Monday, July 27, 2009
Oshkosh Diary - Monday July 27, 2009
I'm realizing after three days here that I really don't have that much to do this year. Most of what I need to buy for the RV I've already bought and that which I haven't bought I can't afford. That takes a great deal of pressure off.
Frankly, though, for working stiffs like me, it's difficult to walk the AirVenture grounds and not get the feeling that everyone else did something right and somewhere along the line, I got derailed. Money is exchanging hands like crazy. There's giant RVs (the kind on wheels) worth millions and enough toys to handle Christmas around the world this year.
For an old New Englander with a Protestant work ethic, sometimes the self-indulgence can be overwhelming.
THE LOST WALLET
My camping neighbor and RV friend, John Porter, lost his wallet somewhere last night. We went over to the Fly-In movie theater and he figures it fell out somewhere over there, he figures. A trip to the lost-and-found yielded no success. I can't imagine a bigger pain in the neck for someone visiting AirVenture.
I'd like to think that some EAAer found the wallet and turned it in but the longer we go without a happy ending, the less likely there's going to be one.
The one forum I'm going to take in today is with the gentleman I'm interviewing tomorrow for the day job (and this blog). Joe Balzer was on the flight crew of a Northwest Airlines flight from Fargo to Minneapolis in 1990 with 91 passengers aboard. All three of the pilots were drunk. He's been sober for 19 years and I'll be telling his story here and elsewhere this week.
EAA AND THE MEDIA
Dick Knapinski does a fabulous job with the EAA media department and it's easy for a journalist here on media credentials (this year it's for this blog via RV Builder's Hotline) to feel guilty for not working harder to dig up stories. The LED Aero folks are catering a luncheon here in the press tent in a few minutes. I don't accept free food (other than some water) so I'm vacating to make the rounds on the grounds and see what average folks I can run into.
But the EAA deserves great credit for its effort to get people to tell the story of aviation. It's important to note that the organization does not pressure media in any way to bend the message of any of the "working media."
PAPA GOLF'S PAPA
Dave Gamble of Columbus, Ohio writes one of the better aviation blogs out there. With a gift for the printed word and an airplane that actually goes places, Dave has made PapaGolf Chronicles one of the daily must-reads.
His daughter is up here working the Girls With Wings booth all week and they're staying at a hotel in West Bend, an hour or so away. It caught my attention a week or so ago when he "tweeted" that flying his RV-6 here would be too much of a pain in the neck. But there's probably more to be said for a nice hotel than a small tent on the hard ground of Wisconsin.
If you've got an IFR-capable RV-9 that you'd like to unload for next to nothing, contact Dave.
Here's dozens of more pictures from Doug Reeves at Van's Air Force.
(More as it happens)