In Loving Memory of Jesse E. Thompson (1939-2010)
This page is dedicated in loving memory to Jesse E. Thompson, founder of Tailwind Airpark and Thompson Field. It is through Jesse's vision and love of aviation that Tailwind Airpark was first established. Prior to the development of Tailwind Airpark, Jesse operated his cropdusting and fertilizer business from Thompson Field. Then, in the late 1990's, he and his son Mark began development of the Airpark. For years to follow many people came to know and love Jesse's colorful personality and sense of humor. He managed to acquire 50,000+ hrs of flying in his career and taught countless individuals to fly. He was well-liked and respected by all who were fortunate enough to know him and left quite a legacy in the aviation community.
The Life of Jesse E. Thompson
The 10 minute video presentation is a compilation of photos from various times in his life. The songs were three of his favorites.
The “Organic Garden” video was something Jesse decided to do while Mark was spraying his garden. Mark was totally unaware of what Jesse was up to.
“Flying West” by Capt. Michael J. Larkin
I hope there's a place, way up in the sky
Where pilots can go when they have to die.
A place where a guy could buy a cold beer
For a friend and a comrade whose memory is dear.
A place where no doctor or lawyer could tread,
Nor a management-type would ever be caught dead!
Just a quaint little place, kind of dark, full of smoke,
Where they like to sing loud, and love a good joke.
The kind of a place that a lady could go
And feel safe and secure by the men she would know.
There must be a place where old pilots go,
When their wings become heavy, when their airspeed gets low,
Where the whiskey is old, and the women are young,
And songs about flying and dying are sung.
Where you'd see all the fellows who'd 'flown west' before,
And they'd call out your name, as you came through the door,
Who would buy you a drink, if your thirst should be bad,
And relate to the others, "He was quite a good lad!"
And there, through the mist, you'd spot an old guy
You had not seen in years, though he'd taught you to fly.
He'd nod his old head, and grin ear to ear
And say, "Welcome, my Son, I'm proud that you're here!
For this is the place where true flyers come
When the battles are over, and the wars have been won.
They've come here at last, to be safe and alone,
From the government clerk, and the management clone;
Politicians and lawyers, the Feds, and the noise,
Where all hours are happy, and these good ol' boys
Can relax with a cool one, and a well deserved rest!
This is Heaven, my Son. You've passed your last test!"
“Cropdusters’ Heaven” by J.L. Campbell
I know there’s a place up in the sky
where cropdustin’ pilots go when they die.
The strips are all long and the loads are all light,
and there’s always time to finish before night.
Where truck drivers THINK and flag boys are gifted;
where the fields are rectangular and the trees have been lifted;
where power lines run only under the ground,
and everyone welcomes your sight and your sound.
Where the days are cool and the wind never gusty;
the material’s on time and farmers not fussy;
where the schedule is full, but easy to meet;
secretaries not ‘mouthy,’ just pleasant and sweet.
Where mechanics work first and then tell their stories,
and cease being sorry they are deprived of the glories
of planting the seeds and killing the worms—
petting tired engines and fighting downwind turns.
Where the boss is a liberal and his profits not first,
but considers his pilot who gives till it hurts—
of his time and his talent, his blood and his guts—
for a meager commission that’s second to nuts.
Where the sun never rises before eight in the morning,
and an engine never quits without 10 minutes’ warning;
where the seasons are long and the profits much greater,
and FAA means Future Aerial Applicator.
There must be a place somewhere in the sky
for all of us to go when we die,
full of friends and fun and love and mirth…
It must be there waiting, ‘cause sometimes it’s hell here on earth.
Jesse E. Thompson
November 29, 1939 – November 11, 2010
May his dream live on forever………