By Tony Parra
Stanley Hardin’s memoirs of his time as a pilot were written down and created into a book, but only one that close relatives and friends had copies of.
Twenty-two years after his death, the book has been published and now anyone can purchase a copy and experience the tales and adventures of Hardin.
“We grew up listening to his stories,” said Twila Harrington, one of his three daughters. “They were all amazing stories. He was a smart man. He told us stories of when he was growing up and when he was a fighter pilot.”
Hardin’s daughters Twila, Tana and Janie will be signing his book, “From Pajarito to Lungchow,” at the Roosevelt County 2004 Heritage Days, June 18-19.
Hardin’s niece, Dorothy Simpson, promised she would edit his book and publish it before Hardin passed away in 1982. The book was published in 2003 by Heritage Books.
“He kept notes and at some point in time in 1977 or 1978 and he asked me if I would type it,” Simpson said. “It was before we had computers so I had to do it on an electric typewriter. Other family members said they would take it over and publish it after I typed it.”
As time passed by, Simpson called to talk to family members about the book. The family had typed up the notes, but had not published the book.
“I told them time was getting away,” Simpson said. “We really needed to do this. It didn’t take long to find a publisher. Heritage Press immediately wanted to publish it.”
Hardin was a fighter pilot during World War II for the United States Air Force. In the book, he recounts moments from when he was flying to China and ran out of fuel.
Hardin said he ran out of fuel during a mission and was unsure if he was in enemy or friendly territory. He finally spotted a river and knew he had reached friendly territory. After he landed he walked to Lungchow, a city in south China.
Pajarito, meanwhile is a small town located of Albuquerque where Simpson said that Hardin ranched. The title of the book is derived from these two places.