I grew up from a childhood spent on the water. When I wasn't on the water, I was looking to the
sky. I loved flying as much as the water. Like most children I grew up knowing two grandfathers.
One grandfather, my dad's dad, was a P-38 fighter pilot in the South Pacific during WWII. I am
pretty sure that my love of flying came from him - through my dad to me. My grandpa on my
mom's side was an old "river rat". He survived his life by making his livelihood from the ol'
Mississippi River. My earliest memories are of Grandpa Pondo taking me with him while he
checked his fishing nets, traps, or lines. He also tended a river tug or two. Pondo taught me how
to trap muskrats. The stories he told were funny, scary, and always captivated my imagination.
His name "Pondo" is actually a nickname that he acquired during childhood. Whenever he tried to
say his name "Ronald" it sounded like Pondo. So he became known up and down America's
largest river as "Pondo". He was a legend. So I will tell everyone who asks, this story with pride;
my love of the water came from a great old river man - "Pondo May".
The Story of