Reminiscing is part of a near-perfect Warren day
How about this for experiencing a near-perfect day around Good Old Warren?
It’s been just a little more than two weeks now since the 4th Annual Wings-n-Wheels car, truck and airplane show at the Ernie Hall Aviation Museum and Airport on North River Road, held Aug. 7.
I brought my car to show, and it served a double benefit in that I could park in a good spot on the display field, and I could show my car off and compare notes with a few other guys who had cars similar to mine. Of course, we talked the same car language and we shared information about various modifications and techniques we used to make our pride and joys even better.
I’ll bet our conversations could have bored the socks off a less enthusiastic spectator.
Courteous volunteers in chartreuse (called high viz green) T-shirts helped us cross over to the other side of the grassy north / south runway where the aircraft were parked.
What I saw there brought back a wave of nostalgia as I approached a little two-place aircraft called a Luscombe that was quite similar, but much better equipped, shinier and prettier than the one that I had flown as an instructed 10-year-old back in 1946. The stick, throttle, carb heat, mag switch, rudder pedals and heel brakes were all in exactly the same place that I had remembered in that little plane I had really loved.
Now 70 years of living have passed since I had first flown that Luscombe so long ago. Just think of all the water that has gone over the dam since. Memories of high school, college, the U.S. Army, marriage, kids, grandchildren – all those milestones – came back in a rush.
I told the pilot of a huge World War II torpedo bomber on display called a TBM (M for General Motors) Avenger of the experiences I had in 1943 crawling through an earlier version of the Avenger called a TBF (F for Grumman). A U.S. Naval Aviation captain and friend of the family was ferrying one from Bethpage, New York where it was manufactured to Seattle, Washington. He stopped at Vienna airport for refueling and servicing (the plane), to see his fiancee, and visit with us.
I explained to a dad who was having trouble describing things to his young son about the different designations for military training aircraft. Maybe he was appreciative of hearing all I had to say – maybe not.
I spent the rest of my day there on the aircraft side of the airfield. Most likely, I suppose I was a total pain to some of the spectators as I rattled off the lore that I have accumulated over the years about these vintage aircraft.
We older folks are eager and almost anxious to share what we know and have experienced. I think it is an inborn characteristic in the human animal to pass along to the next generations these things that we have lived through.
To top off this near-perfect day, I joined up with a friend to attend a Packard Band concert on the south lawn at Packard Music Hall. There I could see cousins Brad and Becky Bickel in that big band. Becky played the oboe, and Brad was in the brass section. Isn’t alliteration beautiful? Boy!
It was great to see Warren native and Drum Major John LaVange of The Ohio State University Marching Band perform. That guy’s a great athlete!
I can’t remember seeing a more beautiful sky with cirrocumulus clouds high above tinged with the pinks and oranges from the setting sun as we indulged ourselves in listening to that band concert that ended with John Philip Sousa’s rousing “The Stars and Stripes Forever.”
So, as the travelogues used to say, “We bid fond adieu to a near-perfect day in Good Old Warren, Ohio.” Yes, it is Good Old Warren.