I'm not going to Oshkosh.
There are a number of things that conspired to make this decision, as I explained earlier.
But when I got the call from a public relations person from Ford yesterday at work, that sealed the deal. She was pitching various events that Ford was promoting at AirVenture, none of which I was interested in. As a member of the media, I get a lot of these calls and e-mails, usually.
This year, though, is different. Not a single call or e-mail came from an aviation company or any individual having anything to do with the homebuilding of airplanes.
Even worse, perhaps, in my mind, is the lack of any interest I've received from EAA in helping me tell the story of the judging of homebuilt aircraft. Dick Knapinski, does an excellent, excellent job of promoting AirVenture to the media, but when he referred my request for a homebuilt judge to help me do a story on what he/she looks for when looking at an RV (I was going to do this for the RV Builder's Hotline and then also try to whack something together on the subject for my day job), I didn't get so much as a callback.
Even worse, perhaps, I didn't a single taker on my request for an RVer to use his/her airplane as the guinea pig.
If I can't get done what I wanted to get done, then what's the point?
I can follow what's going on there via the AirVenture Web site and also Doug Reeves' excellent Oshkosh page on Van's Air Force. Why go?
I'm a long, long way from joining in the usual cacophony of curmudgeonly calls for EAA to get "back to its roots." I love the EAA and I love going to Oshkosh. But to be fair, something is missing this year. I've been to Oshkosh before so Harriers, and the usual airshows don't impress me a bit.
And when I see more and more threads from RV builders about putting two AFS 3500s in their airplane, well, I'm beginning to realize just how little I have in common with a growing segment of the RV building community. Reading that stuff reminds me too much of some of the magazines I see that blare, "affordable kitchen remodeling for under $1 million."
Many people I've come to know and whom I look forward to seeing and sitting with for a few days aren't going this year. My wife says she can't take a whole week off from work and at $4 a gallon, driving a second car over at mid-week makes no sense.
The summer is slipping away and I feel like it's never gotten started. And my day job requires me to go to Denver for the Democratic convention in August and follow it up with the Republican convention in St. Paul and nothing can suck one's enthusiasm for summer faster than having the Democrats and Republicans on the agenda as the summer finale. So I need to find some free time. A week in July is it. Rather than go to Oshkosh, I'll putter around the house, try to get some projects done, and maybe take a bike ride or two.
But what concerns me most is I didn't get excited by the prospect of Oshkosh this year. It was looking like just another week on the calendar that had been scheduled.
That's not good.