Under a wing, on the flight line

I’d been having a hard time leaving the Richmond Rod and Gun Club. I couldn’t understand why they decided to bully me around town. Deciding that if so many of my “friends” wanted me out, then they weren’t friends. Such is life, it isn’t my first rodeo.

Decided that I’d take a road trip to see the country, find some beauty and inquire as to the state of the world. I don’t watch TV or keep up with the news much. Just don’t see it as a healthy thing to waste time worrying about impending doom. It had been some years since I’d driven across the country so I set out to drive to see my parents and family in florida.

The short story is that I didn’t make it to my family, but I did find a new one.

When I left the Richmond Rod and Gun Club I thought I had a family. I really enjoyed my time there and contributing. I can be an over giver. In every not-for-profit I’ve played in I will work to inspire and encourage people for good. My time in ICANN I wanted to help push back abusive manipulation which lead me to a carrier in cyber security. At groundwork Richmond I enjoyed helping get more trees in the ground.

My time at an organization is always limited. I give too much and hold those around me accountable until they tire of this and I force them to kick me out. I’ve been kicked out of almost ever volunteer position I’ve ever had. I must enjoy watching the organizations react to a higher moral standard. I don’t take it personally any more. I am looking for places that need help because I have a lot to give, and I enjoy it.

I’m not a dangerous person, but if I come into your life, expect change. I enjoy personal grown and I’ve just gone through a transformative moment in my life. I don’t enjoy being stuck and I’ve been stuck, so I took a trip across the country and in the 5,500 plus miles or over 100 hours of driving I had some time to think, sing countless hours of karaoke. I also had time to meet some of the most wonderful, kind and generous people on the planet.

I ended up in Golden Colorado with time to meet with contractors, customers and a lot of folks traveling. I’d been perplexed with my experience at the gun club and after a good bit of pondering I’ve decided to let those people go. If you enjoy playing games — pick a new player. I’m saving a special place for you in my heart, but more on that in another post.

I had some extra time in golden and decided to spend it on my phone. Phones suck, they just waste my time, distract my attention and are just a cognitive sink wasting the lives of society at large. I noticed an email that Foreflight (an app I use for flying) was going to have a booth at Oshkosh. Being a pilot I’d herd that it is a big airshow. Since I had time to kill I decided that I’d purchase a week of camping and a week at the airshow. I had zero clue that I would be doing this, I had no idea when I rolled out of my driveway that I would be heading to Wisconsin.

I enjoy living my life this way, not knowing what will happen. I appreciate the random experience because I see patterns. I’d seen patterns in the people I believed were my friends and I didn’t want to think about those any more. Part of this lesson was to learn to ignore my assumptions and take nothing personally. These are the things I work on and if you get to the end of this, I hope you’ll see how positively these thoughts can impact your life.

I had not driven much of Nebraska, Iowa and Wisconsin and I found those states a real joy. The people seemed kinder, more trusting of strangers and open to helping someone in need. I needed to make some new friends and these folks were friendly. For weeks no one mentioned covid or anything about being scared.

I made it to Oshkosh and when I arrived at the campground I was told to pick a spot. I had no clue what I was doing so I found a spot that was bracketed in between a stream and a stand of trees with a single tree in the center. My neighbors had RVs and tents. I had a single tent without a rain fly. It doesn’t rain in California so I didn’t even consider that I might experience “weather.” I’m open to learning lessons and bringing your rainfly is one that I have now deeply internalized.

One of my favorite ways to learn an environment is to get lost in it. I decided I needed some exercise and enjoy running and walking so I set out to walk/run the perimeter of the airport, down its roads and accross its fields. The place is huge with massive green fields that little to my intuition would be soon filled with RV campers, airplanes of every sort and a massive throng of over 600,00 people. I didn’t know that so I spent a few days covering the grounds, walking, running and a bit of kung-fu in a giant massive green field was an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up. I didn’t care if people watched, I was just a speck in a field doing a weird dance by myself.

As the airplanes began to arrive and the shops began to open more and more people, airplanes and RV campers poured in. Still clueless I decided to set out to locate a place to volunteer. I don’t enjoy being a spectator, I want to participate. I stopped into the EMT shack and asked if they needed anyone. Id’ eventually be back, but as a patient. I check with the kitchens, random people that provided me rides, I hitched a lot of rides. Nothing panned out and I became frustrated. I’d developed some serious blisters and was feeling a bit lonely.

While walking down a road, clearly out of place a fella named Scott Something pulled up and asked where I was going. He wore a blue tee-shirt that had lettered on the back “don’t yell at me I’m a volunteer.” I asked “where are you going?” Scott said that he was headed over to have a cigar as you can’t smoke near the airplanes and needed to go about two miles from the action to have a smoke. I hoped in and we drove over to a shack selling water and gatorade. I pulled out a cigar and we sat and chatted about our lives, the air show and our love of aviation.

I hoped into Scott’s golf cart and we sped off towards the airshow. He suggested I volunteer as a security person with the “War Birds.” I had no clue what the warbirds were but it sounds like my kind of thing. I find joy in the flight/fight response, yea it probably isn’t healthy but that is who I am. I want to be dropped into chaos and see how I react. Not the best space for finding a girlfriend but I wasn’t looking for that either.

Scott dropped me off in front of the WarBird volunteer trailer and I inquired how one volunteers and that Scott sent me over. The volunteer coordinator asked me if it was Scott Bayer and my memory of names failed me once again. I said “Yes,” She noticed a fella in a 4 wheel drive cart and said “There he is go talk to him” I walked over apologize for the confusion and asked if I could still volunteer. He asked what I could do and I said “I’m a CEO and a Farmer,” after a pause, a sigh, and a head nod he said yes.

I had no clue what scott did but was issued a bright yellow t shirt, safety orange baseball hat and had my photo taken for my ID badge. Both the hat and tshirt were boldy lettered with “WARBIRDS FLIGHTLINE.” I felt strange, did I just get a post to the airstrip? In my mind the words “Holly Shit, I love you” I must have said it thousands of times. How the fuck did this happen. What does the hat and tee and id badge give access to?

The short answer, if you are tired of reading… EVERYTHING!

Categories: Flying

%d bloggers like this: