Friday, November 9

Homestead AFB 2012

On a perfect, sunny south Florida 1st of November, the sleek and shiny 75 year old Flagship Detroit glided into Homestead Air Reserve Base to begin her second winter season in Florida at  Wings Over Homestead 2012.  Gene Christian, Tony DeSantis and Dave Buffington made the trip from Fort Worth to Covington, Georgia on October 30 arriving in a frozen state due to inadequate clothing and the lateness of arrival. After spending the night with the Christians, they were on to Stuart, FL, where Tony had arranged a wash and polish party. They were joined on the final leg to Homestead by Dennis Pugsley.   They landed about 1130, and rendezvoused with Steve Jacobson and Peggy Fairchild, who had driven down from Jupiter. (Florida, of course)

The group was hosted by the dashing Colonel known as Hooter,  who graciously drove everyone to comfortable housing quarters on base.  Dinner was a lively reunion at Longhorn Steak House.  Since the airplane was in such good shape after an extensive check up at Alliance, Friday was a day off for the crew.  Joining the group was Tony's wife Judy DeSantis, accompanied by Flagship supporters Bill and Michelle Brooks, who were celebrating their sixteenth wedding anniversary.  It was decided to note that auspicious occasion with a drive down US 1 to Alabama Jacks, a famous stop on the way to the Florida Keys, in beautiful Card Sound, Florida.  After a great afternoon feeding the fish and listening to the wonderful music of Kenny Channels, a local guitarist and entertainer (who serenaded Bill and Michelle) the group then gathered back at the base for a party hosted by the air show and the Thunderbirds, who were the featured performers. 

Saturday was an early report time for the crew, since the gates opened at 8 a.m. The day was hot and sunny and lines were long all day as everyone wanted to see the world's oldest DC-3. Dinner that night was at the very eclectic and interesting White Lion Cafe in Homestead.  We  would have never discovered this out of the way gem unless we had met  Kenny Channels, who was performing there that night.  Everyone enjoyed his music after dinner on the very charming patio.  Sunday was another successful day.  Bill and Michelle were invaluable in manning the airplane door and sales table, while Dennis used his impressive Spanish language skills giving cockpit tours.  Tony, Judy, and Peggy were in vintage costume and spent a good amount of time in "photo ops".    Steve, Dave and Gene alternated time in the cockpit and talking with supporters.  AA flight attendant Gladys Goedhart was a welcome new addition, enthusiastically talking to visitors who patiently waited to see the Flagship.  We welcomed a new member, Richard Erschik, who rode from Homestead to Stuart on Monday morning and posted a great video of his "once in a lifetime experience" on You Tube.  It was a great show and a perfect start to the season in Florida.  Everyone is looking forward to Stuart.  Please join us November 10-11 for what promises to  be another wonderful event for the Flagship and friends.

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