Updated December 27, 2013 — Kermit Weeks, noted aviator extraordinaire, aeroplane connoisseur and collector of classic flying machines, has again sortied into the literary field with the publication of another children’s book. The title of the new release is The Spirit of Lindy. Kermit’s first undertaking, All of Life is a School, won a “Bronze IPPY” Award for the category of “Children’s Books, Ages 7 and Under.” The Spirit of Lindy also looks like a winner as it is sure to please young readers and their adult mentors. Within the pages of the work an interesting and adventurous narrative combines with vibrantly colorful illustrations by Dominic Carola and Ryan Feltman, both Disney-trained artists.
Obviously Mr. Weeks realizes that, when exposed to the wonderment of flight at an early age, a love of flying often stays with an individual throughout his or her lifetime. A Fantasy of Flight press release provides some general information about The Spirit of Lindy. The story introduces two new airplane-based characters. They are “Geoffrey D. H,” a DeHavilland DH-4 airmail plane, a type Charles Lindbergh flew on airmail routes, and “Lindy,” whose inspiration is Lindbergh’s famous aeroplane named Spirit of St. Louis. In the latest creation characters from his first book All of Life is a School “work together to help Lindy pursue his dream and learn a valuable life lesson in the process.”
The Spirit of Lindy, which takes place at Fantasy of Flight, has been a work in process for two years. Mr. Weeks described it as “a great story based on the famous flight Charles Lindbergh made from New York to Paris to win the Orteig Prize in 1927.” Kermit stated that the book “emphasizes the importance of going beyond ourselves. Everyone can relate to the metaphor of reaching for the sky and the stars. Within us all, we soar in our imaginations and fly in our dreams.” Will Lindy listen to his “inner voice” and attain his goal? One need only pick up a copy to discover the answer!
Some of the characters in his stories are adolescents or adults who nurture and guide younger characters. When asked about his inspirers, Mr. Weeks provided the following answer: “Most of the people I looked up to were people I admired and read about from history, not people I actually knew. We each have the opportunity to be inspired by ‘heroes’ . . . but at the same time, within our own circle of others, we each have the opportunity to inspire others as well!”
Kermit also commented about writing. “I wish I had more time to sit down and write. I would say most of my writing is ‘inspired.’ I just ‘know’ when and what I’m supposed to write about and things tend to just ‘unfold’ before me. While I could get a lot more writing done if I focused on it, I have too many other creative distractions that I also love to do!”
Mr. Weeks addressed the topic of literacy outreach. He said, “Fantasy of Flight has made a number donations of my first children’s book All of Life is a School to local public libraries and the public elementary school libraries.” He continued, “I’ve made appearances and read the book to children at festivals, libraries, schools, air shows and of course, the attraction. We plan to do the same with The Spirit of Lindy, the second in the All of Life is a School series. Currently, we are working through the United Way Agencies of Central Florida to direct a significant book donation to a number of the early reading programs.”
The Spirit of Lindy and All of Life is a School provide avenues for minds to escape earthly bindings. In essence, to paraphrase the lettering on the exterior of Fantasy of Flight’s entrance, imaginative readers can through thought “realize inner freedom.” Both titles are available for purchase at the Fantasy of Flight gift shop or online for $19.95 plus applicable sales taxes and shipping through www.fantasyofflight.com.
Fantasy of Flight is at Broadway 1400 Broadway Boulevard Southeast in Polk City, Fla. Notably, with a few exceptions, the airplanes that serve as the bases for his fictional characters are on display at the attraction. One (below) is a replica of the Spirit of St. Louis. Telephone (863) 984-3500 for admission and other information.
Note: In addition to possessing an aviation background, the reviewer (John Stemple) has a background in literacy promotion. John worked as a substitute reference librarian at a library within the city known as “the birthplace of aviation.” He additionally performed national and community service through an approved Literacy*AmeriCorps program sponsored by Project READ.
John’s inspirers included George Walter “Sky King” Vaughn. Mr. Vaughn saw to it that the youngster, at the impressionable age of 9 years, received an airplane ride in the Waco cabin biplane that he co-owned. That flight, and the books the youth read, propelled John to become an aerospace enthusiast and writer.