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 ALS Bluebonnet Picnic Report

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RyanShort1
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Join date : 2009-01-01
Age : 35
Location : Texas

PostSubject: ALS Bluebonnet Picnic Report   Mon Apr 27, 2009 11:02 pm

Well, I've just about recovered from the weekend's activities. The Bluebonnet Picnic occurred pretty much as planned on Saturday and I thought I'd post a report here.



This'll give you just a small taste of what it's like to put on a SMALL event. I sometimes shudder when I think of trying to put something like Wings Over Houston on and have it all work out without a major glitch.

First, I'm going to backtrack to Wednesday. On Wednesday evening my folks hosted (for dinner) a fellow from Utah, who came with three generations of his descendants. Mr. Everill was a member of the 115th Liaison Squadron and shared with us some stories and photos from Brownwood, TX and the CBI. We had a nice evening with them and I was permitted to borrow the photos and make scans Very Happy.


Here's Mr. Everill and his daughter just before leaving our home. (One of the scans is on the right - he's top middle)

Thursday I got off from work and went down to Cannon Field for picnic preparations I took the J-3 up for a post maintenance flight and then had a had a nice time visiting with Mr. Everill and family at Cannon Field along with some of the other members. We had a great time talking with them and I ended up taking Mr. Everill and three of the rest of them for rides in the L-5.


Talking in the hangar.


Still relatively spry at 89 or so.


Mr. Everill got a bit of stick time on the ride.

Anyway, Thursday was fun.

Friday I was back at Cannon again along with most of the squadron and we did a lot of work cleaning up and setting other things up. I helped get the L-5 pretty and also washed the J-3.


Gojo and a rag does wonders for dirty 'ole oleos and cowlings!

We also had visitors from Alaska and Louisiana.

The lady pictured is working on a Taylorcraft restoration and was happy to see some examples of work that's been done (and work in progress). She also got to ride in the L-5.

A few of us didn't finish up until after dark Friday, but we knew what had to be done.



We'd gotten just enough rain here in South Texas (Finally!) to green up the field nicely!

Saturday morning the weather situation was tenuous, but since we had the event catered, we were committed since Thursday afternoon. In the early morning we had some low clouds with a threat of rain, but the clouds eventually broke up and we had a rather nice afternoon.


Part of the gang lined up before we opened the gates.

I don't have pictures of a lot of the rest (yet - I had someone else taking them for me) but will post a few later.

Four of our pilots flew a nice formation for the opening ceremonies and then we had L-bird theater - showing a not-yet-released film that Cliff Robertson narrated about the Liaison Aircraft.

I flew another ride as lunch started and during lunch we talked about the history of the squadron and the men who we honor.


Lunch was good... (mine was very rushed Rolling Eyes)


At lunch we honored several WWII Liaison Squadron members including Mr. Everill and Mr. Todd.


We had some suspects at the event, too! They were worried about being "Wixed" - but they really should've been worried about being "Lbirded" Laughing Idea .

I was supposed to fly the J-3 in the "L-bird Demo" with my friend Matt (a good C-5 pilot) in the L-5, but the old Cub (1939 model) wouldn't start. She'd flown earlier in the day and did just fine, but we tried and tried to hand-prop her and the engine just wouldn't fire. Anyway, at the last moment the fellow supposed to do the M/C used his L-4 and I ended up having to make stuff up for about 10 minutes. It wasn't a total failure, but I'd written the script to the other aircraft and a different scenario! Ugh!


The J-3 when she was happier earlier in the morning

We then had our raffle and ended with the flour bombing and spot landing contest - which was fun as usual!


One of the contestants I was flying against is a friend of mine who flys for a secret owner in town... It was fun, and I think he enjoyed flashing me a big fat zero after I'd busted one of my landings and landed too short.

I think I flew a total of 6 flights in the L-5 on Saturday - including taking Mr. Todd up again (same fellow that I talked about last year who flew L-5s over Okinawa), and several young people who I hope had a blast.

Of course for those putting the event on, it's not over - 'till everything's put back up!


Which is work, but fun, and totally worth it.

Here are two links to blog posts about the event:
http://wingandawhim.blogspot.com/2009/04/when-history-takes-wing.html
http://bayourenaissanceman.blogspot.com/2009/04/great-gathering.html


To finish off, here's a view of the airfield. Let us know if you're going to be in San Antonio on a Wednesday or Saturday and stop by!

Ryan
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