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On The Light Side

August 12, 1986

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) _ Fifth-grader John Hill has to prop himself up on three pillows when he takes the controls of a Cessna 172, but he says flying the four-seater is plain sailing.

″It’s easy,″ said the 10-year-old Arlington elementary school student. ″You just give it the gas until you get to 60 mph, you pull up the steering wheel and you go up.

″And, oh yeah. You got to keep the plane in the middle of the runway.″

John, who learned how to drive a car when he was 7, says he wants to be an astronaut when he grows up. In the meantime, he drives a car in the parking lot at his father’s business and flies airplanes.

His father, Johnny Hill, said his son doesn’t drive without a licensed driver along as passenger and doesn’t fly without flight instructor Mike Fields.

″He has to be 15 to solo legally,″ said Fields, who works for Cothran Aviation. ″If he were old enough, John could complete the requirements for a pilot’s license within a year.″

John, who recently graduated from a two-seater Cessna 150 to the Cessna 172, said he has trouble convincing his friends that he flies an airplane.

He says his landings are his only problem.

″I kind of bounce. You’re not supposed to do that.″


MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - It should have been easy to guess that Washington would have more lawyers per capita than any other city in the country.

But who would have surmised that the nation’s smallest state capital, where deer tracks were seen last winter on the Statehouse lawn, would rank No. 2 in attorneys per inhabitant?

New American Bar Association figures show that Montpelier has 52 residents for every lawyer. Put another way, Montpelier has 187 lawyers and 8,241 residents.

Washington ranks No. 1 with one lawyer for 25 people. Other cities with low ratios were Harrisburg, Pa., 1 to 57; Wilmington, Del., 1 to 64; and Olympia, Wash., 1 to 65.

″The state is a fairly large employer of attorneys,″ said Stephen Walke, an attorney in private practice. ″Many of them ultimately leave state service, and they’ve put down roots here, so they stay in the area.″

Attorney Patrick Biggam objected to the fact that anyone would make such a big deal out of Montpelier’s glut of lawyers.

″If Montpelier had the highest number of accountants per capita, it wouldn’t be a story,″ Biggam said. ″But when it’s lawyers, everybody groans.″

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