Thursday, September 12

Stearman Fly In

Marilyn Stearman Carr
Traveling in the Flagship Detroit is a huge blast! This trip we have five pilots and two passengers. So for the most part Peggy and I have the whole back of the plane to ourselves. We talk, read, snack. Walk around, go to the cockpit to see what is to see. Look out the windows, where everything on the ground is readily visible at this altitude.
Our rooms are in Monmouth, Il, about 15 miles away and all one sees everywhere is cornfields. They even extend to just beyond the wingtips next to the runway. The corn is rather dry as they have not had rain in over a month.(And there are some beans too, but I only saw them from the air).  In Monmouth there were two events of note going on. One was a demolition derby that Rick and Zane attended one evening and the other was the Prime Beef Festival which was like a county fair. We never quite got to that. And of course there is also a gaggle of brightly painted Stearman biplanes which are often swooping by overhead in groups of four.  I am told that over 90 attended the event.
At Fly In breakfast
The first night, Zane made a speech at a pizza party about how one can join the foundation and ride for free, space available for the next year. He really got a lot of attention as we got many, many inquiries about this. Friday morning Peggy and I took the morning off and went into Galesburg where we learned that is was a railroad town and discovered a charming block of shops and restaurants. We had lunch at the Packing House, which was, you guessed it, a Swift meat packing plant. A lot of the original fixtures were in place including the racks the meat hung from.
The people at the Fly In were interesting and interested. Among the those who came to see the plane was the daughter of Loyd Stearman.   Saturday morning, we took almost a plane load of new members just over the state line into Iowa to a breakfast. Everyone had a wonderful time and the meal was delicious.
Happy Travelers
Zane grew up in Aleto about 40 miles from Galesburg so during the course of our visit we met a bunch of his cousins, as well as several classmates.

The weather was hot and sunny but with a breeze that sometimes became a wind so that and the lack of humidity kept us pretty comfortable if you were in the shade. Saturday night we were awakened by a lot of thunder coming from the direction of Galesburg and the next morning found there had been quite a storm in the night. Since it was not predicted, our radios were left in place and got wet so Sunday was devoted to drying the radios.
Monday morning we launched for Dulles Airport in the Washington D.C. area. By now the crew is five since Rick and David has returned home. BUT we were joined by five new members who got in the spirit by all the men wearing our orange tees and the women wearing the blue ones. They are: Tom and Anne Golden, Nick and Judy Sagar and Ed Reinholtz. Nick and Ed are pilots and got a little stick time during the journey. Tom and Anne spend half the year in Ft. Myers, FL and say they will look us up this winter.

Nancy Warren
We stopped in Columbus, IN for lunch were we were hosted by Nancy Warren. Nancy is a pilot and in her mid 80's. She was once a "freight dog" in DC3s for about four years and the 3 remains dear to her heart. She had met the Flagship here once before but with a different crew. Nancy recently made the news when she gifted her Cherokee to two college students, one of whom joined us for lunch. She said it was a no brainer. Now she has a plane and a pilot at her beck and call.
We arrived at Dulles where it was a breezy 72 degrees but that was a teaser as the weather quickly returned to scorching the next day.

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