Ben's Story
A Son's Dedication
Daughter's Words
Fighter Pilot
Honor Flight
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Pre 1950
2001 AAPM
2001 AAPM
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While I design web pages for a living and write a column for a trade magazine, my brother has a Masters degree in communication, his dedication will no doubt be much more eloquent than mine. That by no means demeans my memories or the pride we both have for our father, it just means you will have enjoyed reading his more than mine!

Sundays in my house as a child meant going to the airport. Either we went and went up, or we went, tinkered, and left. My fatherís greatest joy was to get his leery friends into the plane for their first flight. I recall witnessing this at least once. Rita believed she was going to LOOK at the plane. Then my father convinced her to "just sit inside". Before she knew it, up we went for a tour of the NY metro area at a birds eye view. Over the Palisades Amusement park, up the Hudson River, looking straight into the eyes of Lady Liberty. Rita had her first white-knuckle flight, complete with at least one engine stall, a trick my father loved to pull on unsuspecting passengers until the day he turned in his license several years ago.

I will have to qualify my statement up there, that really wasnít his greatest joy. I never saw my father more full of pride than on Sunday mornings when my brother was out on his flying lessons. Dad would be on the couch, reading the paper, listening to the scanner tuned into the tower at Republic. When he heard my brother call in for his final, he would light up, put down the paper and drive out to meet him and bring him home.

He tried to get me to love flight as much as he did. That never really happened though! To this day, flying is a means of transportation to meÖ thatís it, nothing more nothing less. Dad will tell anyone who will listen to stories about me not wanting to fly or learn how to fly. I had to be about 8 years old, we were out flying around the Island. I was the navigator and learned how to read any map you threw at me, but beyond that I had no interest. As we approached the landing strip {my brother says it was Deer Park}, my father was trying to get me to actually land the plane. Like my brother before me, propped up on pillows to be able to see, I saw all right, but not what Dad intended me to see. What I saw was a little girl on a pony ride, and I wanted to go on a pony ride also.. NOW, not after *I* landed the plane with him, but right now. Needless to say, I did neither!

Several years later, when I was 16 we went to Las Vegas as a family. We took a charter plane from JFK to Newark to pick up the rest of the passengers. On board for that short flight was the four of us, the crew and maybe another 4 or 6 people. My dad pulled the stewardess aside and explained for 16 years, all his daughter ever wanted to do was fly or be a stewardess. He sent her over to tell me what a wonderful career choice I have decided on. I was mortified and slunk in the corner for the remainder of the entire flight.

My fatherís delight in turning others on to his passion never diminished. When my own son was young, Dad frequently would call and ask if "the kid wanted to go up for a ride". On one such trip he took Thomas to see his cousins in Connecticut. We had moved by this time to Ronkonkoma, a spits throw from Long Island Macarthur Airport, which at this point I had never even been on the grounds. Dad called as they prepared to leave CT back to the Island. As is his way, he announced his ETA, right down to the minute. Never was it "about 20 minutes" or "in an hour or so", it was always "17 minutes" or "54 minutes". And he ALWAYS arrived when he said. He explained that I should meet him "in front of the tower". OK, so thatís what Iíll do. Ten minutes before pick up time, I got in the car with my husband, who had also never been inside ISP but works at JFK. We proceed to our meeting point, the whole time he is protesting. No way can we meet him on the tarmac. However, that is what my father said and thatís what I intended to do. We spot the tower, wound our way over that direction and park. We see a gate in the fence and pass through it, the husband still protesting, louder now, about how we are going to get arrested standing on the tarmac in front of the tower. I just shrugged my shoulders and kept repeating, but that is what Dad said to do, so we do it. In a panic, my husband looks around, across the runways, taxi ways, and over at the air side of the terminal. All he keeps saying is how are we going to find your father? I am calm, donít worry we will find him, when at that point I look out to the runway and announce, here they are! He pulled the Comanche right up along side us and right in front of the tower, shut it down and out popped my son and my father. WOW, door to door air taxi service, life canít get better than that!

There are many more stories; like my husbandís first flight experience, the Sunday trips as kids to the Flying W Ranch in NJ, while Dad talked planes and we (yes finally) went horse back riding, the excitement he had the day he was asked to volunteer at the AAPM and they gave him a jump suit, and many many more, but that is for another dayís writing and reminiscing. When any air incident occurs, the first call I make is always to my father to get his input. It is a rare occasion that his initial gut fighter pilot train of thought is off base from the NTSBís findings. Dad was my first call on Sept. 11th and again Nov 11th when a plane went down in Queens, he called both events immediately.. on target.

For several years I have tried to get my father interested in documenting his stories. This time I think my brother and I found a way to force him, but I think he is ready now to do so in any case. The pride he has in his little basement museum, has no bounds and the stories are starting to pour out, It is our job to get it all down for posterity. Thanks to my online buddy Wayne and his air racing web site, the links there lead me to others which put this thought on my head, and oh thatís a scary thing to happen.. when I get something on my mind, stand back and let me at it! Thanks to my brother for his help and use as a sounding board for this project and thanks Pop.. for all the things you gave us.

Debbie Rosman-Doerrlamm
Ronkonkoma, NY
December 24, 2001

Dedicated to our Dad.. Lt. Benjamin Rosman
All our love, Debbie & David Rosman

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