Attending the Fly-In



Best Western

I stayed at the Best Western in Sonora.
My favourite idea is to stay at one of the other hotels nearby the airfield in the local community.
Often when flying in the USA you end up staying at a hotel somewhere out of town, probably in an industrial area, or near some malls that are nearly always closed at the times I am there, and so you do not see the local life.
Perhaps this is a fact of American life for many people who commute in their cars to work and to the mall, and when not doing so are safely closeted in their suburban homes.
They go on vacation to see life elsewhere in the world.

It was very kind of Robert Szego, President of the Bellanca-Champion Club, who gave me a lift to the hotel after I arrived late in the evening.

Saturday morning I woke up at 05:10 as there was a bang in the next room... People can be noisy in their hotel rooms.
I snoozed a while and then went for breakfast. I saw a real tip, a right mess, in the next room as I walked by. The cleaning staff had a real job to do to clean up after my neighbours.
I am a low impact customer... I leave my hotel rooms very clean and hardly used. I shower and sleep and try to make as little a mess as I can.
I suppose it's pride in ones' own cleanliness.

Ted was already at breakfast when I arrived in the hotel café.
Breakfast for me was porridge and brown toast... I've noted that I have added five pounds to my gross weight, mai dee, not good, I don't want to go along the road to obesity as I see so many of the denizens also having breakfast had.

At the airfield the gate was closed to the camping side, and we didn't know the code... So we drove back to the 'terminal' side.
It was nice to sit in the shade in front of the FBO building and chat with people there.
I spoke to a Filipino lady who had arrived there two months ago.
A four year old boy was kicking a plastic bottle cap around... This wasn't very aviation, but I suppose he could play for the USA in the world cup one day...
I went inside to buy a quart of oil and while I was at it I bought one of those $1 foam plastic fighter gliders. I bought a Bearcat thinking it would be more American, but in spite of the packet there was a Spitfire inside.
I assembled the glider and gave it to the four year old to throw around for as long as it lasted.

This years' fly-in was well attended with a lot of very nice aeroplanes and a lot of good fellow aviators. There were even a few, just a few, who were not grey haired.
Ours is an aging enthusiasm and it is sad to see recreational aviation and passion for aeroplanes showing a decline.
I suppose life has become so much more competitive and work/career orientated that people don't have time for such a commitment. Cost is also a factor, but I, like many of my generation, was poor when I learned to fly, but we did it anyway!

Boxed lunches were dished out; I had a beef sandwich in mine... I don't usually eat a lot of beef, but I've had a fair amount lately.
Pao gave up eating beef when she learned to fly, and I respect her for this, so I have not eaten a lot of this meet since I met her. Perhaps I am wrong, but the way beef is raised has given me cause for concern. I wonder whether the apparent increase in deseases such as cancer has come from the foods we eat?

Time to walk...
I walked across the airfield, through the FBO, and down the path between the exposed rocks to the main road into town.
I am a walker, I walk miles and miles, and sometimes I go out for lunch and can't decide and simply walk and walk.
Columbia is a gold rush town which has turned its history into a tourist attraction.

Taking a walk

Politics in the USA were apparent as I walked into town...
I've met many smart intelligent Americans and I wonder why they can't seem to find a smart person to be President.
It's like any club I suppose where nobody wants to volunteer for the Presidents job.
But I look at democracy as being a difficult thing where the majority perhaps do not have the education of the minority.
In Thailand educated people question and protest against their country's democracy. The vast majority of people are less well educated, and are easily bought by popular policies that the Taksin government(s) have put forth.
It's like having a democratic school where the majority teenagers can impose their will on the minority teaching staff.
I don't know the answer, I just report what I see.

The Chinese were relegated to the north side of town during the gold rush.


Bad spelling goes way back in the USA


Relics of the past survive well in this climate
But fire has done a lot of damage too

"Have you got any nuts for me?"


You can take a ride in a stage coach every half an hour or so

Chinese apothecary in Columbia

Back to the fly-in



I went to the gelato shop where I bought one huge scoop of blueberry ice cream.
Being in a super size culture I was glad I didn't ask for two scoops.
Thus prepared, I walked back to the airfield to cross the runway on foot after a departing Firecat.

In the 'clubhouse' there was a talk on fabric covering a fabric repair.
The engineer concerned was given an award from an FAA official afterwards.

Then it was dinner time, I had chicken, and not too much of it.
The after dinner raffle resulted in a $25 coupon from Wag Aero for me, and a sun visor for the Decathlon for Ted

On to part three

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