When we last gathered around the glow of the CRT (cathode ray tube) or LCD (liquid crystal display) or whatever other device you use for incoming digital communications, it was mid-April, and the annual Clean-Up Day was almost upon us. The long-range weather forecast looked promising, and hope for a great flying season sprang eternal- along with the Spring of 2012. Now, here we are almost in mid-July, with the Clean-Up Day a distant memory, and the annual picnic also just a receding image in our mental rearview mirrors. We’ve weathered (survived?) our first Heat Wave of near 100 degree temps, and the field and environs are looking great. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems time is not waiting for anyone these days- if it ever, in fact, did. Make a hole in your schedules as often as possible to get safely into the air, and enjoy our little slice of aeronautic heaven. All of us are only given so many Summers, you know…
While Thanksgiving is still four months away, it’s none the less a good time to take a moment and thank the “usual suspects” / regulars who have helped out so far in 2012. We start with the entire gang that showed up for the Clean-Up day and did a great job = Clyde Platt, Marland Oliva, Jaime Sevilla, Carol Ann and Erik Irbe, Bill Gheduzzi, Anthony Romano, Ed Mulligan, Al Reinhardt, Marty Bluver, Jay Bergman, Fred Freyer and Mike Gagliardi (who once again brought the critical equipment and pro crew to do an ace job).
Some of these names also did yeoman work for the picnic, in addition to Dave Londin (Mr. Fix-It) and Peter Peale (sorry we ran out of chicken, Pete). Special kudos to Fred Freyer for his ongoing photo documentation, and Bill Gheduzzi for his great impromptu carpentry & repairs. We also have to give a shout to Al Reinhardt, who- in his official capacity as Head Instructor- has been “Da Bomb” in getting folks into the air and giving as many newbies as possible as much stick time as possible. Much appreciate all your efforts, Al, and keep up the good work.
One other item- the next time you see Marland or Steve Lesnick, thank them for all the little things they do on behalf of other members and the club. I find Marland has a knack for being everywhere at once when he’s needed, helping out with whatever has to be done. Mr. Stevie has been stuck more often than not on many occasions with the job of being the de-facto Provost Marshall / Head Constable / Field Marshal in the absence of any other Officer or Director, and having to deal with morons, idiots, trespassers, characters who don’t follow the rules, etc. etc. A personal tip of the hat to both of you guys this time around, and my thanks.
Now is also a good time ( the other being around the Holidays) to remind everyone to support your local hobby shop. And most of them are, unfortunately, no longer “local” to most of us. I think most of us try as best we can to help them out, and yes- their prices are typically higher than on the Internet, but it will be a dark day if (when?) these brick and mortar stores go away, and we don’t have anywhere to go for a hands-on fix, a quick pickup of needed supplies, and maybe an actual glimpse of the latest Wonder Plane, etc. I try to spread what little disposable income I have at the end of the month these days among the three closest to me- Red Line Hobbies in Harrison, Bruckner on the Yonkers / Bronx border, and Al’s Hobbies in Norwalk.
I find myself going to Al’s more often than not these days- either as a nice, winding moto ride up the Merritt Parkway (one of the few opportunities these days to throw a leg over my 34 year old Suzuki GS750E, and crack the throttle- sniff) or up 95 and West over Rte.7, sometimes getting off prior at exit 13 and stopping at a local Duchess restaurant for their particularly good chili cheese burger and fries- cheap, not too greasy, and GOOD. Owner Gerry Jarvis (Al’s no longer with us) stocks pretty much only airplane stuff, and by airplane stuff I mean good airplane stuff, and is a veritable storage house of knowledge and experience.
This is the time of year I start scrounging for minutiae like the odd size servo, extensions, epoxy, connectors and the like for Rhinebeck and NEAT Fair projects, and I start making a list a few days before I visit. He is a fervent disciple of Hyperion batteries of all types (‘…none better for the price…”) and stocks all the major radio brands. I helped him unload a large fuel delivery last week (I was on vacation) while discussing the fine points of RX redundant battery wiring, among other topics.
One other item I’m trying to get on track again is returning to keeping a flight log for every time I’m at the field, and every time I go up. I used to be religious about it, keeping two small “black books” (literally) with date, location, plane info, commentary, etc. Gotten away from it because I’ve become a lazy old fat guy, but need to return to doing so, if only as a point of focus for everything from a handy reference, to chronicling my days in the air. Some of my entries in my older book have become …poignant?… and unlock a memory or two that’s not seen the light of day for awhile.
Last but not least- picked up the 54 inch wingspan E-Flite PNP Hurricane recently. Retracts are also coming. Will have a “mini-review” as soon as I start assembling stuff. I wonder what the reaction would have been if I’d showed up at the field- say, 15 or 20 years ago- with this not so little wonder…
Time to shut down the magic screen. Hope to see many of you out on the runway and enjoying the flying, the summer weather, and the camaraderie. Until then, follow the rules, help each other out, and ….
…. Fly safely, but FLY !