Friday, August 30, 2013

The Doolittle Raid: A Survivor

As I wandered around the air show, I saw signs in the tents mentioning VIP's.  I really didn't know what an airshow VIP was until I met the gentleman below:

Meet Richard Cole:

At this time, Richard is in his 90's and looking GOOD! 

Below is a photograph he was selling with his autograph.  I gladly paid him for one.

Richard enlisted as a Flying Cadet in Nov 1940 just a few weeks before Pearl Harbor. He completed his flight training in July 1941 and was the co-pilot for Lt. Col. James Doolittle on the first plane off the carrier Hornet.  He, and the entire crew survived.   They were sheltered and hidden by the Chinese for 11 months.  But, he continued flying over the China-Burma-India theater until June 1943.  After that, he flew with the 1st Air Commandos in support of allied operations behind enemy lines. 

Richard is one of only 4 survivors of the Doolittle Raid still alive.  NOW I know what an airshow VIP is.

I shook the hand of a hero with unimaginable courage.   I was greatly honored to visit with him.

Thank you, Richard.


Thursday, August 29, 2013


Meet Brett!

He was the only reenactor that I saw at the air show.  He was standing around a Willy Jeep and was enjoying chatting with the crowd.  He couldn't wait until he turned 18 to join the group.  And, he's been with the reenactors for 9 months now.  

Well done, Brett!  Thanks!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Visitor from North Dakota (A NorDuck):

Meet Jessica:

I thought she had lovely eyes and a warm and friendly personality.  She is a Chiropractic student from ND and is a voracious volleyball player.  She had the height to play the front line, I know that!

Thanks Jessica!

Monday, August 26, 2013

A Visitor from Canada!

Meet Frankie!

I liked his look.   You can't see it from this photo, but he had a number of tattoo's that caught my eye.  He came to the air show with his lovely wife of 24 years to watch the planes.

I didn't have a lot of time to get information from him.  So, I gave him a card and asked if he would be kind enough to email me.

Here is a BIT of what he sent.  I cut about half of it out.   NOT because it was boring.  But, it was LONG!   Frankie is passionate about building models of ships, planes, cars, etc.

First off, I have been with my wife for 24 years and we have 1 son.
I have been a Steelworker for approximately 25 years.
I live in Selkirk, Manitoba Canada and have all my life.

Well, here is a little about me:
As I was saying at the Air Show, my passion is Airplanes, Ships and Military.  As a young man I was in the Navy League and Air Cadets.  I wanted to be a pilot, but unfortunately, due to the loss of my mother when I was 17, my life changed course.  My father was from Hungary, Budapest and in the French Foreign Legion and was part of a Tank Squadron.  My uncles served as Navy Personnel on the ships.
My other passion is my hobby building big scale plastic plane and ship models.

One of my most notorious ship building was the Titanic.  When the Titanic Expo was in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature had their own Manitoba Connection to the Titanic and my model of the Titanic was displayed for all to see.  The museum also created key chains and magnets for sale, using the picture of my Titanic Model.  You can likely check into this by doing a web search on Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature in Winnipeg Manitoba.

I have been a fan of the Titanic and it's background.  The one thing that sticks out the most for me, is when the men, women and children were hitting the rivets into the ship by hand.  They were hot steel and only handled by their hands and cloths.  The man power that went into the building was amazing. I think about the massive propellers, bringing them in on horse and buggy, pulling into the ship yard.  
If you check on-line The Selkirk Record, Thursday, February 17, 2011 edition, you will see me on the front cover of the paper with another of my models, a CF-18 and on the second page my Titanic.
I have also recently built the German Railway Gun - The Leopold.  The model itself is 4 feet long, 6 inches wide and from the arch of the gun to the bottom of the platform is about 18 inches.  This was the first time I built anything outside a plane or ship.  The reason for building this model was, really was very cheap (LOL) and the size of the model, I found it would be interesting to undertake.  This particular gun, especially the weight and size, the crew takes 25 men to run this big gun.  The weight of the barrel itself, is 187, 880 pounds !   The shells weigh roughly 600 pounds each. It fires a distant of 80 miles.  The whole railway gun weight is 218 tons !  which is a heck of lot of weight !  It took me 6 months to complete.
I have also built Battle Ships:

The Japanese Yamato, which was 72,500 tons
The Legendary Arizona
The Bismarck
The Tirpitz
The USS New Jersey
The reason I pick certain models to build, is usually due to the stories I hear about them.  I find myself wanting to be part of the stories, so I build the models and it brings me closer to the feeling of what they are and the stories behind them.

I only build, roughly one model per year.  I only build in the winter.  The summer I am busy enjoying the nice Manitoba Weather and making trips to Air Shows every year.
Thank you very much for expressing interest me and my life.
If you need more information or anything like that, please e-mail.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

In Service to Our Country

Meet Ashley!

She was at the air show I attended recruiting for the Air Force National Guard.  She had spent 5 years in the Army Air Guard before taking this assignment. 

She was passionate about her service and flying!

Thanks Ashley, for your service and for the photo op!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Taking to the Air

I had the chance to take a ride on a vintage aircraft.  Since I don't know a lot about the aviation industry, except the generally nasty experiences of TSA lines and feeling a lot like a cow in a herd, this gave me the opportunity to get into a smaller plane.

Meet the plane!

And, my very delightful and fun, pilot.  Yeh....that's about as much as I saw of him.  But, he WAS busy.  Seriously, he has have a great time flying.  And, he ended up leading a few fly-by's over the airport with our formation.  It was quite cool!

There were 6 or 7 planes similar to ours and we took off in a serial fashion.  At least, from what I could tell.   We were in the front and it was a bit difficult to turn around.

But, I did like looking over my left shoulder and seeing this!

I could see a similar plane over my right shoulder.  But, I couldn't turn around well enough to get a good photo of it.  I was...shall we say..seriously strapped in!

The gauges!  I spent a little time studying them.  I really hate running out of gas. 

We all landed without incident.  And, the entire flight took about 45 minutes.  I believe I suggested a quick trip to Paris.  But, we didn't quite get that far.

All in all, it was a great experience.   I thought about getting my pilot's license.  But, I have enough bad habits as it is. 


Friday, August 23, 2013

Car Shows 16: The 40 Ford Truck

Meet Jeremy,

Meet Jeremy and his truck!

And, check out this interior!

This project took him 10 years.   And, it was something he wanted to do with his dad.  

Well done, Jeremy!  Well done!


Thursday, August 22, 2013

A REPEAT! It is a Small World!

Meet Laurel, Bibe, and Jacob.

They were sitting towards the outside perimeter of the show and were visiting.  When I asked to take their photos, Laurel said, "I think I know you.  You took my photo before!"   She reached into her purse and pulled out my card.

It took her about 10 seconds!   I was surprised. I thought for a while and remembered it was at a motorcycle show in January!  So, I looked for it and couldn't find it.  But, I know the image!   She was wearing a helmet!

When I asked what I could say about them, Jacob piped up and said that "Jacob is awesome!"
Good attitude, bud!

My sincere thanks to you all!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Car Shows 15: The 49 Chevy

Meet George!

He was just sitting quietly enjoying the beautiful evening, nursing a bottle of water and chatting with any and all who wanted to hear about this Chevy.

He's had it for 20 years and just re-did it.  When he got married, this car was there.   That's a connection!

Thanks George!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Car Shows 14: Friends with another Car Couple

Sitting with Terry and Liz, were Maria and Brian; 

So, meet Maria!

Meet Brian!

They have this beautiful red Comet.   SIGH....I owe them a photo, I think!


Monday, August 19, 2013

Car Shows 13: A Couple with a Car History

Meet Terry and Liz!

Terry and Liz have been married for 26 years.   They grew up, together, in the car they were showing.  I need to get a better image of their Riviera!

Once again, the car has a history with the people who own and show them.  Their lives are intertwined around specific models.  They are connected through the years with memories of road trips, kids, conversations, loves and heartache.

Thanks Terry and Liz!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Car Shows 12: Another Photographer!

Meet Julie and Jim!

Jim was there for the cars and food!  Julie was there to photograph cars!   We both were looking at the car below.  So, we ended up chatting about various camera settings for cars.  They aren't as easy to photograph without a controlled light setting!

Thanks Julie and Jim!   Keep shooting Julie!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Car Shows 11: Soul Sisters

Meet Erica and Rachel!

I enjoyed watching them wander through the cars and chatting.  They clearly were good friends.   They are both middle school teachers, co-teachers in fact, at the same school!  

Thanks Erica and Rachel!


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Car Shows 10: Gawkers!

Meet Kyle, Jodi, and Chris. 

I thought the image of the three of them looking through a car window would be interesting.   And, I rather like it.  There is a bit too much black at the top.  But, it was a bit difficult to convey the inside of the car without it. 

They were having a great time looking at the various cars.   And, note:  hands are NOT touching the cars.   That is a big NO-NO from the owners. Well done! 

My sincere thanks to you all!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Car Shows 9: The 54 Studebaker Wagon!

Meet Gary!

He was selling this black 54 Studebaker wagon.  When I asked what he liked so much about the car...what drew him to it, he replied that it was the first year they made a wagon:  the Conestoga.   He really likes cars that are unique.   And, he found the lines on this car beautiful and artistic!

Thanks Gary!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Car Shows 8: Visitors and Wanderers

Meet Rob and Bree!

I stopped and asked to take their photo because they seemed to be having such a nice time.  Bree owned a 67 Camaro years ago. She still misses it!  

Thanks Rob and Bree!   You were both quite delightful and charming!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Car Shows 7: The 71 Camaro and Love Stinks!

Meet Scott!

He has this beautiful 71 Camaro.   I asked him what was so magical about this car.  He told me that it was the first car he owned.  He purchased it right out of HS.   He's had it for over 33 years.  And, the best part was that a lot of his life is in the glove compartment. 

He reached in and pulled out this air freshener that said "Love Stink".   He bought it after a break up with a young lady over 20 years ago. 

NOW, I get it!

Thanks Scott.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Car Shows 6: The 63 Impala

Meet Dave!

Dave has a black 63 Chevy Impala.  When I asked what the significance of this car was to him, he didn't hesitate.  This was the first car he purchased when he was in high school.

While the car below is not that Chevy.  He did point out that his younger brother still has that original Impala.

I am beginning to understand.  I didn't have the heart to tell him my first car was a Gremlin.  I am so not cool.  SIGH.

Thanks Dave!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Car Shows 5: One of the Organizers

I find this entire process of a recurring car show quite fascinating.  Here are people that are passionate about vintage cars.  And, they volunteer their time to organize a "mostly" weekly show!

Meet Dan!

Dan is one of the organizers.  He was gracious enough to take me around and introduce me to a few people and point out some of his favorite vehicles  I asked about the numbers of cars in a typical show.  I was stunned to learn that on a good night they would have about 550.   They used to have over 1,000.  But, the city was not amused. 

He has been helping to organize this for over 10 years.

Thanks Dan.   VERY well done!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Car Shows 4: 31 Ford

Meet Bob!

Bob's passion was a 31 Ford sedan.  And, he told me it was too nice to take out in the rain!  I know he had another car there. The images didn't turn out well.   Sorry Bob...I owe you a photo!

Thanks for the time and the chat about Ford's!  I've got a brother-in-law that you should chat with.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Car Shows: 3 Early to Mid-60's

Meet Rick!

He has a passion for the early to mid 60's cars.  He told me he really appreciates the artist beauty of the cars and great effort people take to restore them.

Thank Rick! 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Car Shows: 2 Eric's 1950 Pontiac

He did a fantastic job inside!

Nice Eric!   Very nice!

Thank you for your time and the photo!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Car Shows: 1 Eric's 1950 Pontiac!

I was surprised to learn that a town near me had a "mostly" weekly car show during the spring and summer.  I actually stumbled on it as I came out of a restaurant on a beautiful Saturday evening and found a few hundred classic cars and several hundred people.

Meet Eric!

And his Pontiac pride and joy!

Fully restored.

Photos from the interior tomorrow!


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Psycho Suzi's: Part 2

Meet Sunnie!

She was VERY busy helping Sara get customers seated.   But, she was also willing to pause for a minute for me to get a photo.  And, that is about all the time she had!   Seriously the staff worked very hard to get customers in...and served..with a smile.

Thanks Sunnie!

I feel bad I missed the beard contest.  It would have been a GREAT photo op!


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Psycho Suzi's: 1

I have wanted to go to Psycho Suzi's for a long time.  I hear it is a fun place to relax with an outside bar/patio near the Mississippi River's east bank in N. Minneapolis.  I've driven by a few times on a Friday night and just kept going.  It clearly is a popular spot.   But, I didn't really want to face a crowd after a long week.

So, one Sunday this summer, I went!

Meet Sara!

She was the hostess that shift.  She was most gracious and willing to let me take a photo.   She's an art teacher during the school year.   This is her summer job!

Thanks Sara!  I liked the smile and hair style! 

Friday, August 2, 2013

A Convertible with Two Lovely Occupants

Normally I try to work through my photos in some chronological order.  It helps me keep names straight (most of the time) and I have time to work on and touch up some images.

But, this one escaped my full-proof method.

Meet..the occupants of a convertible on a very warm, Missouri day!

I had just finished a small dish of frozen custard (MMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and was heading back to my car.  And, these lovely ladies pulled up next to me.

I did NOT get their names, as near as I can tell.

But, I thought it was a great day for a daughter to take her mother for a ride!


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Traveling Alone for Business: Is this my only friend?

I often travel alone for business.   Sometimes, it is nice to mingle with others without a work agenda and just socialize.  Sometimes, it is just nice to sit and be quiet for a while.

Meet Gin

And Tonic.

After a long day of meetings, this was nice and relaxing.