The Flight of the Gin Fizz

The Flight of the Gin Fizz: Midlife at 4,500 Feet, by Henry Kisor, is a book that shows the adventure of Henry Kisor as he reclaims independence and confidence in his life and abilities. As someone who is deaf, Henry had instilled in him thoughts of inadequacy, and the idea that some things he just would not be able to do. But, as the book explores in amazing detail and beautifully lyrical writing, he has a lot more in him than he originally thought.

The book begins with the telling of how Henry’s friend, who is hard of hearing, invited him aboard his own small plane. The flight exhilarated Henry, and so sparked the need for more of that excitement and power in his life. Henry needed to reclaim his life, and so a dream began to form of him flying on his own, with his own aircraft.

Finding out that one does not need to use a radio much in American airspace, but just visual flight rules, solidified Henry’s belief that he could and will fly on his own. The book then takes the reader through the ups and downs of getting his own license, planning his maiden voyage, finding his own small aircraft—which is a thirty-six year old classic Cessna two-seater that he names Ginn Fizz.

With everything in place, the reader then gets to accompany Henry as he flies from New York to Chicago, and then to Texas and all the way to California. He is met with storms, difficult landings, but also all the many amazing people that make up the “brotherhood of aviation” Airport staff, those who repair planes, student pilots, skydivers—all of these people and more, create an intricate network of people who live almost in a different world, one that is up in the sky.

As this outer journey of growth and community goes on, an inner one is also happening. Henry realizes how much he is capable of, that he is able to do so much more than he and others thought he was capable of. The story of him breaking free from midlife crisis, is an inspiring one. For any who are deaf or hard of hearing, it is a journey of self-reliance and trusting in ones abilities. For any who are in a rut, deaf or not, it is a story of reclaiming life and joy.

And all of this story weaved together with intriguing dialogue, detail, and lyrical description. For someone who knows nothing about planes, you will walk away with a vivid picture of the planes Henry interacts with throughout the book. It is also so easy to fall into and feel Henry’s excitement and childlike joy as he explores a new world.

This book is only the tip of all of his work and achievements in life. Obviously more than just an author/editor, Henry’s life is an exceptional one that has brought confidence and inspiration to many people. Flight of the Gin Fizz is not a book to skip, and neither are his other nonfiction and fiction works—all available on Amazon.

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