Here’s a poem written by Arthur E. Nealy, published in Aerial Age Weekly, April 12, 1915, pg. 91 more than 100 years ago, and still relevant today.
“A Conversation Between A Model Boy and a Passing Old Lady”
By Arthur Elton Nealy
Lady— Little Boy, what is that which you have in your hand?
Boy— A model flying machine.
Lady— A wee, baby aeroplane; goodness me! It’s something I never have seen.
In the sky
Little boy, will it fly?
Boy— O, way out of sight when the wind is just right and the rubbers are wound good and strong.
Lady— Well, who’d have thought such a contraption could be! Now, how do you push it along?
Boy— In the air.
Lady— But where?
Boy— Those propellers right there.
Lady— What? They make it go!
Then how do you know
That you won’t fall down and be killed?
Boy— Well, Miss,
It’s like this;
As it won’t lift me up, you see, I will never be spilled.
Lady— What! Won’t lift you up! You said it would fly,
O, every so high
Little boy, are you joking or telling a lie?
Boy— Well it can!
But a span
Of a foot and half is not meant for a man.
Lady— Then who does the steering, and where does he sit? My goodness! A flyer must have lots of grit.
Boy— But Miss!
Is a model. Gee Whiz!
Lady— I see, it’s a toy
Made for some little boy.
Boy— No, no. Not a toy!
But a model! (Oh, Joy!)
Lady— My dear,
Rather peevish, I fear.
But nowadays the urchins are all of ‘em spoiled.
Ah, things were so different when I was a child!
What is that?
Boy— A winder. (Old cat!)
Lady— Well, now, will you wind it and fly it for me?
Boy— Yes, Yes, if you’ll hold it a minute, I’ll see.
(Hands propellers to lady and starts winding)
These bands are the motors, you see how the wrap
Around tighter and tight – and sometimes go SNAP!
Lady— Oh! Ow!
Boy— That’s how
The motor back-fires. Here, take it again.
Lady— My goodness, no, sonny – t’was bad enough then.
Credit: Nealy, Arthur E. “A Conversation Between a Model Boy and a Passing Old Lady.” Aerial Age Weekly, April 12, 1915, pg. 91.