Starting in October, I’m posting mostly pictures at the AeroKnow Museum blog — http://aeroknow.wordpress..com – and posting human interest vignettes here at Honey & Quinine. WHY? Because enthusiasts “in the know” either visit the blog or they don’t and pictures say more than my rambling. Most important there are more readers who are not aviation “fanatics” who are also potential supporters of AKM. I need to play the numbers here, friends, Romulans and countrymen, and hope that the human interest perspective will generate more support than “preaching to the choir” has generated. It’s worth a shot . . . . so to speak . . . .
The large building where AKM is located has a comfortable pilots’ lounge across from our downstairs office. Pilots waiting for passengers often relax here while waiting for passengers and fuel service.
In the early “daze” of moving the collection to our new location, I produced a 3-ring binder of aviation history to leave on the table in the lounge in the hope that visiting crew would look through it at their leisure and visit and support the museum if the light were on in the office from which this picture was taken.
All was going well with the book until last summer when it disappeared from the table, from the lounge. I looked all over the place, asked the FBO staff, none had seen it, and I concluded a former supporter had probably purloined the publication, probably the same one who turned the AKM business card upside down on the FBO’s bulletin board during a pancake breakfast fly-in. I began planning to produce a second compendium, but before I could get around to it (If you knew what needs to be done out here, you’d understand and might even volunteer to help, especially if we’ve never met.) the binder with pictures and a nice note and business card from the commander of the US Coast Guard station in Elizabethtown, New Jersey arrived. The gentleman’s handwritten note apologized for the temporary disappearance. He said at first glance it looked like a Coast Guard document which he saw during a meeting held at the offices shared with AeroKnow. He said he and others had enjoyed looking at the aviation history, commended its creator for sharing it in the lounge, and extended “good luck” to the enterprise.
Almost two months later, there was a second encounter with the US Coast Guard, and I was there when it happened.
Some of the crew came into the AKM office as I was working on a project, and after welcoming them to SPI (Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport, Springfield, Illinois) showed them the museum. I also asked if I could photograph their most interesting helicopter, and they graciously gave permission.
When I explained what had occurred following a recent visit to the airport with the borrowed aviation book and the letter and card which had accompanied the return, the crew were highly amused. Laughter ensued. They all knew the unit commander and consider him a terrific skipper. The crew commander (not in the photo below) kindly gave permission for me to take a picture with three of the crew holding the aviation history book, and the skipper’s letter and card. I promised to send pictures to one of the crew members who posed and to their leader.
I then went to the flight line to take more pictures of the MH-65D as they departed in light rain. They were delivering the Dolphin from the east coast to its new home base in Oregon. The trip would take five more days to complete, and they were pleased with the mission. I thanked them for their service and wished them a swift, safe journey.
I love this gig! Come hang at the AeroKnow Museum. Meet some nifty people, help a worthy enterprise.
Live long . . . . . . . . . . . . . and proper.