One hundred years ago today—or perhaps tomorrow, maybe even next Saturday—Walter Brookins became the first human being to pilot an aircraft to an altitude of one mile. Brookins lived one of those lives that implausibly dovetailed with the explosion of aviation activity in the early 20th-century. He happened to have Orville and Wilbur Wright’s sister as his teacher and knew the bicycle shop owners. After his stint as a stunt and long-distance flyer with the Wrights, he eventually became co-owner of the Davis-Brookins Aircraft Corporation in Hollywood, California. His entry in the First Flight Shrine reads simply, “First Civilian Pilot, 1910.” He’s buried in the Portal of the Folded Wings, a reliquary near the Burbank Airport. The Portal looks like just the sort of place that lends itself to a future posting here.