Thursday, March 23, 2006
Praise the Web. A simple seach turned up some source on the game Dogfight. Not too different from how I recall it! The Albatross(the German aircraft with the broken wing) is being done in by what looks like a Navy Sopwith. You can see the little German pilots head; trust me he looks aghast at his plight. There was a booklet (in the foreground) that came with the game. It was a little brochure on air warfare of WW1. This is what had such great impact on me. I remember the pages had a good amount of text on them, just enough to let an 11 year old believe that he wasn't reading too much. But it was the repros of paintings that really were the greatest. The good people at American Heritage had their branding on both the booklet and the game, which was made by Milton Bradley, so this allowed my little mind to construe that this meant possible approval from the parents because it gave the game the appearance of being edumacational (that's right, I said "edumacational"). The AH endorsement led me to look for other such books in my schools' library, which led my to..'lo and behold; American Heritage "Air Warfare of World War Two"; possibly my first actually read of history (maybe, after Bruce Cattons' "This Hallowed Ground"). Anyway, yeah...I was a little war monger. This started me on the long road of studying the nature of airframes and the nature of aerial combat; I filled pages and pages of school notebooks (formerly reserved for "Civil War guys" with shredded fuselages and secondary explosions ejecting wreckage and flame up from impact craters. I started watching movies like "Bombadier" and "Flying Tigers"; paid closer attention to gun camera footage in "The World At War" when it aired on Sundays...My bedroom ceiling filled with models of airplanes (but my walls stayed dedicated to Bruce Lee).
In fact, to this day, I still have boxes of unassembled models on a shelf where I work; I purchased them not too long ago after having a dream about being locked in a hobby shop after hours amid an aisle upon aisle of model planes. There are no Bruce Lee posters hanging in my studio.