Ed even built his first plane, maybe before the 1940's. He and Wayne built it from a kit and then actually got in it and flew it! That's brave!
Ed used to tell stories of his early days with the planes before the war. He would park it right on the beach at Moss Landing or Pismo, California and take people for ride for 25 cents. They'd fly around and then he would land right on the beach again. Ed liked to tell the story of a woman who paid for a plane ride with him one summer day and then proceeded to scream endlessly and strangle him - holding on tight to his neck while he flew because she was so scared. He didn't know if he'd ever make it out alive.
I saw this picture in the National Geographic archives recently and it reminded me of Ed's beach plane rides and his stories. Although this image is from Germany and from 1928, I figure it looked a little like this.