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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Tales from the old-timer

“Two Wingers” Lifetime Passion

When I was about 4 or 5 my first cousin, Ed Leveille, and his mother and dad came to visit our family in Kingsford, MI. right next to Iron Mountain. I had gotten used to looking up at airplanes in the sky as the Ford Airport in Kingsford was a busy place. Eddie was a year younger than I was and he was an only child and had every toy imaginable, including a riding, pedal-driven airplane and a pedal-driven ride-in car, along with dozens and dozens of toys of all descriptions.

On this visit, Eddie was flurishing a shiny metal biplane toy, which we both called a “two winger.” I wanted a two winger very bad, and my mother went to Green Bay occasionally to shop and visit her sister’s family and Eddie’s. About a week after they went home, my mother went on a shopping trip to Green Bay, about a hundred miles distant, and promised to bring back a “two winger for me, for sure.

I waited for her return with rising excitement, but when she got home she told me she scouted every dime store in Green Bay, and couldn’t find the toy I wanted so passionately.

She brought instead a nice “one winger,” and I felt real bad. I never played with the one winger at all.

We moved to Peshtigo in late 1932 and I never lost my passion over two wingers, and when I got to be about 13 or so, began to build model planes from kits, and these included World War I two wingers, the French Neuports and Spads, both one-seater fighter planes, as well as the British SE-5 and others.

This went on for years, and at one time I must have had 20 or so airplanes hanging from the ceiling in my upstairs bedroom. They were all wrecked in attempts to fly them, as they were powered with rubber bands and were quite flimsy.

I never lost my love for biplanes, and have created many of them, using lumber scraps for the fuselages and odds and ends of thin boards for the wings and tails. These are not intended as flying models, and a few examples are in an upstairs bedroom.

Still, at the advanced age of 87, I never got over my dreams about ”two wingers,” and this is an example of one hanging in an upstairs bedroom in our home on Dahl Road in the Town of Peshtigo. The old memories linger on!


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Peshtigo, WI 54157
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