The Simmons flying machine takes a photo of the Village of Hur, the Mt. Olive UM Church (far right)

"The football practice folks looked skyward when we flew over (Calhoun Middle-High School) yesterday evening," said Linda Simmons
(Photos courtesy Linda Simmons)

By Bob Weaver 2004

My neighbors who live in a narrow holler down on Buckhorn, a rock throw from Hur, called last night to inquire if what they had seen was real. "We tried to take a picture when it went across the holler, but we didn't get it," they said.

"What did it look like?" I asked. "Well, it looked like some people were dangling from something and you could hear the roar of a motor."

"I can help you," I said. "It must be the Simmons family out for an evening in their flying machine." (Photo courtesy of Ronda Rose)

Harry Simmons of Sycamore has purchased his own "machine" and he is having the time of his life with his wife Linda and son Dustin taking to the air in Roane and Calhoun.

Calhoun County has had its share of flying pioneers, the likes of Rube Stump and Charley Booher, just to name a few. If there ever was a place that lacked flat land for taking off and landing, it has to be Calhoun.

Those early flying vets managed to learn the art of cow pasture flyin' and short air strips sprung up along the Little Kanawha River and on family farms, but the county never developed an official airport, private or public. In recent years flying action has shifted out of the county.

The machine circles above Calhoun 911 Control at Mt. Zion, Richard "Burl" Postalwaite said he came out on the deck (a tiny spot in photo) to see the device

The dream of flight has been with us since the first humans looked skyward at the soaring birds. Oh, to fly like an eagle. Official history says the first flight was in a lighter-than-air craft built in 1780 which lifted two Frenchmen about Paris.

Leonardo da Vinci designed a crude helicopter and a winged aircraft in the 16th century, but it wasn't until 1903 at Kitty Hawk that the Wright Brothers first lifted a heavier-than-air craft.

Flying got into first gear rather quickly in the last century, and the world has seen dozens of fascinating flying machines like the one being operated by Simmons.

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