I’d like to share with you a true story of some adventurous souls who followed the call of their Wild Soul, how they got their name, and the legacy they left…..
Born into a world before wings, a generation of young men left the drugstore counter, farms, and towns to serve in The Great War. An ocean away from home they flew an airplane for the first time.
And then war swept away what remained of the boy and left in his place a man.
These WWI aviators, experienced the exhilaration and freedom of flying half a world away. They’d seen death and faced death. Now they returned home to what felt like a humdrum, half- alive, too small existence. Only a life of challenge and flying could bring them fully alive again. A life that didn’t yet exist for them or anyone else. There was no place to fit who they had become.
But the call of the soul is always answered!
The Curtiss Jenny’s they’d flown in the war were now abundant and cheap. And soon the aviators took to offering rides and air shows.
Crisscrossing the country, they’d fly over a rural town until a crowd gathered. Then they’d land in a farmer’s field thus earning them the name Barnstormers. These Barnstormers put on a show as the town shut down to watch. They wheeled and soared with barrel rolls and acrobatics as the astounded crowd held their breath.
Daredevil stunts like wing walking and mid-air plane changes enthralled and delighted the crowds. And the costume of riding boots, goggles, and white silk scarves billowing from the open air cockpits captured the imagination, as hundreds lined up for rides.
Colorful, freewheeling, and adventurous, many of the Barnstormers became quite famous; among them Charles Lindbergh, the speed queen Pancho Barnes, Bessie Coleman (the first licensed African American female pilot), and Jimmy Doolittle.
The ingenuity with which these pioneers pursued a life of freedom laid the foundation for airmail and modern airlines that circle the globe in hours. It inspired millions of people to look up from ordinary lives and imagine what else might be possible for them.
The Barnstormers lived colorfully! They lived out loud. And they changed the world because they dared to follow their bliss and the call of their Wild Souls.
If you’re reading this you’re not just anybody. You’re a person with a desire to play much bigger in life, to travel beyond your own horizons. A desire to share all that you can with others, to live a life that’s wealthy in every dimension, and to make your mark. You’re a person who hears the call of the Wild Soul. You’re a Barnstormer.
Welcome to the Club.