Finding America's Heart by Harley

Wealthy businessman John Gussenhoven pledged his fortunes to assist those who helped him on his journey across America

John Gussenhoven bought a Harley-Davidson, learned to ride it proficiently, and then marked his route with a bold “X” across a map of the 48 states. (Jim Wark)

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They were headed for Memorial Park, where Snow’s parents had both been laid to rest. Carl realized, though, that the cemetery lies right under the final flight path, landing north, of Tulsa International Airport. Some special arrangements must have been made. “With John involved, there’s no telling,” he thought. And indeed, air traffic let them do exactly what they wanted to do, which was make a couple of low-level passes over the cemetery. It was then that Carl Snow got to dip the wing of the B-24 in one final, traditional salute to his mom and dad.

They remained aloft for a good 45 minutes, even allowing Carl’s son Garrett, also a skilled pilot, to take control of the plane. People on the ground must have stared in wonderment, though some of the old-timers would certainly have recognized it. “The sound of a B-24 is unique, the silhouette is unique,” Snow says.

He can’t even begin to express his gratitude to John Gussenhoven for having the sensitivity and imagination to orchestrate something like this.

“How would you even think of a thing like this? And even if you thought of it, how would you go about making it happen? That’s John’s human touch. That’s what really motivates him, what drives him.”


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