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20 Feb

Celebrating Black History Month


Most of you probably already know this, but February is Black History month.  If you didn’t know, now you do :)

Typically during the month of February, we honor African Americans and their contributions that have helped make our country great. Instead of writing about how you can have an awesome online presence, I’d thought I’d mix it up a little bit and share a piece of my family's history with you for Black History month.

I’m always fascinated to hear people’s stories of how they came up with their biggest and brightest ideas, and I recently had a interesting conversation with my dad about his dad, my grandfather. Come to find out, entrepreneurship runs deep in our family’s history.

My grandfather, Orville Scott Slaughter was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. He had a quite an impressive list of accomplishments.  One of which was earning his commercial pilot’s license in 1946 at the age of 17.

My grandfather had a love for flying. One of the primary influences in his life, as it relates to aviation, was Lt. Col. John Mosley. Lt. Col. Mosley was part of the famous Tuskegee Airmen  that fought during World War II as part of the United States Army Air Forces. He had spent some time with my grandfather and taught him a thing or two about flying.

My grandfather’s love for flying didn't stop with just getting his commercial pilot’s license. What good is a pilot’s license if you don’t have a plane to fly? I think my grandfather had similar thoughts. He bought his own single engine plane sometime between 1946 and 1948.


The picture isn’t super clear but that’s him standing next to his plane. It was the 1940’s; I’m just glad someone had a camera!

From the stories that my dad tells, it sounds like my grandfather was a bit of a show off. At the time that my grandfather was dating the woman who later became my grandmother, he decided that it would be fun to take her to San Francisco. So they made it a day trip.  My grandfather flew the both of them from Denver to San Francisco.  The only problem was, my grandfather “forgot” (and I use those air quotes loosely) to mention this to her father, so he had no idea that they were planning on making this trip.  I can’t image that he would have been too thrilled about this young guy, flying his daughter, in HIS own plane, all the way to San Francisco and back! Well, it’s good to know that this story had a happy ending.  If it didn’t, then I wouldn’t be here to tell you about it!

So, what does this story have to do with Black History month and entrepreneurship? Well, this is just the beginning of  the story of a my grandfather’s life. He ended up inventing some pretty cool things based on his passion for flying. He was a super smart guy, and I’m proud to share a little bit of my family history with you. Stay tuned for my next post, and I’ll tell you a little more about his entrepreneurial spirit and some of the inventions that he had.   

Josh is owner and lead developer at Clicks & Mortar Websites. He's an expert in designing and developing websites and loves helping other entreprenuers create a great first impression online. Learn more about working with Josh and his team here.


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