|Did I mention it was cold?|
Upon landing, we find that it is no warmer on the ground. About 51 degrees.This is unseasonably cold even this far north. Coming from 100 in Ft. Worth, this is welcome, but we are still somewhat under clad. We are greeted by an enthusiastic ground crew, the event coordinator, Rick Tupper and the airport manager. We are here to celebrate the 75th anniversary of their airport, Joe Foss Field. Joe Foss was the leading Marine Corps Ace in the Second World War, a Medal of Honor recipient and later the governor of SD. He was also the first commissioner of the NFL.
After loading up the two cars being loaned to us, we drive off the tarmac and past the terminal. Looking to our left we see Jenny and Bruce Duling exiting the terminal. Stopped for hugs, loaded luggage and we are off to the hotel. The first order of business after check in is finding food as it is nearing mid afternoon. Fate led us to Crawford's because it seemed to be the only place in town open between two and five. Crawford's is in a restored building with tin ceiling and quirky decor such as velvet bonnet chairs and a red jeweled wall.
Downtown Sioux Falls is a cute and happening place. Very clean with well restored historic buildings. Lots of cute shops, and restaurants. Very interesting sculptures line the sidewalks.
A ongoing mission of the Flagship crew through the years has been the quest for the perfect margarita. Serious research has been done on this subject. The worse by far was discovered in Cody, WY. And a good candidate was sniffed out in Tampa, FL. Designations so far include "very good" and "quite decent." That is until Crawford's in Sioux Falls, SD. This could be the one. It is served in a tumbler you would feel
|This could be the one!|
After lunch we went to see the Falls from whence comes the name of the city. They are right in the middle of downtown in a well kept and very green park. They are a series of rapids and falls. The wind is rather sharp and after an exploration of about an hour, we retreat to the warmth of our hotel. An early evening is a real rarity for this group.
Friday the airplane was on display to try to sell memberships to the foundation. We had a table set up inside the terminal building along with the Commemorative Air Force and people outside showing the plane. It was cloudy and chilly all day and very few people came by. Late in the afternoon we moved the plane over to the other side of the airport for the events on Saturday.
Again we headed downtown to Crawford's and had another famous margarita. Then the younger crowd, Bob, Bruce and Jenny headed to an Ethiopian restaurant and the remainder went to the number one ranked restaurant in town, Minerva's. Neither group was disappointed.
Saturday was promised to be warmer but an over night low of 34 degrees made the morning very chilly. And there was a very brisk wind which kept the wind chill pretty low. We were at the airport at 8 and partook of a pancake breakfast which was tasty. Then we set up our table inside the hanger "where we would be out of the wind." But we were near an exterior door and the wind howled through. Peggy and Sheryl were in uniforms and freezing. As the sun got higher, it became warmer in the plane but not in the hanger. Around noon, Zane and Deanna Lemon came in from Dallas. Bob and Jenny went off to get us some food and because every one was so cold, they purchased meals in a bag which they warmed up in aluminum pans they bought on the grills that had been used to cook the breakfast that morning. The hot meal sure hit the spot. And Jenny bought hot chocolate and marshmallows which were a big hit. She had to walk over to the terminal and bring back two cups of hot water at a time but she did it time and time again until we had all been served. We teased that she should have been a flight attendant rather than a pilot.
By early afternoon the crowds had decreased and we had plenty of staff so Sheryl and Peggy were ferried
The dance is an annual event an many of the participants came in period dress. The hit for us was Elvis in his military uniform and his partner who did some moves not seen since watching old movies of the 40's. Swing dancing must be making a come back. Unfortunately, the cool weather seemed to keep some folks away and it was not as well attended than in other years. Again, part of the crew left early, leaving others to secure the airplane.
On Sunday the weather was warming, but alas, our stay here is over and the crew members made their way to their various homes.