Lifetime of goodtimes
I do not usually get on and ramble about stuff unless it's near and dear to my heart. But I believe Airventure is the thing I count months by, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Birthdays...they are not what excites me. But beautiful airventure. Yes...this is what makes me tick. I've been a total of 3 times and this year will be my 4th. In 97, when I was 11 years old was my first time. I had always had an interest in aviation but never really how expansive it was. I'd never really given a thought about homebuilts, never really knew what was outside of a county air show. I remember watching Patty Wagstaff, Sean Tucker for the first time thinking how way cool it was and how much I enjoyed all the sights, sounds, memories of camping in camp scholler. In 98 I returned, I was 12 then, I remember seeing the concord, it's sleek magnificent profile. Watching it take off and land making flights for it's passengers, standing there at night looking at it lit up on the ramp....once again. The homebuilts, the overall experience of seeing how many different makes and models and I started taking notes and thinking about how I wanted aviation to be more in my life. Sadly that was my last year to go to Oshkosh until 2011, You know you grow up, find someone to marry and buy a house, find a career, have some kids and you get caught up in life you forget what was so close to your heart when you were a kid. Last year I go back with my dad, and my little brother. It all came back. For the first time I was actually old enough to understand about how the different avionics affected different types of flight rules, I actually stopped and talked to vendors, and submerged myself into what Airventure was designed to do. Introduce you to every aspect of aviation from ultralights, to lsa, to experimental, to homebuilts, It's so much to take in. At night we sat around our tent and listened to EAA radio, Listening to the interviews, throwing the baseball, tossing the frisbee. Even making it to the theatre for a showing of top gun one night. I got the aviation bug so bad all year I have not been able to stop thinking about Airventure 2012, Since Airventure 2011. I have since restarted my pilot's training, Now have access/purchasing a 1947 Aeronca L-16a. Have been taking my son (4yrs old,) to the local airport and have been teaching him about airplanes. It's a bug, it's addictive. Where I can see what some people are saying EAA is going too commercial and costs are climbing. I tend to be optimistic, you can let other people influence you by their experiences even though you've never encountered them for yourself, you can choose to mumble. Or you can choose to believe that Oshkosh is much more than an airshow. Much more than a vacation, but a way to keep one motivated, that one pinnacle you reach once a year when you take your family and enjoy camping, away from the electronics, away from the televisions, it's a place where your family can come together and have that one common interest. It's a place where dreams can be made (and bought ha ha) the people, the planes, the dedication to ones homebuilding hobby, the advances in technology that makes flying safer, the ultralights which aren't about speed or style..but its about slowing down and just flying. I feel I could ramble on more and more.....but what's the point? Oshkosh/Airventure is where my heart is and where I'll be every year till I cant walk/ride an electric wheel chair. Considering I'm only 26.......I'm looking forward to a lifetime of good times at Oshkosh.
I'm more than ready myself, I was only able to do one full day last year. At least I was able to hear a few REO Speedwagon tunes!
The older Son has an event back here at home on the 24th, I just have to work around that. We are 2 hours driving distance & I also have the Warrior option if the weather cooperates. I have my sign from last year & the current NOTAM, I may just fly up for some day trips. There is also the plan to tow the camper up. I will be flexible to the end & factor the weather in.
What a great post! Thanks for helping redirect my thoughts about Airventure. All too often we tend to focus on the things that are wrong the events like Airventure and over look the things that are wonderful. It's easy to be critical about things that bug you, but your post has reminded me of why I go the the event in the first place. There is so much to see and do, and there is nothing else like it that I know of. There will always be things that can be done better, but overall it's a tremendous aviation event that I too plan to attend for many more years.
I agree with Malcolm; great post, and it helps keep us centered.
I'm a relative newbie to EAA - when I started flying in the 70's I thought that it was only about homebuilders, and I wasn't one of 'em.
I've written this before, but I love AirVenture, regardless of the issues or commercialization. I've been blessed in that for my 4th year of attendance in 2008, my wife came along. She not only loved it, but she made me extend our dorm reservations for the following year. She's into the historical and warbirds, and I do my thing with technology and homebuilding. Some days I don't even see her until the evening bus ride back to the dorms. The fact that she gets excited with the planning and all just helps us talk and share great memories together. She's even developed her own "AirVenture friends" who she reconnects with every year.