FLYING JOURNAL - Odds and Ends

Sometimes I feel so far behind. I started working on my master's degree 24 years ago this spring. I was almost done once, in 1980. But at that time, I was tired of school, and was lured away to manage a bicycle shop. Since they only count graduate classes for 8 years, I had to start all over again. But that's finished, and at least I have one big advantage over many of my fellow graduates (many of whom are the age of my children!): at least I already have a job. I'll be teaching technical writing in the SMSU English department this fall.

My head is still spinning. Four years ago, I was worrying what a middle-aged man who had been his own boss for 10 years would find in the job market. And I've been pleasantly surprised. If I could clone myself, I could have two careers, teaching and flying. It's a far cry from the recession in place when I got out of the Army in 1976. I realize there are twenty and thirty-somethings who have never experienced a recession. But while the economy roars, party on!

I was saddened to see that the married couple who perform aerobatics as the "French Connection" clipped wings and crashed fatally during practice. I know many of us have seen them at Oshkosh and other airshows.
Of course you can say they were doing what they loved, and they were together. That's not very satisfying, though.

The small world of aviation, continued: Coca-Cola is upgrading their ride from a King Air turbo-prop to a Citation jet, and my cousin, Tom Holmer, who had been flying for Casey=92s General Stores out of Des
Moines, is moving down to fly their Citation. I'm looking forward to renewing our acquaintance.

Now that school's out for the summer, I'm back to working with my regular students. Raymond Plaster flew us to Columbia for the MPA board meeting in his Cherokee 180, combining some instrument training with the
trip to the meeting. We enjoyed the new restaurant at Columbia Airport. In fact, the Springfield chapter was well-represented, since outgoing State Prez Larry Harmon, new Prez nominee Jerry McClure, and Dick Hendrix
also flew up.

The continuing saga of the gyroplane: We got the rebuilt rotor head back on the gyroplane. A new, improved "soft-start" pre-rotator is onorder, hopefully we'll be flying next week, and if all goes well, we hope to show it off at the Bolivar fly-in June 17. Don't hold your breath, but keep your fingers crossed. I aim to fly safely, and you do the same.

Earl


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