Jack who are you?


Good question.

I know that I was born on September 7 1935, in the San Luis Obispo County General Hospital, in the State of California. I was conceived, I want to believe, in the skies over Central America somewhere. Come on Jack how could this be? My father who was a pilot flying for Pan American Airways from 1927 to 1935 and had met and married my mother in Vera Cruz Mexico in 1929. She was a subject of British Empire and her father was the English Counselor assigned to represent the British government in Mexico. In those days many British subjects that worked for their government would be sent off to live in their assigned country for their entire lives. Such was the case of my grandfather. He and my grandmother were assigned to Mexico. They moved there at the start of the twentieth century and then proceeded to have six children, my mother being the first born in Mexico City in 1907.        My father, who in his youth was raised in the little community of Halcyon, was the daredevil of his family. At an early age he bought his first motorcycle. At low tide on it's hard sandy surface, Pismo Beach called out to him as a place where he could ride his motorcycle as fast as it would go while standing up on it's seat. When this thrill lost its adrenaline rush he was one of first on the Central Coast of California to buy an army surplus World War 1 Jenny, flying machine in 1920. For the next 7 years he tried to make a living flying to where ever there was a flood, an earthquake or something newsworthy then take pictures and try sell them to a newspaper. Next there was work in the movie industry as a flying stuntman that gave him enough gas money to keep his Jenny in the air. Last on the list, because of boredom, was to give “flying lessons”, I think the year was 1924 my father contracted Tuberculosis that made him put his beloved Jenny in a hanger for a year as bed rest was the only possible cure at the time. By 1927 he was ready to take a steady job for a steady pay check and when a representative of Pan American World Airways (that had recently opened air routes all over Mexico and Central America) learned of what an exceptional pilot he was offered him a job as captain flying from Brownsville Texas to the Panama Canal Zone and back with many stops along the way.             It wasn’t uncommon for some flights to be for cargo only and that’s when my mother would sometimes go along. What next my imagination wants me to believe was, with a full Moon shining brightly, on an early December night of 1934 my father asked his co-pilot to take the controls for awhile so he could visit my mother. Well you know, one thing lead to another and that’s when my father turned on my lights, making me one of the first mile high club members.                                      See Ya                                     Jack


Jack's parents; Sigurd and Winnie Varian

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