Allen Rickenbacker was a pleasant little child. He lived in a small town in southern Missouri,with his parents Sam and Eva. He was in the fifth grade at Cameron Elementary School. LittleAllen’s mind was a blank slate, a canvas on which the imprints of life were to be written.He was a generous little boy. On one occasion, he had been chastised by his teacher andparents for giving money to his classmates. It seems that he had a great deal of money thatvarious people - aunts, uncles and grandparents - had given him. Some of the kids had beentalking, and had indicated that their families didn’t have any money and that times were hard for them. Allen decided that, having plenty of money of his own, he would simply give the money tohis friends. So, every day, he would load his pockets with change and bills, take it to school andunpretentiously give the money away.When his teacher got wind of this, she decided that this was simply unacceptable and thatthe behavior had to stop; she called Allen‘s parents, they discussed it at length, and Allen wastold that he had to stop doing this. This small incident only demonstrates the innocence of Allen’s malleable little mind. Needless to say, I could have simply said, “He was a good littleboy.”Allen’s aunt and uncle, Timothy and Angela Brighton lived on a 900 acre farm outside of Allen’s town. Allen worshiped the ground upon which Uncle Timothy, or as Allen called him,Uncle Timmy, walked. Little Allen spent as much time as possible on their farm. He lovedeverything about the farm: He loved the horses, the cattle, the ducks, the dogs, the cats, andlast but not least, he loved Aunt Angie.* * * *It was feeding time for the animals and Allen had made arrangements to be there on thefarm this weekend. Uncle Timmy always let Allen drive the tractor. They would load hay andfeed on a trailer and pull it behind the tractor out into the field and deliver the feed to the cows.This was the highlight of the day for Allen.Uncle Timmy and Allen road out through the lower field to feed the cattle. “Just pull ’er upover there, Wildhair,” said uncle Timmy, as he jumped up on the trailer to dispense the hay andfeed. The cows crowded in close around the trailer in anticipation of the food. Uncle Timmybroke the bails of hay, pitched it on the ground, and poured the feed into a trough. The cattle ateheartily in anticipation of having their fill of the usual fare. Allen sat on the tractor and watchedin admiration of uncle Timmy. Allen thought that there wasn’t anything that Uncle Timmy didn’tknow how to do - whatever the problem was, uncle Timmy could fix it.“That’ll do ’er, Wildhair. Lets head on back to the barn.” said Uncle Timmy. Allen pushed inthe clutch, put the tractor in gear, and the tractor lurched forward. Uncle Timmy sat in the middleof the empty trailer and chuckled at Wildhair as they road back to the barn. “Youngin thinks he’sreally something, driving the tractor.” thought Uncle Timmy. Uncle Timmy considered Allen asthe son he never had. He loved him very much.“So wacha doin’ there Wildhair?“ uncle Timmy asked as he watched Allen throwing rocks ata tin can next to the barn.“Nothin’. . .” replied Allen, “ just throwin’ rocks.”“What chu need is a slingshot, there Wildhair! Come on over here and I‘ll show you how tomake one.” Allen followed Uncle Timmy over to a small tree growing at the edge of the field thehorses were in. Uncle Timmy took out his pocket knife and cut off a small limb about a half inchin diameter. He cut it into a Y shape, the bottom of which was just right to hold in your hand.“Come on in to the barn and I’ll get some rubber bands and a piece of leather and show you howit’s done.” Timmy fastened the rubber bands to the two forks of the slingshot with the leather pouch in the middle.