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Thread: Mists of Stead

  1. #1

    Default Mists of Stead

    Itís been a while since Iíve posted on here. My family and I live in Montana, and make the pilgrimage to Reno every year my flying schedule allows to enjoy the magic that is Stead. I knew my boys enjoyed going down there, but didnít really have an inkling of just how much it meant until I read this poem my now-18-year-old oldest wrote about it. Thought yíall would appreciate it as well:



    ~Mists of Stead~

    I walk out onto the dew-soaked tarmac,
    With drops of water sticking to my back.
    Warm desert winds gently roll across the land,
    Like a soft breath across the Nevada sand.

    Cold air clashes with the heat from the hills,
    Only now at the dawn will you feel its chill.
    Drops on the brush will soon return to the air
    And the sun will rise in a brilliant glare.

    Soon the soil will crack and dry
    As the round heat rises into the sky.
    This is a holy place for a different breed.
    Over in the distance, is the Valley of Speed.

    I look up at the mighty tower,
    Its doors locked, its lights without power.
    I see all the empty stands and seats,
    Free from the stomping of cheering feet.

    The runway is quiet today,
    A mere whisper of where planes come to play.
    It still smells of smoke and fires,
    And shows the black streaks from rubber tires.

    This is where legends stand,
    In the quiet skies above the desert sand.
    This is where they clash and turn,
    Where props howl and jets burn.

    Where they risk it all for the chance to win.
    Like Voodooís famous purple, green, and yellow skin,
    Strega with her polished red and white,
    The twin props of Metalís Griffon might,

    Miss Aís stripes of Red, White, and Blue,
    And that Rare Bearís unmistakable hues,
    The powerful Dreadnaught at number eight,
    All proudly carry on the names of the greats.

    The most remembered being old number four,
    Faster than any who had come before.
    Forever in the lead is that flash of Red,
    Over the small desert field of Stead.

    And I forever can see in the sky,
    A streak of sliver speeding by.
    One who never returned to the land,
    But the stories she left were most grand.

    She left this world as a pillar of flame,
    But still on the course her spirit remains.
    A number 177 marks her side,
    A Galloping Ghostís forever ride.

    It has always been my greatest fear,
    That one day all this will disappear.
    That the mighty steeds might never come,
    That theyíll be denied their chance to run.

    The air will lose the smell of smoke,
    And be consumed by desertís greedy cloak.
    The fight begins to keep the pylons high,
    To continue the racerís fiercely proud cry.

    For eleven months itís a calm blue sky,
    For one week, see the streaks flash by.
    As soon as the words are heard over the base,
    The timeless saying, ďGentlemen, You have a Race!Ē

    The plane in the lead roars down the chute,
    The ones in trail all follow suit.
    Blink and youíll miss them speed around,
    The valley echoes with unforgettable sound.

    Of the mighty engineís powerful roar,
    Just 50 feet off the desert floor.
    The pilotís straining to remember the cost,
    Knowing in an instant, all could be lost.

    Speeding across the Nevada waste,
    All striving for that first place.
    Battling as crowds watch on in wonder,
    Listening to that beautiful sound of September Thunder.

    But for now, the skies are clear,
    The quiet wind is all I hear.
    With the occasional Cessnaís gentle hum,
    To hint at what it will become.

    Now the great steeds are all sleeping,
    Tired wings stored for safekeeping.
    Letting their engines sit and go cold,
    Until itís their time to race for gold.

    As I walk past the chain link fence,
    My sorrow and longing to dispense.
    Above the chirping of the birds,
    A faint echo can still be heard.

    I hear the announcerís excited cry,
    And the crowdís cheers lift to the sky.
    But they all are suddenly dimmed,
    By a chorus of pistons over the wind.

    I turn and focus my pointed gaze,
    The shapes appear through the morning haze.
    Chrome skinned frames in the bright sunshine,
    A group of 51ís and Furies idling on the line.

    I could name every plane in this set,
    One of the greatest sights eyes ever met.
    But as the light chases away the shade,
    The spinning props slowly fade.

    Even though I see nothing now,
    I can still hear it somehow.
    The roar of engines overhead,
    As I walk through the mists of Stead.

    The sky is a sea of red and yellow light,
    Knowing that when the time is right.
    It will hear the rumble of a plane on the roll,
    And be graced by the sound of the dawn patrol.

    ~Zach Boyd~

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    7,856

    Default Re: Mists of Stead

    Wow.... just.... wow!
    Wayne Sagar
    "Pusher of Electrons"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Reno
    Posts
    1,471

    Default Re: Mists of Stead

    The Poem should be sold to RARA & be put either on the Air Race Poster or in the Yearly Program. Well done It is the same level as the Poem "High Flight".
    Lockheed Bob

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Napa, CA
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: Mists of Stead

    Excellent!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    west valley/silicon valley
    Posts
    310

    Default Re: Mists of Stead

    things are a little dusty in here...my eyes are all watery.
    remember the Oogahonk!

    old school enthusiast of Civiltary Warbirds and Air Racers

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Boise, ID
    Posts
    305

    Default Re: Mists of Stead

    Every year, with the days leading up to September, I contemplate starting a new post of what exactly brings me to this great place (I might have done it a few times, I can't remember). My wife doesn't quite get the "why" but she understands.

    After reading this poem, there is no need for me to start a new post as to the "why" as it has been summed up so perfectly and elegantly.

    Simply amazing!!!
    "CHARLIE DON'T SURF!!!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Reno
    Posts
    1,074

    Default Re: Mists of Stead

    Thatís wonderful.
    You'll get your chance, smart guy!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Mists of Stead

    That is simply amazing! Reading it I am transported to the ramp on a cool November morning. Well done!

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