Thursday’s visit to Avon Park (KAVO) and the historic Hotel Jacaranda was a complete success. Well… maybe there was one glitch. The hotel’s lobby piano player has not begun his winter season. Many, including me, were disappointed by that. Christmas decorations are going up at the hotel, and it was looking very festive. The food was great, and plentiful. I saw more than one Old Fart exiting the dining room while rubbing a full belly and cracking wise about aircraft weight and balance.
Danielle Phillips, a gal of many hats with the city of Avon Park, has been my contact there for several years. Danielle worked on a normal holiday, Veteran’s Day, to make sure we had everything we needed at the airport. I’ll start my list of “Thank Yous” with Danielle! That’s her in the top photo. Danielle did an official tail count… and reported 47 aircraft at our event. I believe I had 52 on my RSVP list, but there was some weather around.
Also in that top collage are my wife, and right hand in helping with these events, Terese. She is pictured along with Elaine, my contact at the hotel. Terese diligently collected and counted money at the door to the dining room. We totaled 90 for lunch and rounded up to $1,500 for the hotel. I spoke with Elaine and Hotel Jacaranda General Manager David Bruns. They are always thrilled to have us visit. Elaine even added that we are “Fun!”… which I take as a genuine compliment. We are planning to go back to Avon Park sometime in the early part of next year.
I have to give a BIG tip of the hat to our “Old Fart” volunteer drivers. Jack Madden, Connie Piper, Albert Heidinger, Steve Hill, Reb Stimson, Selby Proud and George Eschenbach did an excellent job of transporting us the mile and a half, to and from the hotel to airport. These Old Farts provided their personal vehicles and fuel to perform this service for us. No small task. Thank You all very much! A special thanks to Selby! He is based at KAVO and loaned me his golf cart and a hand held radio. Both came in very handy… especially the golf cart!
I’d also like to thank Old Fart Wayne Nagy, who sent along some of the photos you see here. I can’t be everywhere! Somewhere in the collages you’ll see a “selfie” pic of Kelly Jeffries and her dog Jetta (Jet A). This was Jetta’s first outing in Kelly’s RV-8. Thanks for sending Kelly… too cute!
Finally… I want to thank all you Old Farts for flying in. After all, your participation is pretty much what this thing (intangible as it may seem) is all about. Terese and I really do appreciate the wonderful compliments often passed along to us. That said, we appreciate all of you in return. What a wonderful group of “Friends” we’ve accumulated through this thing called “Old Farts Flying Club”. I wouldn’t trade these years at the helm for anything! Thank You!
Next week??? I honestly don’t yet know. I’m going to concentrate on somewhere with a restaurant on the field, then make some calls. Look for an invite for next Thursday, November 18th in your email on Sunday or Monday. Our break over Thanksgiving will give me a chance to work on a few ideas.
One of those ideas came from Old Fart Peter Gisselbeck. He is proposing an Old Fart event at (KTNT)… The Dade-Collier Training and Transition field west of Miami. I’ve heard a couple explanations of it origins, but it is now an abandoned ten thousand foot airstrip, in the middle of the Florida Everglades! Other than a whole lot of concrete, there is NOTHING out there!!! Which is exactly why Peter wants to visit.
Peter has gone so far as to contact Miami Center for their blessing. They are okay with it. He has floated the idea with a food truck operator, who is all in. The biggest hurdle would be the rental of tents, tables, chairs and a port-a-john. He figures around a thousand bucks would cover those expenses and we could raise that with contributions from some enthusiastic Old Farts. This is the proverbial finger in the wind , or toe in the water, to float the idea among the membership.
Contact me via email if you would like to fly to the middle of NOWHERE, to just stand around and grin at fellow Old Farts… who also think doing something this silly would be FUN! I am also taking a poll on how many might be good for a $100 donation to this effort! I’m in!!!
Time to wrap this one up! Avon Park and the Hotel Jacaranda are in the books for 2021!
Keep the Shiny Side Up!
Old Fart Roger