My Dad was a B-17 Bomber pilot during WWII.
He grew up in the small Utah town of Mapleton. This is the same town where I was raised. Mapleton was at the base of Maple Mountain. We got lots of snow. (I'm convinced, that the snow was deeper when I was young). Sleigh riding was a big winter pass-time for my Dad while he was growing up. He made sure we had the same fun!
We would go up Maple Mountain and sled for hours and hours. The hill we used was about a mile long. We'd sleigh down and Dad would pick us up on the old bus and take us back to the top! With frozen toes and frosty eyelashes, we were full of the thrill of sledding in the brisk winter mountain air!
On of my favorite Christmas memories comes from a combination of my sledding experiences and Bing Crosby's song, 'I'm Dreaming Of A White Christmas'! It happened when my Dad was a young man of just 20 years old.
(Told in my Dad's own words:)
I could tell you one of my most memorable, most homesick moments during the war. On Christmas Eve, 1944, we had a night training mission which had an overcast sky...a solid overcast sky we flew right through. Using our instruments to fly, we finally came out on top.
When we got on top of the cloud cover, it was just as flat as the top of this desk. I never saw anything like it before, or since. We also had a full moon!
The NCO (Non-commissioned officer) said, "Hey, let's go sleigh riding!" We sat that B-17 down on the deck of that cloud cover, stirred it up with our propellers, and slid along at 150-160 miles an hour...sleigh riding!
The radio operator called us on the intercom, and said, "Hey, turn to channel such-n-such." We turned to the radio channel he said, and there was Bing Crosby, singing 'I'm Dreaming Of A White Christmas'. Ahh, that was the most homesick moment for me. And I mean, that was really something for me. It was quite an experience. You can't reproduce that at all.
(Note: The B-17 Bomber weighs 54,000 lbs, is 74 feet long and has a wingspan of 103 feet...that's one big sled!)