In my early thirties, I traveled a good deal for work. Sometimes I traveled to large cities by jet, sometimes I traveled to small cities by jet to a hub, then turboprop to the destination. In the latter cases, I noticed that the pilots seemed to be a good deal younger than I was. Some in fact looked to me as if they were flying for regional airlines until they should be old enough to graduate from high school and join the military. I suppose that my anxieties could have contributed to this interpretation.
A high school alumni newsletter arrived in today's post. It announces, among other matters, the college graduation of a young man, and his imminent employment by a regional airline. I remember this young man as a third-grader, small for his age. Yet somehow this does not bother me. Partly this must be because all those young pilots--men who did not look old enough to shave, and women who looked like the men's younger sisters--got me to and from Springfield, Utica, Allentown, etc. in one piece. Partly it must be because even those pilots with the comforting grey around the temples, the ones who fly the big jets, are mostly younger than I am. I expect that he will do fine.