National Geographic : 1977 May
shaft should still work years from now." Aboveground I headed for Harris Hill out side Elmira, where sailplaning has been a major sport since 1930 when the first national soaring championships were held here. A meet was in progress; sleek ships, lined up three abreast, awaited their turn for takeoff. Backpacking a youngster, comely Ellen McMaster tugged on her tennis hat and went loping down the runway, leveling the wings of her husband's plane until it began to lift. Returning to the sidelines, she sank down beside me and two other sons. The boys stair stepinageupto8. "I'm better balanced for wing running with thirty pounds of kid aboard. As you see, the supply has been pretty constant. But I don't plan any more replacements." She beamed at her rosy-cheeked brood. "Looks like we'll have to change our style of wing running, or daddy'll have to get himself a new wife." Coming: City of Artistic Endeavor Drifting over the valley in motorless flight, my physicist-pilot, Marshall Hudson, banked to give me a better view of the Chemung Riv er and the two major southern-tier cities it bisects: Corning and Elmira. In 1972 a flood raged through both communities, leaving in its wake a billion-dollar disaster.