We may not understand why and when things happen in our lives or the quiet voice guiding us in a certain direction. It usually takes months or years before we can look back in the rear view mirror and see how our experiences were the pathways to a bigger plan. Each thread; whether a trial, joy, struggle, or accomplishment was woven together for a purpose; sometimes leading us to the best thing that ever happened to us. This was the case for Virgil Post, a Nye Square resident.
Virgil’s first loves started young – a love for music and a love for flying. At age 3 or 4, Virgil sat on his mom’s lap as she sang to him. Out of the blue, he began harmonizing with her, and it was this day his mom knew little Virgil had a special talent. A talent that followed him into high school where he earned a Superior rating at the Fremont High district competition, and then into his adult years where he became one of four founders of the Pathfinder Barbershop men’s quartet which today competes internationally. “Music is fulfilling to me. It hits the core of my being” he says.
Virgil’s love for flying started at age 8 and it wasn’t until age 12 when he had his first flying experience. Virgil and a classmate would level mole holes for a local pilot during the summer in exchange for an airplane ride. In describing his first flying experience he said, “It was a thrill as all get out. It’s hard to describe what it was like to be up above looking down at the ground for the first time, but the feelings of this experience and the smell of the aircraft are still so vivid.”
The thrill of flying carried on throughout Virgil’s years. In 1945 at age 18, Virgil was drafted into the Army Air Corp serving 14 months before the government discharged the draftees. Upon his return, he immediately began flying at the local Fremont airport. He was unsure if he wanted to go college, but did for a year at Midland where he sang in the choir. After a year, he knew his flying passion far exceeded his desire to get a degree so he chose to work for his family’s excavating company and fly planes at Fremont Aeroraiders during his free time.
When they would finish flying, the flying crew would end up at Kindler’s Café for food and a beer. On an ordinary day at Kindler’s after flying, Virgil had no idea his life was about to change forever and he’d meet his true love. In walked a young beautiful girl with light brown hair. Virgil took one look and heard a voice inside him say “there is something that’s going to happen here.” His face lit up and a “pure love” feeling swept his entire body. Low and behold, he married Eleanor four years later on April 14th, 1955.
Virgil and Eleanor had three kids – Donna Dell, Valerie, and Jon. Virgil and Eleanor faced the ebbs and flows of life as a tight knit team. The joy of parenthood and experiencing life together coupled with the loss of two children and health battles didn’t affect the love and commitment they had for each other. Eleanor continued to support Virgil in his love for flying and his love for music.
Virgil uses his god gifted talent of music as a vehicle to remember his late daughter, Valerie. The CD duet recording of him and Valerie singing in 1991 - “I walked today where Jesus walked” - sits next to his CD player at Nye Square. When he is in deep thoughts, or is needing a reminder of her voice, he plays this CD.
Eleanor passed a short four years ago battling a decline in health from Alzheimer’s. Virgil took care of Eleanor as long as he could at home until she needed more assistance. Virgil describes, “Losing Eleanor left a terrific void in my life and an emptiness that was unimaginable. I lost my best friend.”
Virgil has battled Parkinson’s for about 12 years. This disease made caring for his house more difficult and it got to the point where he was needing more care. His son Jon Post, who Virgil describes as “not only his son, but his best friend”, mentioned it might be time to move. Respecting his best friend’s opinion, Virgil moved to Nye Square’s independent living. His apartment is full of family pictures, mementos of Eleanor, Valerie, Jon, and flying - everything he holds near and dear in his heart, a Legacy he built.
Virgil didn’t let his health condition stop him from getting one more runway in. At age 87, he sat in the captain’s seat, instructor next to him, and took off. He flew around, and landed the plane all by himself. He was so prideful when telling of his last flying experience.
The moral of the story is to never underestimate the power of each experience and those subtle passions burning deep within. You never know where they may lead. We all can take a lesson from Virgil’s story – listen to the quiet voice and follow where it is leading because it may lead you to the best thing that has ever happened to you.