How David W. Stewart came to write “The Night Before Christmas from a Pilot’s Perspective”--in his own words.
Back in the early 80’s, I had a dream job working as a factory service rep for Mooney. I was single, in my late 20’s, had a Turbo 231 as a Company ride, an expense account and a boss who encouraged me to get out of the office and get some face to face time with our dealers and customers often. Life was good…
In ’81 or ’82, I was on a dead-head back to Kerrville from points unknown. It was close to Christmas and the weather was lousy, so I couldn’t enjoy the scenery passing below. In situations like that I was inclined to ponder all sorts of things while hoping that Center didn’t alter my clearance. On this particular day, my thoughts turned to Ol’ St. Nick and what it must be like for him to make his annual trek in any type of weather.
That led to the beginnings of the attached. The first verse and the last came easily and I’m sure others did also, but I never wrote any of it down. As Willie Nelson wrote in his classic song My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys, “…Pickin’ up hookers instead of my pen, I let the words of my years fade away”. I always thought those lyrics expressed how many of us, who are not professional journalists, feel about life experiences that we look back on and wish we had kept a better record of.
As the years went by, I would think about this around Christmas time, but by then it was too late to finish and send before Christmas had already come and gone. Each year I’d promise myself that one of these days I would sit down, finish it and share it with the aviation world. A couple of years ago, I finally took pen in hand and wrote it down. Merry Christmas to you and the rest of the staff. I hope you enjoy “The Night Before Christmas from a Pilot‘s Perspective.”
David W. Stewart