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Julian Gasidlo - Truly missed member of Vultures Soaring Club

Soaring, like most other sports, can have its happy moments and its sad times. When you retire a sailplane you have second thoughts, "Should I?" When a member retires and moves away or is lost to some other activity of work or family, we miss them.

Nothing saddens us more, however, than when a member 'walks on' leaving a void in our hearts we cannot fill. So it was, when on March 6, 2001 our dear friend and fellow Vulture for 28 years, Julian Gasidlo, 'walked on'. I can speak of how many years he was with us, running the winch and giving us tows. I can tell of how he was always there when we needed him, working in the hangar, on the gliders or on many other duties he volunteered for. And yes, we can all shake our heads, remembering how he argued his position on club policy, or advancement and kept a few meetings going another half hour. It is these remembrances of Julian that will be our memorial to him.

He was a pretty good pilot too, although he'd never admit it. "You've got to learn how to blunder into them thermals to stay up," he'd tell us. Maybe Julian can best be commemorated in the words of John Magee, in his beautiful poem,

"High Flight"
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, and done a hundred things
You have no dreamed of -- wheled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, an d flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air...

Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,
Where never lark, or even eagle flew --
And while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
--John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

$135.00 has been donated in Julian's name by the Vultures Soaring Club of Michigan to the SSA's Eagle Program to further commemorate his memory.

Posted: 6/1/2001


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