Saturday, 20 July 2013 – Outside Fantasy of Flight’s main building Waldo Wright’s Flying Service was furnishing rides for paying visitors. Inside the Compass Rose Diner, Mr. Kermit Weeks, the founder driving force behind Fantasy of Flight, and J.R. Hafer met prior to discuss Kermit’s past, his future goals and objectives and metaphysics. “Metaphysics,” as defined (page 722) within Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary refers to the following: “of or relating to the transcendent or supersensible” or “supernatural.” However, as Mr. Hafer, founder of the 20th Century Aviation Magazine site, was about to discover, to Kermit the concept is much deeper and expansive. It is actually transformative.
After relocating to a quiet meeting room upstairs, Mr. Hafer began to tap into Kermit Weeks’ reservoir of life experience, learning and beliefs. “Many people know who Kermit Weeks is as a pilot extraordinaire. He obviously has a passion for classic aeroplanes, but few understand where Kermit is coming from and going to with Fantasy of Flight,” remarked Hafer. He continued, “My objective was to discover the man within.” The discussion followed no script, and, in fact, in aeronautical language one could say that the two “winged it.”
Readers may recall that the 1960s and early 1970s were days of very influential and powerful art — and unfortunately drug usage. It was furthermore an era of space exploration and of searches for meaning and liberation. The younger generation perceived and pursued possibilities.
At the time popular culture reflected introspective quests. One does not know whether or not such influences launched Kermit’s spiritual introspection, but they affected many through various media. Film and music were perhaps preeminent. The years 1968 and 1969 set the stage.
The 1968 Stanley Kubrick film 2001: A Space Odyssey caused everyone who saw the movie to question. During the latter section of the motion picture, which Wikipedia is refers to as “Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite,” an astronaut finds himself moving through time and space and is reborn into a new existence.
Two memorable hit songs, and an event, during 1969 reflected human quests for understanding and exploration beyond the known. The 5th Dimension’s 1969 Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In contains the following lyrics: “Golden living dreams of visions, Mystic crystal revelation, And the mind’s true liberation . . . .” That same year Zager & Evans’ produced In The Year 2525 (Exordium and Terminus) climbed record charts to its apogee. One verse of the tune is particularly noteworthy: “But through eternal night, the twinkling of starlight. So very far away, Maybe it’s only yesterday.” Additionally, the first human set foot on an alien world when Apollo 11 landed on the moon.
In 1970, Richard Bach, a former F-84F Thunderstreak pilot, published his classic short story titled Jonathan Livingston Seagull. A message (pages 124-125) contained within the work states, “You need to keep finding yourself, a little more each day.” Bach continued, “Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding, find out what you already know, and you’ll see the way to fly.”
Also in 1970, Kermit Weeks soloed at the age of 17 years. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Mr. Weeks never used drugs. However, he did develop two addictions. One was flying. The other was reading everything on the subject of metaphysics. As a result, Kermit began to grow. As the late metaphysicist Charles Filmore once said, as quoted on a page before the introduction within the Metaphysical Bible Dictionary, “What you think today may not be the measure for your thought tomorrow.” Kermit stated to J.R., “Flying serves as a way of introspection represents the timeless universal human desire to be free and explore.” In classic literature, this innate longing is in the biblical psalmist’s thought: “Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest.”
The conversation lasted some 90 minutes, although the scheduled allotment was 60. Eventually, it was time to return from the immaterial and return to the world of physical being. Within mere minutes Kermit Weeks donned a leather flight helmet and climbed into Fantasy of Flight’s Grumman FM-2 Wildcat for the daily 1:30 flying display. More conversation would have to wait for another day.
Author’s Note: J.R. Hafer will post an expanded article about the Conversation on the 20th Century Aviation Magazine site. The title will be A conversation with Kermit Weeks. Among the many topics are Kermit’s studies and personal discoveries, the Fantasy of Flight logo, his future plans for Orlampa and a forthcoming book on metaphysics. Conversations between the two will continue in the near future. Their goals are to partially convey an understanding of Kermit’s Journey and the “Attraction on a higher plane” concept.
Sources and Suggested Readings
Dennis Zager & Richard Evans, In The Year 2525 (Exordium and Terminus)
Fantasy of Flight
Fantasy of Flight “nightFlight”
Grumman FM-2 Wildcat
Metaphysical Bible Dictionary, Unity Village, Missouri.
NASA’s Cassini images of Earth from Jupiter
Republic F-84F Thunderstreak
Richard Bach (Wikipedia)
Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, New York: Avon Books, 1970.
The Monroe Institute
Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, Springfield, MA: G. & C. Merriam Company, 1977.
2001 A Space Odyssey