Wednesday, 21 May 2014
Captain Richard Grigsby, Continental Airlines
Following on from the aftermath of Flight 11, a friend and colleague of Captain Fred Gray had written a poem called "Top O Climb". The poem was published in The Denver Post in 62 by Captain Richard Grigsby. Grigsby had a distinguished and long flying career. I had made efforts to contact him to see if he was still alive to perhaps capture his memories of Captain Gray and the other crew aboard Flight 11. Sadly I found Mr Grigsby's obituary dated February 5th 2014. I hope he was aware of our efforts re Flight 11. His lovely poem dedicated to Fred Gray is as follows: (unfortunately we haven't ever confirmed the original date of publication but it was some time shortly after May 22nd, 1962)
TOP O' CLIMB
The big jet starts to roll reluctantly,
For flight ahead is long and there is fuel
Which must be burdened, else
It cannot be.
That cunning will be victor in the duel
With Time and Space.
What power it takes to lift away from ground-
To blast such heavy burden into flight!
A thousand banshees couldn't wail the sound,
A thousand winged horses match the might of this great bird!
Her climb is rapid, now that speed is gained.
She flashes upward, forward, winning free;
But still the awful power must be sustained
To lift her into Nature's rarest sea
Far, in the sky.
At top o'climb, the battle all but won,
She settles down, her only labor just
To cruise a close companion to the sun.
Before she drops her power to "idle thrust",
Descends the other side.
RICHARD S. GRIGSBY
Capt. Continental Air Lines