From the army to the skies – Jay Gerber never backs down from a challenge.
My big brother, Jay Gerber, is my spokesman for his memoir. You guessed it, I’m writing his story with him.
Jay has accomplished more in his 87 years than most people could in two lifetimes. But he’s not done yet! He wants to get it all down in a book – all his adventures, and he asked me to write it.
It was the beginning of him becoming a mature teenager—oh, I know that’s an oxymoron–but the high school at Carson Long Military Institute taught Jay a thing or two. Then off to college, then into the army, then back to university and successful completion of medical school. He did a short stint as a podiatrist but was too busy making movies, flying, then sat in his own Piper Cherokee 180, and filming football for NFL Films. Not necessarily in that order. And somewhere in-between he married a gorgeous blue-eyed blond, My fabulous, amazing sister-in-law and friend, Barb.
His love for flying and football always took center stage, and his knowledge in technology and photography is embedded in his DNA.
Jay has earned many accolades over the years.
At seven-years-old, he built his own planes from balsa wood and tissue paper. It all began after a trip with Dad to the 1939 World’s Fair Aviation Exhibit. He built the planes while I watched as he glued the pieces together and smelled up our shared bedroom. No, we don’t remember getting a hit from the glue. Back then, the glue was handy to put things together. Then he added rubber bands and threw the planes up in the air till they ran out of the twisted rubber bands and crash-landed. He didn’t care if they got damaged—he fixed them and threw them back into the air again. I asked Jay to build one for me so we could fly them together.
This model planes grew in size, then he installed engines and even created a control shift like the stick shifter in Dad’s 1938 Plymouth. He landed the plane by doing something with that stick, remote control is what it’s called. The planes kept growing until he eventually bought a ready-made plane that he sat in and flew. Jay was fortunate to own a Piper Cherokee 180 and then a Cherokee SIX 260. He certainly earned his wings including the private instrument, commercial, and twin ratings.
He sold the Cherokee SIX to a ham radio retailer. As part of the sale, he received a ham radio station. This led to his extra class license as an N3AW and a ham radio contest station where he competed in many worldwide phones and CW [Morse Code] contests.
“Very few people build their planes anymore. Many of these ships come pre-built as carbon fiber fuselages and foam core covered wings…and are beautiful…we have to do a lot of work to install all the motors, radio equipment, and servos (surface control devices) which are very costly,” Jay said.
And at the ripe young age of 72, Jay learned to play the piano. Well, it’s about time he learned. I’ve been playing since the age of 7. I asked Jay was he jealous of me playing the piano? “Nope” because he played clarinet and sax, and had a band when he was in college.
Of course, what would retirement be without adding a few rounds of golf into the mix as well? Leave it to my brother — he’s an expert on the links too.
He’s been honored by the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) for his brilliance in all the above. For most of his career, he worked for the NFL in their film and technical division.
Franco Harris, Steelers running back & President George Washington
Jay is also the guy who filmed the famous Immaculate Reception play during the Steelers and Raiders divisional playoff game on December 23, 1972, at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh. At the airport, there’s a statue of Franco Harris, who caught the football, next to one of George Washington. You all know who that is, right
The time Jay and I spend together is the best part of writing this book. All the memories of our childhood, teenage adventures, and the joyful and poignant changes that adulthood brings. Through it all Jay has always been my big brother. My first hero. And my dear friend.
Jay filming for NFL Films
This is us!
Gail (Gerber) Ingis is an artist, interior designer, and published author. Her historical romances Indigo Sky and The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin are both available on Amazon. Gail is currently writing a memoir with her brother Jay S. Gerber. He’s a man that rose from rags to riches, find out how in his memoirs, maybe by the end of this year.
My current books
Park Circle Roller Rink. The kids today wear shorts or leggings, but back in the 1950s, the gals wore short skirts, similar to the tennis skirts the women wear today.
Remember those skates I told you about? The ones with the hole in the boot? They stayed with me until they got moldy in a move. I had another pair and recently found them in a box in my basement. Unfortunately, they have urethane wheels, which is good for skating on the sidewalk, or pavement – not in a roller rink. For that, you need wooden wheels. So I’m going to track down a pair and switch them out. Update on the wood wheels. I found a pair but they have no bearings. See the empty holes in the picture? We had no way to attach these to my skates.
My roller skates
For now, my skates must keep those urethane wheels. If someone could teach me how to control those wheels so I feel like I’m on my old roller skates and not ice skates, I would be thrilled. When I tried them on, I had to hold onto the kitchen counter for dear life. I already had one hip replaced, not looking for another one.
Thank goodness for the toe stops.
Gail Ingis Claus is an author, artist/painter and interior designer. Her upcoming romance The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin will be released in the fall of 2018. Her current historical romance, Indigo Sky can be purchased on amazon.
Grand Slam in Melbourne, AU
Celebrating two great champions
Tom and I love tennis so much that we were willing to get up at 3:30 in the morning to watch this year’s Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament of the year. There’s a sixteen-hour time difference between Melbourne and Connecticut. The afternoon matches started at 9 pm our time, while the evening matches started at 3:30 a.m. It was a two-week tournament, and let me tell you, getting up at 3:30 am was a challenge. I’m no spring chicken anymore. But it was worth it. The caliber of play was amazing. The dedication and commitment that these athletes have to raise the bar each and every time, was inspiring. I’m no stranger to the game of tennis, I played for many years, and I coached. It was one of my true passions. Tom was an excellent player as well, and we loved playing together. Tennis is a great way to communicate with your spouse or partner whether through a gentle lob or a fierce serve.
The women’s final was played at 3:30 a.m. last Saturday. Simona Halep and Caroline Woznicaki played the best women’s final I’ve ever seen. And I’ve watched many. The rallies were long, the balls were struck with force, and the timing was impeccable.
Each point was a challenge. The three sets went on for almost three hours. Both women were magnificent and either could have won. In the final set, Simona found herself one point away from losing the match at 4-5, 15-40, but she won the next 2 points to even the game at deuce; the rallies were long and magnificent for each point. Both players were running from side-to-side chasing outstanding well-placed balls.
Caroline Wozniack & the Cup
Caroline won the next point set up by an awesome backhand crosscourt shot, giving her another match point. The next point was another extended, long rally, ending when Simona hit a short backhand into the net, giving Caroline her first Grand Slam victory.
The Men’s final on Sunday morning between Roger Federer, a 19-time Grand Slam winner, and Marin Čilić, a one-time winner, was also exciting and entertaining. Roger could have won in 3 straight sets AND he could have lost in 5 sets. He won 2 of the first 3 sets and was leading in the fourth, 3-1, when Marin won 5 straight games to even the match at 2 sets apiece.
The momentum was clearly favoring Marin, starting in the fifth set, but he lost his serve in the first game of the 5th set and never really recovered. The next few games were very close, but in the end, Roger prevailed 6-1 for his 20th Grand Slam victory.
So we send our congratulations to two great champions, one winning her first Grand Slam and the other continuing to set the all-time mark for Grand Slam wins by a man. Besides being champions, both are great people and wonderful ambassadors for the sport of tennis. May they continue to be both for years to come. We love watching them play and look forward to watching them at the other Grand Slam events this
year. Tennis is considered an “individual” sport but it brings us together – lovers of the game – who admire the amazing talent of these fine athletes. With the Olympics around the corner, we look forward to rooting for our own country’s athletes while still cheering on the extraordinary achievements by athletes from around the world. Watching and learning and being inspired. And isn’t that what matters?
Wimbledon Tennis on grass is coming in July!
Gail Ingis Claus is an author, artist/painter and interior designer. Her upcoming romance The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin will be released in the spring 2018. Her current historical romance, Indigo Sky can be purchased on amazon.