you'd live to be a grey-haired wonder Keep the nose out of the blue! Out of the blue, boy! In echelon we carry on. In , Liberty magazine sponsored a contest for a spirited, enduring musical composition to become the official Army Air Corps song. Of scores submitted, Robert Crawford — s was selected by a committee of Air Force wives.

The song was officially introduced at the Cleveland Air Races on 2 September Fittingly, Crawford sang in its first public performance. The first page of the score, which Crawford submitted to the selection committee in July , was carried to the surface of the Moon on 30 July aboard the Apollo 15 'Falcon' lunar module by Colonel David R.

Scott and Lieutenant Colonel James B. Interestingly, at the moment the 'Falcon' blasted off the surface of the Moon with Scott and Irwin on board, a rendition of the 'Air Force Song' was broadcast to the world by Major Alfred M. Worden, who had a tape player aboard the 'Endeavor' command module which was in orbit around the Moon. Scott, Irwin and Worden comprised the only all-air-force Apollo crew. The butterfly, the cabbage white, His honest idiocy of flight Will never now, it is too late, Master the art of flying straight, Yet has — who knows so well as I?

Even the aerobatic swift Has not his flying-crooked gift. Steve died in a skydiving accident in Give me the wings, magician! So their tune Mix with the silver trumpets of the Moon, And, beyond music mounting, clean outrun The golden diapason of the sun. There is a secret that the birds are learning Where the long lanes in heaven have a turning And no man yet has followed: therefore these Laugh hauntingly across our usual seas. To the Red River Valley we are going, For to get us some trains and some trucks.

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Come and sit by my side at the briefing, Do not hasten to bid me adieu. We went for to check on the weather, And they said it was clear as could be.

I lost my wingman 'round the field, And the rest augured in out at sea. To the valley they say we are going, And many strange sights will we see. But the one there that held my attention, Was the SAM that they threw up at me. To the valley he said he was flying, And he never saw the medal that he earned. Many jocks have flown into the valley, And a number have never returned. So I listened as he briefed on the mission, Tonight at the bar Teak Flight will sing. So fly high and down-sun in the valley, And guard well the ass of Teak Lead.

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Now things turn to shit in the valley, And the briefing I gave, you don't heed. We refueled on the way to the valley, In the States it had always been fun. When he came to a bridge in the valley, He saw a duty that he couldn't shun. For the first to roll in on the target, Was my leader, old Teak Number One. Oh, he flew through the flak toward the target, With his bombs and his rockets drew a bead. But he never pulled out of his bomb run, 'Twas fatal for another Teak Lead.

So come sit by my side at the briefing, We will sit there and tickle the beads. The boundary lamps were yellow blurs Against the winter night And I had checked the last ship in And snapped the office light, And paused a while to let the ghosts Of bygone days and men Roam down the skies of auld lang syne As one will now and then … When fancy set me company A red checked lad to stand With questions gleaming in his eyes, A model in his hand. He may have been your boy or mine, I could not clearly see, But there was no mistaking how His eyes were questing me For answers which all sons must have Who builds their toys in play But pow'r them in valiant dreams And fly them far away; So down I sat with him beside There in the dim lit shed And with the ghost of better men To check on me, I said:.

Not one of whose wings are dust Would call his bargain in, Not one of us would welsh his part To save his bloomin' skin, Not one would wish to walk again Unless allowed to throw His heart into the thing he loved And go as he would go: Not one would change for gold or pow'r Nor fun nor love nor fame The part he played and price he paid In making the good game. And of the living … none, not one Regrets the scars he bears, The sheer uncertainty of plans, The poverty he shares, Remitted price for one mistake That checks a bright career, The shattered hopes, the scant rewards, The future never clear: And of the living … none, not one Who truly loves the sky Would trade a hundred earth bound hours For one that he could fly.

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If that sleek model in your hand Which you have brought to me Most represents the thing you love, The thing you want to be, Then you will fill your curly head With knowledge, fact and lore, For there is no short cut which leads To aviation's door; And only those whose zeal is proved By patient toil and will Shall ever have a part to play Or have a place to fill.

I closed the hangar door. The earth is a depot where wingless angels pass the time, Waiting for the long journey home Seeing a small boy, smiling in the corner, I ask him ; — You must be anxious to get home? I must to up to the skies again, to the white clouds and the grey, And all I ask is a high launch, and the chance to — get away — ; And the wing — s surge, and the wind — s song, and the quiet clouds — drifting, And a heat-haze on the land — s face, and the warm air — s lifting. I must go up to the skies again, for the call to soar and glide, Is a free call, and a clear call, that may not be denied; And all I ask is a sunlit day, and the bright height — s gaining, — Neath the — new-cu — that towers above, and it's lift maintaining.

I must go up to the skies again, to the peace of silent flight, To the gull — s way, and the hawk — s way, and the free wings — delight; And all I ask is a friendly joke with a laughing fellow rover, And a large beer, and a deep sleep, when the long flight — s over. I remember pilot that trip when you flew low for me so I could see how the cornfields were laid out -. Do you remember pilot my friend how we skimmed the yellow miles on the wings of an afternoon,.

You shouting to me in the sun — isn't it peaceful here — isn't it peaceful here? Someday we will know, where the pilots go When their work on earth is through. Where the air is clean, and the engines gleam, And the skies are always blue. They have flown alone, with the engine's moan, As they sweat the great beyond, And they take delight, at the awesome sight of the world spread far and yon.

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Yet not alone, for above the moan, when the earth is out of sight, As they make their stand, He takes their hand, and guides them through the night. How near to God are these men of sod, Who step near death's last door? Oh, these men are real, not made of steel, But He knows who goes before,. And how they live, and love and are beloved, But their love is most for air. And with death about, they will still fly out, And leave their troubles there. He knows these things, of men with wings, And He knows they are surely true.

And He will give a hand, to such a man 'Cause He's a pilot too. The hours logged, the status reached, The ratings will not matter.

He'll ask me if I saw the rays And how He made them scatter. Or what about the droplets clear, I spread across your screen? And did you see the twinkling eyes. If student pilots keen? The way your heart jumped in your chest, That special solo day- Did you take time to thank the one Who fell along the way? Remember how the runway lights Looked one night long ago When you were lost and found your way, And how-you still dont know?

How fast, how far, how much, how high? He'll ask me not these things But did I take the time to watch The Moonbeams wash my wings? And did you see the patchwork fields And moutains I did mould; The mirrored lakes and velvet hills, Of these did I behold? The wind he flung along my wings, On final almost stalled. So when these things are asked of me, And I can reach no higher, My prayer this day - His hand extends To welcome home a Flyer.

I hope there's a place, way up in the sky Where pilots can go when they have to die. A place where a guy could buy a cold beer For a friend and a comrade whose memory is dear. A place where no doctor or lawyer could tread, Nor a management-type would e'ler be caught dead! Just a quaint little place, kind of dark, full of smoke, Where they like to sing loud, and love a good joke. The kind of a place that a lady could go And feel safe and secure by the men she would know. There must be a place where old pilots go, When their wings become heavy, when their airspeed gets low, Where the whiskey is old, and the women are young, And songs about flying and dying are sung.

And there, through the mist, you'd spot an old guy You had not seen in years, though he'd taught you to fly. For this is the place where true flyers come When the battles are over, and the wars have been won. This is Heaven, my Son. Larkin, TWA Ret. And of course what maybe the greatest aviation poem: High Flight.

Search my whole quotation database:. The True and Beautiful — The Sky Sometimes gentle, sometimes capricious, sometimes awful, never the same for two months together; almost human in its passions, almost spiritual in its tenderness, almost Divine in its infinity.