The Ritz Herald
A new memoir from author Russ Roberts. © Holt & Grooms Co. Ltd.

Airline Pilot Recalls a Childhood of Stolen Christmases in a New Memoir

Published on December 23, 2020

A new memoir, a powerful coming of age tale, is set to release December 23, 2020, from Holt & Grooms Co. Ltd. “Unlearning to Fly: A Memoir of Navigating the Turbulence and Bliss of Growing Up in the Sky” (ISBN:978-1-7356413-0-0), gives an account of how the author, Russ Roberts, from age seven, lost all his future childhood Christmases when his father adopted a strict new religion. He “went from celebrating Christmas with gusto to celebrating nothing at all.” But he also recalls how he helped blow up his backyard with dynamite and shared a Volkswagen with a moose.

In the air, Roberts was the youngest licensed flight instructor in America. He flew single-engine airplanes across the Atlantic and commanded airliners around the world. But what happened on the ground may be the most gripping part of his story.

Roberts writes how airplanes were the golden thread that secured an otherwise turbulent start to life. In this heartwarming and often heartbreaking story, he tells how he overcame and had to unlearn much of what his parents taught him. The author details the difficulties of growing up with his parents’ strong, peculiar, and even harmful religious teachings, which made him feel like an outlier, an oddity. And if that wasn’t enough, his father, and his offsprings, battled “the family-burning flames of alcohol.”

Airline pilot, broadcaster, sailor, speaker, and now author, Captain Russ Roberts says he is, “Not so much an adventurer as a lifetime collector of experiences and stories.”

The book has received several reviews during its pre-publication phase.

Chet Burgess, former CNN executive producer of Interactive Programming, says, “Russ Roberts is the only person I know who knew exactly what he wanted to be when he grew up, and then realized that dream. ‘Unlearning to Fly’ serves as a literary metaphor for his, sometimes rocky, relationship with his father. This is a good read.”

Joanne Rideout, host and creator of radio’s “The Ship Report,” says, “This is truly the only book that I have ever read that describes so clearly what it must be like to sit in the cockpit of an airplane on the runway and at the controls. It was like I was there myself. And take off – the thrill of it, the wonder of it – it made me want to do it too, something I have never thought much about. It was thrilling and made me want to fly.”

Unlearning to Fly: Navigating the Turbulence and Bliss of Growing Up in the Sky” is available on Amazon and Kindle. An Audible edition will be available in early 2021.

Newsdesk Editor