Ohio State alumnus Byron Edgington pilots way to memoir with ‘no rain, no rainbow’ outlook
Published: Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, December 5, 2012 09:12
Byron Edgington is a husband, a progressive activist, a Vietnam veteran, a retired commercial helicopter pilot, an Ohio State alumnus and, most recently, an author.
Edgington’s memoir “The Sky Behind Me: A Memoir of Flying & Life” was published Thanksgiving weekend.
The book touches on his humble Irish-Catholic beginnings and growing up in Central Ohio.
The story then follows him from his first stint as a student at OSU, which was cut short when he was drafted to serve in the Vietnam War as a helicopter pilot. Edgington ended up logging more than 1,000 service hours before moving on to a career as a commercial pilot, tackling everything from corporate to EMS flights to flying tours around the Hawaiian island of Kauai. The latter escapade he said was his favorite flying memory.
During one of his tours he was flying with a woman who he later found out was terminally ill, and his tour was the final item on her bucket list. When the tour began, the woman told Edgington if she didn’t see a rainbow, she wanted a refund. It soon started to rain, which Edgington apologized for, but told her it was OK because “no rain, no rainbow.”
Sure enough, they saw a double rainbow shortly after. The woman died not long after the tour, and “no rain, no rainbow,” is a lesson Edgington said he has taken with him ever since.
That motto, Edgington said, is also a good way to describe “The Sky Behind Me.”
Noted a few times in the book, Edgington delt with harsh setbacks in life including being drafted in the military and experiencing a crash landing, but he always bounced back and ended up even better off, he said.
The memoir also covers Edgington returning to OSU at 62 years old and majoring in English, and the challenges and rewards that came along with the experience. He said while he has always done a lot of writing and he believes writing is a muscle that can only grow from being worked, his time at OSU taught him some valuable technical skills.
Edgington said his love for writing stems from being the second of 10 children. Because he couldn’t get a word in edgewise among his siblings, he learned to write down his thoughts.
Nikki Meyer, publishing coordinator at the book’s publishing company, The Educational Publisher, said since its release, “The Sky Behind Me” has sold well, and it’s expecting to really pick up as the author steps up his promotional efforts, including book readings.