I knew Mr. Wilson rather well. I attended Memphis State University in the early 70's and had a small airplane which Mr. Wilson allowed me to park at his field. It took a bit of talking to get the privilege too! Mr. Wilson had hundreds of stories of the figures and characters who had passed through his airport through the years. He showed me the remains of Earhart's crashed plane, which consisted primarily of the burned engines and a few other parts. The airport was a literal museum of old, old planes and their parts, all jealously watched over by Mr. Wilson. He was very protective of ALL of his stuff. I remember several people who were trying to buy historic wrecks to restore and save but I don't recall Harry selling any. I would spend hours listening to his story and petting his cats, there were scores, and we became good friends. I know this because he offered to sell me one of his old planes, an old Waco cabin biplane for $700 with a spare engine for parts! Although I knew this was an incredible honor, $700 was the same as seven million to me at the time. In the last days, Harry lost his lease for the field and the development company gave him time to move all his junk. Harry was overwhelmed, as anyone would have been, but he and Jerome moved some but by no means all of the priceless aviation heritage that was lying in the grass at Wilson Field. Most of it was buried by bulldozers in holes where Wilson Field used to be.
By Hannah Sayle, Chris Herrington, Chris Shaw, Louis Goggans, Greg Akers and Bruce VanWyngarden
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