Around the Airport

Monday, September 3, 2012

That Guy's a Prick

How many times have you heard that said about someone who is successful?  Ever wonder why it is that successful people often seem to be the biggest jerks?  I think it is because they learned something I can't seem to; when you try to do something good for or help others, somehow you end up screwing yourself.  Yeah, I can see it but I just can't do it so I guess I'll just keep putting myself at the end of the line.  I do have to admit though, it's growing old rapidly.
I would love to see these start showing up in government restrooms.
In recent months, our community leaders rolled out a shiny new economic development plan. In that plan, among many other things, we were amazed to see “Attractive tax benefits available to aviation interests”. Well, it is very close to a quote if not perfect. Anyway, we were amazed because we once had to fight the county in court to get these benefits. Yet, I must also say, the people in charge of this part of our leadership today have been very helpful. Unfortunately though, the two hands of government are fighting each other. What one hand offers in benefits, the other takes away in petty harassment. In the end, economic development happens elsewhere. Our poor county just can’t seem to get out of its own way and it vilifies anyone trying to make it better. Sound familiar?
Maybe you remember earlier in the year when Ginger, myself, and some friends took up the charge against our local health department which many people felt was harassing our neighbors hit by the tornado. If so, you’ll remember the outcome was a positive one with one exception, it put us at the end of the line for contractors (as yet, no damages have been repaired). Oh well, all is good right? Wrong.
Now, after never once hearing a peep from our local health department in sixteen years, that same health department seems to be hell bent on harassing us about our fundraiser event. They’ve even gone to friends who were volunteering for the event, and without specific knowledge of what those friends were actually going to do while here, made them decide to back out of volunteering for the event. It is a classic small town story where nobody wants to get on the bad side of the health department because then their business might be the next victim.  And you know what, I can’t blame them.
That said, the next time one our community leaders gets all pissy with me for trying to point out a serious roadblock to attracting economic development, it is going to get ugly.
Note: After recent changes at the health department, Ginger and I had actually decided to move forward with further development of the airport. The health department had always been the biggest obstacle to any advancement in our area and we were looking forward to getting back on track with the field. I guess we were wrong. If anyone in Jefferson County Indiana is reading this, please ponder the notion of how much real economic development our community leaders have run off with nothing more than allowing the status quo to reign supreme.


Geez Beez Honey

Ginger’s world class flying machines, also knows as Geez Beez, delivered a bumper crop of honey this year.  If you are near Lee Bottom and want a bottle or more, you are in luck.  Drop in to the airport and near the red door you will see a blue cooler.  Inside are bottles of honey which you can purchase using the honor system.
Select bottles of Geez Beez honey come with tags that describe the inspiration for the name.  The label says, "The Gee Bee Model Z set world speed records in 1931 during the golden age of air racing.  World class flying machines known as Ginger’s Bees (Geez Beez) created your raw honey while located at an airport reminiscent of the golden age of flying".


Gee Bee Z


Lee Bottom Clothing Rescued After Tornado

During the tornado clean up, some very special friends offered to take home the Lee Bottom apparel that got wet.  Thousands of dollars of shirts and other clothing with the logo on it needed to be laundered and they stepped in to make it happen.  Now, as the fundraiser approaches, it is time for us to gather up all the clothing and get it ready for the event.  If you were kind enough to do some of the cleaning for us and we haven’t managed to pick it up from you yet, can you remind us that you still have them?  If you were waiting on us, we may have forgotten.  Like I said, it has been a crazy year.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

JOIN THE FUNdraiser and Say Goodbye to 2012

The $100 Hamburger Tornado Relief Fundraiser is less than a month away. Just saying that makes me sit back and take a deep breath. When the year started we were working hard to be ahead for planning the fly-in. Shortly thereafter the tornado hit and nearly everything fly-in related was damaged or destroyed. That’s when the idea of a fundraiser came about.
Just like the fly-in, when we started the fundraiser planning, we were going to go all out and be ahead of the game. Then we realized, once again, we didn’t have the equipment. Therefore, the idea of an extremely basic fundraiser won out. It was settled; we would go minimal on everything but the fundraising. Well, it sounded like a good idea.
What was once a fundraiser with mountains of inertia from many corners soon turned into more battles against circumstance. The string of chance and misfortune has been unbelievable. Yet, we are going ahead with the event and will be here grilling and offering free burgers to those willing to donate a hundred dollars. If you arrive and it merely looks like a bunch of people got together on a Saturday to cook out, do not be surprised; that is exactly what we are going for.
If you are wondering if you heard that right, you did.  Attendance is a $100 donation per person (kids under 17 free). I could go on forever trying to explain it but I think at this point you either get it or you do not. Whatever the case, the donation level was not intended to make it something highbrow. Ultimately, it was chosen for many reasons with the biggest one being the goal of actually raising some money for the airport. Keep in mind, if only ten people were to show up, it would be the single most profitable event we’ve ever held.
The $100 Hamburger Tornado Relief Fundraiser Fly-In
September 29, 2012
We'll be grilling burgers from 11-5.

Another Grand Old Stearman Takes to Air

It's always exciting to see another great old biplane take to the air.  The first time a new set of tires attached to a new restoration leaves the ground, it is exciting for anyone who loves these old birds.
For some people first flight news brings a sense of hope that more will be saved; for others a sense of accomplishment is felt; for the craftsmen pride; the pilot thrill; the owner all the above.  Sarah Wilson, holding title to Stearman Model 4E NC667K, has to be excited; on August 29th she took it into the air for its first post-restoration flight.  It was also the the first time it had flown decades.
Congratulations Sarah.
To learn more about this wonderful plane, click here.