Wednesday, February 17, 2010


That midwinter itch has struck again! I've been stuck on the ground over two months now, and it's getting to the point where I fear permanent twitches will result. Man, this forced cold-turkey quitting is no fun!

Some days I feel like I'm stuck in a rut, and all the excitement of last year has worn off, leaving me with a dull few months. Spring semester always seems to be more hectic, but perhaps that's simply because that bright light at the end of the tunnel--summer, with its promises of warmth and, more importantly, little yellow airplanes--starts to twinkle a little brighter. As if I needed another excuse to daydream about airplanes!

After a particularly stressful night herding cats (or, attempting to organize a Women in Aviation chapter with two people attempting to act as president), I began chatting with my best friend (and boyfriend) about all the things we looked forward to in summer . . . puddle-jumping two Cubs from Wisconsin to Lock Haven for Sentimental Journey, the BARNSTORMING FLY-IN!! (which as you can tell, I'm quite excited for!) Other things include Oshkosh, Brodhead, and Blakesburg, which happens to be one of those few priceless places in the world where everything just seems to be right.

There's just much else to say about that, I guess. Everything is right, though it's always sad to leave because, although Brodhead is next weekend, Blakesburg always seems to signal the end of summer. It has fast become one of my favorite fly-ins (you didn't actually expect me to pick a favorite, did you??) because it is, indeed, a perfect little haven hidden away where seemingly no one can touch it. Here is a well-guarded paradise where people come together and stay together (out of necessity, if nothing else), all here to celebrate cool old airplanes. My kind of people indeed!

It is this environment I miss the most when I'm away from my home airport. I haven't found surroundings that match these gatherings of vintage airplanes for pure passion and encouragement of the passionate pursuit of flying. Everyone truly WANTS to be there. It's easy to forget that feeling when you're surrounding by 14,000 people simply plodding through the daily grind.

However, we cannot lose that attitude . . . without it we have nothing. The passionate people I found at my local airport, supportive and encouraging, made all the difference in fostering my growth and directing my energies. Unfortunately, this evnironment is difficult to come by, especially as a young person. Yet, this situation is the most vital--more young people need to be unquestioningly accepted with open arms by the aviation community, not branded as outsiders and taught to view everyone with an interest in aviation as suspicious.

Let's take Blakesburg to the rest of the world, one ride at a time!

Who COULDN'T fall in love with this??

Jim Koepnick photo, (C) 2009


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