Tweed New Haven Airport and Flying Kites
As a kid, I grew up in East Haven. That into itself was interesting but one geographic item was that our house was in the flight pattern of Tweed New Haven Airport. Back in the 1960's, Eastern Airlines flew in and out of Tweed. These were not little single engine planes. These planes were called "whisper jets" and they far from whispered when one was arriving and departing. Our entire house would shake and the dishes would rattle in the cabinets when one of those jets was overhead. Ironically, you would get immune to the noise and when a guest of friend was at the house when a jet was nearby, they would get scared but we would laugh. Some really cool things happened at that little airport.
One day when I was small, my dad drove the family to Tweed which was only a mile or so from the house. He said we had to go see someone important who was landing there. Off we went in our wood grain paneled station wagon. We waited for the plane to land and eventually a big black limousine complete with police escort was driving from the plane towards where we were parked. The important person was President John F. Kennedy. I could care less who he we came to see, I was watching the police cars with their flashing lights and sirens. As the motorcade drove by, JFK was waving to the crowd that had gathered. This was long before the intense Secret Service security that now surrounds the President and he was leaning out of his limo and shaking hands. Now as an adult looking back to that historic event, it was very cool. The date was June 11, 1962 (thank you GOOGLE).
There used to be a small diner at the airport and I would ride my bike to the airport with my friends to buy candy and snacks. We would eat whatever we bought while watching all the plane activity. There was always something interesting to see, especially for a group of boys.
Across the street from the airport was a large field. We would hang out in that field and play football, baseball, tag and fly kites. This field always had a breeze because the airport was directly on Long Island Sound. The breeze would come across the airport and directly on to the field. One day, there was a group of us flying kites and a police car pulled on to the field. One of the pilots who was coming in for a landing saw all the kites flying in his path and had to adjust his landing. The airport had to call the local police to get rid of the kite flyers. Go figure.
Now, all these years later I occasionally drive by Tweed and my old stomping grounds. The road between the airport and the field has been moved and everything is now fenced in. No more kite flying opportunities exist. When I think back to those days and remember that I was only feet away from JFK, what really makes me smile is remembering getting thrown off the field by the police for flying a kite.
Until the Next Tom's Take....