Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day Barbecue at Grass Roots

There's this fellow in central Florida named David Gay who lives and breathes airplanes and architecture and who, with his wife, Ann, decided at some point to build an airport. 

Not just any airport, a real, live airport with a runway that's built up from the surrounding swamp land that nobody wanted, out in the middle of nowhere, where other airplane nuts could gather, live, commune with the air and all that stuff. And they succeeded.

Fly-ins at Grass Roots are usually themed, such as "Biplane" or "Cub" or "Antique" gatherings, but occasionally David opens up to invited guests of mixed persuasions and has an event like the "Valentine's Day" fly-in.

A biplane fly-in from the Grass Roots website

So it was that a gaggle of airplanes and pilots flew over from Spruce Creek Airpark just south of Daytona on the east coast of Florida, and among them were the Fallers, friends from Bayport Aerodrome on Long Island who make their home now at the Creek.

Russ Faller (R) and me, enjoying sunshine
There's a story here that starts with a dumb stunt on my part at a fly-in in New York that resulted in a busted prop and overhauled engine, a stuck valve on the overhauled engine, the freeing up of that valve (by Russ) and his loan of a prop as a favor to me, and my good fortune to meet and fly with his son, Paul, at the big company on Long Island. He's still there, doing well, and we still keep in touch.

So while Paul enjoys big, zippy jets and snow, his Dad and I get to frolic in the sunshine among dope and fabric airplanes, taildragger pilots and barbecue. I wouldn't trade places for the world.

You can find out more about Grass Roots Airpark online (lots available) at:

Monday, February 02, 2015

If you cook, they will come

Nothing much comes between Woody and food ... especially when you have to fly to get to it!

Woody, westbound for those fluffy scrambled eggs, sausage, GRITS, waffles, pancakes, assorted condiments and good company.

The Flying FOOLZ (Florida Order Of Lightplane Zealots) can put out a great spread, drawing airplanes (and pilots) of all shapes and sizes for the fun, food and fellowship. For more pictures and a schedule of activities, go to:

(click the pics to make 'em bigger)

The count was something over 90 airplanes and 250 people. Not bad for a breezy, last weekend in January. Certainly better than the weekend weather up nawth (snow, ice, etc).

There were two fly-ins featuring good grub this past weekend; I just decided to go to the one that was closer. The other one was at Melrose Landing, sponsored by FSAACA (Florida Sport Aviation Antique and Classic Association). Reports from the field indicate a good turnout there, too.

More to come. My mouth is watering already.