Stanley Whiting was a lawyer practicing law in Winner, SD. He died recently. Born in 1943 and died 1913. I did not have a lot of business with Stan. He argued one case for us and unlike a number of Winner lawyers was a Democrat.
But, one interesting story anyway. A dozen years or so ago, I heard a strange buzzing sound out here at our farm. It was a small ultralite plane. One of those you could nearly see through and might remind one of sewing machine motor running. The buzzing sputtered, started sputtered and then silence. I stepped out on our porch and looked at the pasture between our house and the Winner Airport.
The Ultralight was sitting about 300 feet south east. A guy was standing along side of it holding one foot. I got into the pickup and drove to the plane. The guy turned out to be Stan Whiting and he was barefooted in a small patch of cactus. Stan explained he had a fuel problem with the plane and had done a "ground loop" when it hit the grass. He hobbled into the pickup and we got back to the airport to find his boots standing next to a runway. Stan got his boots on. And headed back to Winner. That day or the next, I helped him load it up and opened the barbed wire fence between airport and pasture and the plane was "home" again. Stanley Whiting had been a US Marine pilot in Vietnam flying many missions and earning medals. He loved flying, but when he tried to get a private pilot's license, it was denied because of his heart condition. That always seemd like very sad irony to me.
Not many days after, Stan figured out what had gone wrong and for weeks after, I would hear the buzzing and see what looked too much like a dragon fly's wings flitting around.
Recently, I heard that Stan had had an evening meal with his wife at a local restaurant and then went back to work at his office waiting for a client. The client found Stan on the floor next to his office chair. I assume he died with his boots on even if he once flew without them.
You can find a much better commentary on Stan Whiting's life as a lawyer at John Simpson's Blog Dakota Yesterdays-- A life Remembered.
At the end of that post is a link to Stan Whiting's Memorial at Mason Funeral Home.
*** Stay tuned ...maybe I will find something a bit cheerier to write about--- Doug Wiken