Around the Airport

Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday, August 16, 2013

Gilmore Not Actually Related to Gilmore

Aviation royalty at rest.
It has been a long and trying road to discovery but in the end it was worth knowing the truth.  As many of you know our cat, which Ginger carried to the house a few years back, is named Gilmore.  Found on the runway wet and alone and about 4 weeks old, the prospects of him living were grim.  Yet Ginger worked her typical magic and actually learned how to do the things a mother cat would do to make him live.
By this photo he had more than doubled in size.
In the beginning, he was “just this big”.  If you hold your hands tightly together like you are trying to hold water or a bird in your hands, that’s how big he was.  He was tiny.  He also came with a giant name; Gilmore.  He got this name because we were sure he was the 82nd descendant of Roscoe Turner’s famous lion, Gilmore (or The Mayflower Cat depending on who you talk to).  Anyway, the name brought him great attention and fame and he was even offered an all expense paid trip around the world in the name of airport cats everywhere.  This made us very proud.
Now though, mere days after securing the funding for his journey, we have found out Gilmore is not actually related to the Gilmore of aviation fame.  Instead he only bears the name of Roscoe Turner’s famous cat.  That said, Gilmore wants cats around the world know he will carry on in his goal to promote cats at airports and he even stopped briefly to talk to reporters about it.  “It is my hope that although airports have long been the domain of dogs, my journey will spread the message to little kittens around the planet that they can do anything they set their hearts to.  The fact I am handsome and a cat had no bearing on my ability to make this journey and it shouldn’t keep you from making yours”.
There you have it folks.  He may not be a true relative to the original Gilmore but he certainly has the ability to put on a show and leverage his abilities in ways not seen since Roscoe and Gilmore first took to the sky.  Hmmm, maybe there is a connection?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Volunteer Appreciation Picnic

Have you ever helped us at an event?  Did you fix a tractor or come to our rescue after the tornado?  Maybe you've repaired plumbing on the "outhouse" or fixed some wiring.  It's possible you parked planes or cut up peaches.  Whatever the case, if you've ever volunteered to help us here at the airport, we'd like you to know we greatly appreciate it.  Therefore we hope you'll attend the Volunteer Appreciation Picnic.
Held immediately after "The Buzz About Beez" flying event, on September 14th, it will be open to anyone who has ever volunteered here at Lee Bottom.  Our goal is for it to be an informal event that enables us all to get together for the sake of getting together.  Without the usual events, we've really missed seeing everyone and have realized how many of you have become great friends despite the fact we only see each other a few times a year.  If you can attend and you plan to make it, please let us know by signing up here so we can plan accordingly.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Damn, You Can't Hide Anywhere

I was in Narita stoned out of my mind with fatigue (thankfully on a couple day layover), and trying to study for a PC, when the Captain called to see if I was up for breakfast. Sitting at the table our conversation followed the usual aircrew pattern.  When it turned to the subject of who or why someone would do this job, I received what may be the best compliment anyone has ever sent my way.  He said, "You strike me as the kind of guy who'd rather be flying crop-dusters."
Is it really that obvious? I mean, I do everything I can to hide it. One time I even pointed at a plane I was 60% sure to be an Airbus and acted as though I cared. This double agent stuff is harder than I thought.  Heck, I may have to start drinking coffee to pull it off.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Don't Be Yourself, Be What They Want You To Be

In case you didn't see it, just before Oshkosh I wrote about why I don’t like driving to airshows.  The post upset quite a few people and I’m not really sure why?  Maybe nobody made it to the last two lines?  
What did I say that got people worked up?  It was this - to me it personally doesn't feel as though I am participating unless I fly.  I also made it clear it was a personal observation and even noted that most people I know feel otherwise.  Yet, my lack of understanding as to why someone would get so excited watching other people do something seems to have stirred many who read it.
This time it only took a definition.
Admittedly, I knew this would happen.  It always happens.  That’s why I attempted to point out that I knew some would take it wrong and that it wasn’t meant that way.  It was merely a look inward toward what makes me tick; how I see things so differently than the masses.  And perhaps that is why people became upset.  How dare I not march in step, glassy-eyed into the night?
Or maybe people felt some kind of unnecessary guilt?  Reading back over it I see where one who only attends could read it and feel a little excess self-awareness of never participating.  It’s also possible that some people are sensitive about not being able to fly or that their contribution to the effort isn’t appreciated.  Yet, I even pointed out that if I am actively participating in putting on a show, I don’t feel this way; a nod to those who participate in many other fashions.  But again, I never said “attending” was bad.  After all, that’s the purpose of shows, to draw attendees.  Attending just isn’t something that satisfies me.
Ultimately though, I guess it comes down to a society built of metal so thin the slightest bump leaves a dent.  Such a group of people rarely make it past life’s first sentence, often reading it wrong.  Most others go straight through the weeds until they hit the first thorn, then turn.  As for those who so much as attempt to practice observation or introspection, only punishment awaits.

Say something and you’re bad for suggesting.  Don’t say enough and you’re bad for not warning.  Say too much and you’re self-absorbed.  Say nothing at all and you’re aloof.  Watch others say what everyone wants to hear and suffer a front row view of The Pied Piper at work.
Lesson Learned From This Post:  This is why politicians come in two forms; those who tell people what they want to hear, and those who don’t get elected.

Buzz On Over to Our Fly-In


Last year, my event planning faculties switched into automatic pilot mode and the largest single day educational event at the Clifty Falls State Park Nature Center was born as ‘The Buzz About Bees’.  It provided a much needed outlet to forget about the devastation at home and the airport while Rich was out of town for four months straight training for a new job.  The result of my efforts was the claim to the most successful event of its type ever held at the park.

The problem though with creating a great event is that everyone wants you to do it again and again. This case was no different.  Therefore, knowing my time was limited and all the airport events had been cancelled for 2013, I thought there had to be a way to provide a combination that was something special for everyone without taxing our available resources. This lead me back to the common theme of ICE CREAM.

Not to be confused with our previous events that had delectable Sinful Sunday milk shakes and sundaes, we have dubbed this a Substitute Saturday.  Yet, ice cream we'll have on hand, small cups of honey ice cream made in Indiana, is sure to be a treat for everyone who attends.  Meanwhile, ‘The Buzz’ being heard around the airport on Saturday, September 14th  from 1PM to 3PM, will come from airplanes and discussions about bees.  Please note, there will be no food served, so be sure to bring your picnic basket or eat before you visit – just save room for the ice cream and honey.

Knowing pilots need a little push to get the plane out of the hangar, we invite you to buzz over to the field and enjoy an afternoon event with your friends.  On hand will be displays covering a range of subjects from plants bees pollinate to the equipment needs of a beekeeper.  Additionally, a sealed transparent observation hive will be on display so you can see the bees up close and without the fear of the dreaded sting.   Discover how honey makes it from the hive to your table.  Taste different varieties and colors of honey and compare ‘the real deal’ to that you buy in the store. My bee family is looking forward to having this avenue to share their passion – those crazy black and yellow insects that transform nectar into a sweet delicacy known as honey.  We hope that you will BEE THERE to share your passion about flying machines.  It will be the only event we host at the airport this year and we look forward to seeing you all.
Buzz on over, September 14th, to see what it's all about.




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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Something I Cannot Forget

A photo share from flickr.
Something happened almost two months ago that I haven’t been able to put out of my head. We were on our way to Indianapolis, Ginger and I, when we stopped at gas station to fill up.  It was one of those places found in every small community.
Constructed in pole barn fashion, the metal sided building was a chalky off white adorned with tobacco and lottery ticket advertisements.  Out front beside a display of antifreeze sat an ice chest.  As for the gas pumps, despite their flea market fresh appearance, they worked perfectly except for the card reader, display, selection buttons, and nozzle.  But that didn’t bother me; I was 50% sure they would dispense the right amount.  Yes, it was truly a small town pit stop.
Walking into the empty store I knew what to expect.  Standing behind a counter burdened with tobacco and lottery tickets would be a sole cashier; she smiled and said “Hello”.  In response, and in stereo, we asked, “How are you doin’ today?”  That question would ultimately be the catalyst for this thing I can’t forget.
Stunned by our inquiry, the middle aged lady jolted and stared at us with a shortage of words.  Probably expecting a demand for cigarettes or $3.52 worth of gas, our interest in her day was the last thing she expected.  Then, as if the shock had worn off, a smile crossed her face and she said, “Nobody ever asks me how I’m doing”.  “REALLY?”, we asked with equal surprise.  “Yeah, nobody EVER asks me how I am”.
Here was this nice lady, a typical hard working good hearted Midwesterner, doing a job that interacts with all levels of society, albeit on a superficial level, and not one person ever wonders or cares to ask how she is doing?  That depresses me and it’s something I’ve been unable to forget.
Has our society, more connected than ever, actually forgotten real people exist behind the names?  Why are we starved of nice people; lacking in role models?  How did being friendly become so rare it stands out like a brilliant yellow daffodil pushed up through a layer of snow?  And how many others out there feel invisible; overlooked by our obsessive drive for things?  That I even have reason to ponder these questions upsets me in ways I can’t explain.