A wonderful monsoon week. I think about my father, a test pilot who flew and crashed in the rocket plane X-2 in 1956, going three times the speed of sound, briefly the fastest man on earth. Mel Apt died when I was two years old and although I don’t know much about this man I do know that he loved clouds. On home movies taken over the Grand Canyon, he does not pause long over his wife and two daughters before he is panning that new 1950s movie camera across the clouds massing and billowing in the Arizona sky, clouds he knew well from many hours of flight in all kinds of airplanes, F100s and F105s and B-50s, clouds where he felt very much at home. A home in the clouds. That’s a kind of wonder. Despite everything—his death, his absence—that’s a gift.
(Photo by Elroy Limmer)