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Avoidable Contact #71: It was 50 years ago today
As a rule, Gordon Baxter was late. Born in 1923, his first love was flying, but after washing out of pilot training in World War II he did not manage to complete his private pilot’s license until his mid-30s. In the meantime he was a turret gunner in a B-17, a merchant sailor on a torpedoed ship, a boatman on the Mississippi River, and a hell-raiser of a disc jockey in eastern Texas, bashing a series of hot-rodded cars through the hedges and fences of Port Author and Beaumont. His first meaningful byline as a professional writer didn’t happen until shortly before his 47th birthday. It appeared 50 years ago, in the August issue of Flying. Just a couple of years later, the always-perceptive Stephan Wilkinson brought him on at Car and Driver—and it is there, as the man enters his 50s, that our story truly begins ...