I had a number of things I wanted to see in Lancaster/Palmdale but I hadn’t yet figured out where they actually were. I thought I’d do that at the hotel.
But fate had other ideas.
I took a quick turn off the highway in Palmdale to check out the houses, both in the suburbs and out on the fringe. Pretty much as I expected though I did pick up some good details for future stories. But I had plugged Palmdale into my GPS and so I followed it to where it led me.
It didn’t actually lead me to Palmdale but it lead me to the airport. No idea why. Maybe there isn’t any ‘downtown’ Palmdale or maybe, the GPS knew something.
When I reached the GPS destination, there was an open air plane museum. Cool in and of itself so I stopped and got out. The first part had Blackbird aircraft, those ultra-nifty-looking spy planes. I wandered around a bit then saw there were even more planes just a little walk away.
So I walked and there, sitting nice and pretty, was MY PLANE. At least I think it might be. It’s big enough, it’s old enough and my character, Lou Rains, would love it.
Only problem, there wasn’t any sign. Nothing. It was easily the biggest plane there but there was nothing that told me what it was. So, I took a ton of pictures, got all bouncy and excited, and raced to the information trailer to ask, what the hell is it?
Turns out it’s a C-46. Slightly more fat-bellied than the c-47 or dc-3.
I asked, rather foolishly, if it was a WW2 era aircraft or later? The old feller, short, thin, a lean face and way too bushy eyebrows, said, probably WW2.
Was it a combat transport? I asked.
But there’s a stairway going up to it, I told him.
He shrugged again.
To be so close and yet so far. Was it big enough? I’d know if I could get inside. It looked huge. It looked right.
Excited at the find, I drove off towards Lancaster.
Unlike the GPS Palmdale, GPS Lancaster put me in the heart of the downtown area.
But oh momma, did I get some things wrong in my story.