My boss started taking some lessons; a co-worker owned a Piper Arrow; I had the time and the money so I told my wife I wanted a Flight Instruction Gift Certificate for Xmas. I received that and then headed to Modesto (MOD) Flight Center to chat with the folks, meet some of the instructors, find out the details of what would be involved and what the costs would be. I tried to fly at least once a week, but schedules and fog hampered me a bit so it took quite a while before I ever soloed. When my instructor came out to the A/C with a handheld radio one day I figured "today is the day". We did some touch-and-goes, some full stops, short field, etc, and then he told me to head to the ramp. Once there he told me what he wanted me to do, said he'd be on the radio if I needed anything, and sent me on my way. So back out to the active I went, got my clearance, and for the first time I was the PIC without anyone else on board. It was just a quick up and down and then get the picture taken (I need to find that). I did fine, but once I was back on the ground I was like a Jr High kid at his first dance... all jittery and smiling ear-to-ear, and not really knowing what the heck I was supposed to be doing. Times change. Finances change. Kids come along. Jobs change. I never got to get my checkride and haven't had my hands on a yoke in almost 10 years. But I grew up as a brat in the AF, have always been around planes, and I will pursue this again in the future. T edited to say that this thread wasn't supposed to be just about me... I'd like to hear how others got started, got interested, etc.