Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The Madison Municipal Airport (IMS) Airshow is this Saturday - September 28th, 2019

If you're semi-local and would like to support a local airport here's your chance. Admission is whatever you like it to be - seriously.  There will be fuel discounts - everyone's favorite excuse to fly. If you have a cool airplane they'll feed you for free (see website for details). And, AAAANNNNDDDD, you can take the opportunity to stop at Lee Bottom, take a photo proving you were here, and send it to ask where I was.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Our 2000 Club Car Transporter/Carry All is For Sale

As we continue to reduce our 'inventory of things" toward a minimum of things, more and more things are finding themselves on the "things for sale" list. This 2000 Club Car is one such thing. It is redundant to our needs and we'd really like to move it down the road.

If you want a great household mulch mover, local community cooler carrier, or a great airport tool this is it.  It's in great shape, runs well, has a light duty hitch, four new wheels and tires, and red paint that makes it really fast.

2000 Club Car (Gas)
1875+ hours with ongoing use.
$4500 obo

Ed Escallon - A Friend to Everyone

Ed loved the old race planes and always had a smile on his face.

Last week we learned our friend, everybody's friend, Ed Escallon, had passed away. It was a complete shock. He had the look of a guy who could run laps around a runner, the demeanor of person who had no cares in the world but took a year off to go to the beach to make sure, and enough love of life for a dozen average people.

The news of Ed's passing left me wishing for one last visit. The old saying, "Always leave them wanting more," works with so many occupations. Entertainment, business, and even the black market work best when applying this principle. Yet, it is an extremely rare human trait. Ed possessed it.

I sincerely felt cheated not being able to see him one last time. 

It's the strangest thing. When people are alive, even in the case of your closest friend, it seems odd to tell them, "You know what?  You're a good dude. I mean it. You're a first class person and I thought someone should tell you."  Maybe it's because we know it would sound as though, " case you die tomorrow," was coming next. Or, maybe it's something we know to be inherently difficult to respond to. Whatever the case may be, we don't say it. And, as we get older, we wish more and more that we had.

Here's to you Ed.  You were a great person. Everyone knew you by your smile and the PT with a similar grin. Ultimately, though, most people will remember you as a guy they were always glad to see.

If you remember Ed, you might want to attend the Ed Escallon Memorial Fly-In on September 28th, 2019, at Anderson (Indiana) Municipal Airport. Look for it on facebook for more details.

Additional bits about Ed:
About his passion for the Golden Age of Racing

About Ed and his most well known aircraft

BOWMANFEST - An Aviation and Military Heritage Festival

Bowman Field's conversation piece.

October 5-6, 2019 is the date for this year's BOWMANFEST. Held at historic Bowman Field, in Louisville, Kentucky, the event has grown in size for many years. Thanks to enthusiastic supporters who step up to offer funds that in turn bring in amazing aircraft, this gathering has finally given Bowman Field what it's been missing - something to look forward to.

Still one of the oldest continually operating airports in the world, in the 70s Bowman field was the busiest GA airport in the world, and home to the most enthusiastic aviators in America. However, a few years back, after post 9/11 security mandates, decades of some of the highest relative hangar rates in the nation, removal of grass runways that were attractive to antique aircraft, and general neglect, the field appears to be turning a corner, getting the attention it needs. Life is returning to the field and BOWMANFEST is leading the charge.

Produced by a group of people who believe in the airport, understand its importance to the City of Louisville, and most importantly, love aviation, BOWMANFEST is doing a great job of reminding the neighbors how fun it can be to have a great airport nearby. I hope you'll support their effort.

All that said, I have an admission to make. That's not the entire story behind why I hope you'll attend. The truth is, Bowman is very important to me.

The airport is where I earned my pilot's license (certificate) and first soloed, rode in and flew my first 220 and 450 Stearman, first took off and landed a T-6, first flew a twin, turbine, experimental, and a seaplane out to a water landing.  I also had my first flight in a business jet there. At Bowman I started an air tour business, drove my first Ferrari, Lamborghini, Viper, etc (thanks Jay),  bought a low mileage TR-3B I still kick myself for selling, saw what was probably the first GPS in the state, made a million mistakes, made what would be (so far) some lifelong friends, burned thousands of gallons of gas and more than one bridge, lost a rare gas cap in the grass on takeoff and actually found it after landing, and helped market the oldest aviation business in Louisville. I also departed from Bowman in search of Lee Bottom.

At the historic field, KLOU, I first saw the B-24 "All American" I would, decades later, get to fly. Bowman field is where I found the world's greatest AME, went six months with a flight every single day, and figured out how to use a 300' triangular piece of grass to land and take off in a Champ(with a passenger) without ever allowing the wheels to touch unholy pavement.

It was there that I would talk to a transient pilot in a BT-13 who would later hook me up with a place to hop rides in the Keys.  A few years after that I wound up flying that BT and still have the friends made from the experience. I met Marvin Rowe at Bowman. He deserved a book and I wish I'd have written it when I could.

From Central American's self-serve pumps I air-mailed a parcel, via Curtiss Helldiver, to my brother flying a show in Geneseo. Today I still find new details on the 1920s Curtiss Hangar still in use, wonder if the remnants of 1-19 are actually the oldest piece of hard surface runway in the world, think about the filming of Goldfinger, marvel at the fact Connies once used the field with tighter patterns than modern pilots in 172s, and wish the place still had a reason to land three abreast - hard surface with grass on each side.

So much happened here, for me, the local aviation community, and aviation as a whole. Heck, I haven't even touched on the real history of Bowman - once a must stop location for the world's who's who of aviation when aviation was at its greatest. However, you can see some of that history if you stop by the "old terminal" when attending the event.

Airports like Bowman need real public support to stay alive and well. is certainly doing its part.

For more information, visit the website.

"Butt Buster"

Monday, July 29, 2019

Sinful Sundays Update

The air over Lee Bottom.

As I’m sure you already suspected, there will be no Sinful Sundays this year. There are many reasons we chose, early on, to forgo events in 2019. And, someday we’ll tell you what they were. In the meantime, please know in the absence of the events we have been working on several projects critical to the long-term future of the field.
Yes, throughout the year we have implied there may still be some kind of small event which might still happen. IF it does, it will not actually be an event, but us grilling some burgers for ourselves and those who choose to attend. It might even be after the leaves have turned and the air has gained a chill. It could also be on a day most people wouldn’t fly. Whatever the case, if you want to be on the email list please message us to let us know.
Enjoy the remaining days of summer. As always, thanks for your support.

Monday, June 24, 2019

The Passing of a Great Man

Two years ago I took some photos of Doc at his desk, of him signing a medical at the podium
the way he always did, and some images of his office. I've spent hours looking for them.
Unfortunately, I have not found them yet. Meanwhile, here is a photo of his B-17 training certificate.

I find it increasingly interesting that as society accelerates toward ferality, individuals are still able to recognize greatness in a man. The case for a lack of examples may carry weight but I myself have known four. Unfortunately, the last one standing, my longtime friend, "Dr. Art J. Shulthise, known to all as "Doc," passed away yesterday (June 22nd, 2019). Through the years, nearly every person who met him would go on to use the word "great" as his descriptor.
With greatness there's something gravitational, perhaps even medicinal, about it. With Doc you felt its power - once you were in his orbit, you didn't leave. In his light, you were warm.
His passing has generated many thoughts for my never-ending search for meaning. It’s impossible to record them all. However, it is the great example he unwittingly provided for all of us who knew him that continues its climb to altitude in my mind. Kind, soft-spoken, generous, caring, and stoic in his resolve to be of use to his fellow man – this combined loss has made me the deepest kind of sad – the expiration of his light has cooled my universe.
Laughing to myself, in a moment of grief, attempting to smile the tears from my eyes, I cannot help but wonder if he was wasted on us, pilots. A grand construct of a man attempting to provide care for the incurable. A virtual saint for whorehouse piano players.
Yet, I also know there were thousands of us, and each thousand touches a thousand more. Be the man, or woman, Doc would have wanted you to be. Set good examples, care for those who need it and those who could use extra, and always do your best to be uplifting. Cast a weary but non-judgmental eye toward things you know are wrong but feel compelled to leave to others. Always smile. Be of use to others. Do your best to leave this world better than you found it.
As individuals we all have the ability to recognize greatness. Therefore, deep down, we also know how to be great. Yes, “it takes all kinds,” and few of us, if any, will ever have what Doc had. However, we can all do our part to share what he taught us about being the best person you can be. Give back what he gave. Be the sun in someone’s cloudy day. Remember my friend, our friend, by never allowing his example to die.

Visitation will be at Highland Funeral Home on Tuesday, June 25th, 2019, from 1-8pm.
The funeral will be held at 10:00 am at St. Raphael Church on Bardstown Road on Wednesday, June 26th, 2019. The burial will follow at Calvary Cemetary.
Following burial, a life celebration will follow at the Old Terminal Building, on Bowman Field.

Points of Interest
Preface: Doc was a local AME and legend.
Doc was a pilot before WWII and was an early member of the OX-5 Club.
During WWII he commanded a B-17 and his B-17 training certificate was signed by Bob Hoover.
During the war Doc was a scrounger. Through his trading he made good friends with a specific family that lived near the base in England from which he flew.  Decades later, when he returned to visit the field he had flown from, a guy on a tractor working the now farm field recognized him just as Doc recognized the guy.  The tractor driver was a kid in the same family when Doc was there during the war.
While in medical school, Doc would crop-dust during summer breaks to pay his way through. While other students were doing things that would look good on a resume he was working. Video exists of him doing so.
He was instrumental in figuring out how to preserve and transport blood.
He once owned a bottled water company fed by the spring used for Maker's Mark.
He owned the old Maker's Mark distillery and preserved it. Before he passed away he sold it to a company that will rehab and preserve it and it will eventually be a stop on the Bourbon Trail.
Doc's 450 Stearman was the reason we met, Ginger and me. Later he suggested we take it on one of our early dates. We did. Later, Ginger used it to get checked out in 450 Stearmans. Years earlier it was the first Stearman I was ever in.
He was still riding a Harley in recent years.
Doc ran a few miles every early morning on the treadmill.
He once had a heat attack one of those mornings, drove himself to the emergency room, and while walking past the deck told the attendings what was happening and continued down the hall and hooked himself up to the appropriate machines. He was back doing medicals a week later.
The first time Doc told me he was proud of me is something I'll never forget. He probably told everyone but coming from him it was special. He was a truly great man.
When he passed away he was 95 and as vibrant and active as many 60 year olds.
>There are so many things that could be listed here it would take me forever to finish.  I included only a few of the items I felt everyone would find interesting.

Back in February, Ginger and I stopped to get gas, in Louisville,
around 12 midnight to 1 am. While pumping gas, a voice from the other
side of the pump said, "What are you doing out at these hours young man?"
It was Doc. I never take selfies but I could not resist. We stood there in the
cold, chatting, then he went back to work! There was a pilot having medical
issues and Doc wanted to make sure he built a strong case for the individual
and had all the paperwork perfect.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

No Sinful Sundays in June and July

Artwork by Ross Buckland
We're sorry to report we will not be having Sinful Sundays in June and July of 2019(Please pass the word). The reasons are many however there is no reason to make a list. We are still here at the field though.

Drop in to see us or fly into the field because it exists when so many others no longer do. We're keeping the grass cut for those who still fly and continue to stand up the cones whenever someone blows them over. The tables are still here for picnics - the fire pit ready for a fire.


Monday, February 18, 2019

The Ongoing, Ever-present, Repetitive Rebuild of all Things Digital.

If you get our emails and find them to look a cluttered, you aren't the only one. With the ever changing digital field of marketing, new formats and protocols are coming online daily. Unfortunately, if you are tasked with keeping up with them all it often gets tiring and you let them go. That's on me, Rich.

On the upside, slowly we are making progress. Slowly we are updating. Hopefully, we'll be fully done before the next round of major changes.

Question: When is the last time you were at  

Donations Via Website

There have been some problems with the donation page at Currently WIX is working on the issue, as are we.  We apologize for the inconvenience. Thanks to all of you for pointing out the issue.

Meanwhile, there is an easy solution. For some reason the button needs to either be close to center on your screen or you have to double click the "donate" button.  These temporary workaround methods should help.

A Beast, Thought Extinct, Spotted at Lee Bottom

A "survivor" visits Lee Bottom.

Have you seen the image above? If so, you most likely received a 2019 Lee Bottom calendar. Although it may not be the flashiest photo (purposely aged), it is easily the most historically correct ever used.
Lee Bottom’s timeline is dotted with nearly every kind of aviation that exists, or has existed. From Barnstorming to maintenance, flight training to salvage, the place has seen it all, including a long stint as a duster field. Along the south side of the runway you can even find parts of junk Ag-cats, used as landfill, sticking out of the ground.
The plane featured here is one of the last “survivor” Stearman dusters. Still in its duster configuration (unrestored), and powered by a P&W 1340, it’s most likely the only one of its kind remaining – a true time capsule of aviation history.
Every time I see this plane I wear the grass in a continuous path around it. There are endless details to find and ponder. Some things are almost comical; others are mechanical exclamation points. In short, I love it.
Thanks to Mike Rutledge for bringing it by on a rare cross-country. “The Beast,” as it is affectionately known, isn’t something usually chosen for flights more than an hour or 100 miles long.

***Thanks to all of you who participate in our annual calendar fundraiser. Each year you help us a do a little more to the field to improve it, and keep it open for future generations.

Would you like to contribute?  Click here.

The End

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Nature's Reveille

Photo - All About Birds

Earlier, as a not so permafrost melted Hanover into mush, I laid in bed contemplating the day. A week long deep freeze, and a night of sleepless "Reserve A," had robbed me of the energy to stand upright. Within my head, dreams and reality wrestled for the win.
Times like these are common. Sleep is my friend. Coming through for reality was a list of things to do. Dreams’ strong rebuttal was a final scene I wished to experience. It was the perfect balance of ambition and sloth. Then, there was a sound.
Outside the window, low in the maple, was something unheard in a week. Until then it had not occurred to me, the world had been silent. Everything was hiding; trying to survive; fighting its own reality, or dreams.
A single robin was the first to announce results.
Singing louder than before, the redbreast derided my laziness. Was it avian attitude, personal guilt, or nothing but perception of volume after an extended and unrecognized silence? It is impossible to know. Whatever the case, nature’s reveille telegraphed sharply through the glass.
The first report of winter’s death, received. The battle for spring, nearly won.