"A Trip to Remember"

October 21 - The gym was filled with gasps of awe when second graders found out that guest author Michele Spry had just flown in a plane like “Skipper,” from the Disney Pixar movie Planes. The local author read parts of her book A Trip to Remember to Hallsville Intermediate students, expanding on the background of the text and answering questions.

Her book pays honor and respect to military veterans. The two main characters are fourth grader Jaxon James and his father’s friend, Lt. Col. F.A. Percy, whose role is based on Mr. Purdy, a retired World War II Marine Fighter Pilot.  

The original plane in Spry’s text is a Corsair F4U-1A that pilot Lt. Col. Ferrill Purdy navigated through the skies at age 23; it was built in 1941. While writing the book, Spry contacted Planes of Fame in California to question if the aircraft could be brought to Columbia as a surprise for Mr. Purdy. Her efforts in 40 days raised $28,000 to get the plane to Mid-Missouri. At age 94, Mr. Purdy was able to once again take flight in the original plane that he had not flown since 1944. During these ceremonies, Spry also read her book to Mr. Purdy. “It was truly a memorable day,” Ms. Spry shared with the Intermediate students.

Michele Spry’s book, with illustrations from Peggy Guest of Fayetteville, is available at www.michelespry.com Additionally, a video from Mr. Purdy’s recent reunification with his WWII aircraft is available on the Columbia Missourian website.