My memories of my mother, Joan Crosby, include many great and wonderful times.
The most unforgettable event, though, occurred one evening as I was reading some of the first political literature to cross my path, at the grand old age of ten years old.
"Think for yourself," she said.
She helped me learn how to read, how to write, and, up until algebra in eighth grade, she helped me learn math.   But these three words were by far the most important; for without them all the rest have no meaning, and no value.
I have hearkened back on those words endlessly, ever since.   They have certainly shaped my life.
My mother had taken flying lessons back in 1946 and 1947, in the year or two before she got married.   She had soloed a Piper Cub in June of 1946.
I did not tell her when I began taking flying lessons myself, in September of 1986, nor when I bought my first airplane that December, nor when I got my own pilot's license in April of 1987.
But I did cajole her into visiting me in South Carolina for that 4th of July weekend.   And then managed to keep her in suspense as we drove (unbeknownst to her) to the airport, and walked across the ramp to where my airplane was tied down.
For the first time since her own piloting forty years earlier, she stepped into an airplane, buckled up, and went flying.
It might have been forty years, but when we landed, and as we talked while I tied down the plane, she said, "You landed all wrong."
And I had - she had flown a Piper Cub, a tail-dragger, while my Cessna 150 had tricycle-gear.   The techniques for landing the two types are very different.
But the fact of how clearly she still remembered - after forty years - spoke volumes of how much flying meant to her.
90th birthday partygoers