I’m neither a pilot nor an air-travel buff, and I don’t enjoy flying. But I’ve been hanging around Paul Freeman’s Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields site far longer than I planned to. (Hat tip to Librarians’ Internet Index.) He has histories, maps, charts, and photos of 1,369 of them in all 50 states — 22 in Illinois. Some gorgeous pictures of Meigs and a brief rant about Mayor Daley’s reckless termination of it.

What keeps me coming back, I think, is partly the Ozymandias factor. We have so little history of failure and abandonment. Aviation by nature is pretty well documented, so it’s possible to follow the stories of airfields on the decline, even when the decline was gradual and obscure. For instance, the Homer Airport outside the tiny town of that name in eastern Illinois “drifted into disarray & closed in 1994 when the owner ran into legal problems.”