The family was changed by a boy—a stubborn, relentless, infuriating—but ingenious and creative boy.

He was the first in a family of six children, with parents who initially balked at his fantasies. Yet almost everything that captured the world’s attention—double-decker bicycles, international hang gliding records, the drama of “flying” a motorcycle, a British championship won by landing on one foot—all these were part of young Bob Wills’s singular vision.

Prevailing against all the people who called him impractical, a dreamer, Bobby became a legend in the fledgling sport of hang gliding. Sports Illustrated wrote of him, “Like Paul Elvstrom, the great Danish sailor, he seems now to own a special part of the wind that not even he can see and no one else can find.”

In the end, Bobby not only profoundly changed his family and the pilots who flocked to emulate him, he did what he’d intended all along. He lived a life that had never been lived before.

Comments are closed.