Saturday, September 26, 2009

At Wright Field for the Airshow

With filming and the need to assist the camera crew and with film editing taking precedence over everything else, extensive photos for this Blog entry are having to wait:( ---But they're coming!

On Friday, September 25th, The Dr1, DVIII and DVII made a grand entrance on to the field at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. First to arrive was Dan Murray in the DVII. The announcer was extremely knowledgeable about WWI history, but I wanted provide him with more info about this particular plane and the pilot. So I meandered my way over to the announcer and when he broke from speaking, I asked if he would like to know some more specifics. I explained that this DVII was from the group who came all the way out from Colorado. He decided it would be great if we could chat on mic about this. As he's interviewing and learning about the DVII, and that my father built it 40 years ago, he suddenly stops and says, "Is your last name Parks?" After confirming that it was, he turns to the crowd and says, "I want you folks to know that her father, Dr. James J. Parks, is responsible for the most extensive collection of WWI Ace material in the world and has preserved history for us all to learn from and enjoy to this day!" He went on to say that he, himself, had written a book on WWI balloon buster Frank Luke, Jr. and did most of his research from our archives. The book is "The Last Stand" and it is by Stephen Skinner. As Steve continued the chat, he had me speak about the DVIII and the Dr1, which were due to come in shortly. The weather was spitting and the guys in the DVIII and Dr1 had been delayed quite some time. The crowd was getting anxious. Finally, an hour later, they arrive to cheers from the crowd! They are taxied to an open area and are allowed to been seen up close and personal by the crowd. Each pilot generously answered questions and kids and adults were thrilled alike! Andy arrived as well and got with Steve.
Andy and Mark happy to have landed

Andy and Steve reminisced for a moment about the research on Frank Luke, Jr. and then Andy spoke beautifully to the crowd about our three aircraft and the 1100 mile journey they have made. Local press and TV stations were in attendance. Andrew entertaining some folks--More pictures to come!

Meanwhile, today the sun finally shone, but not until 4pm! And the event ended at 5pm! Art was spitting nails because he was so looking forward to capturing the aircraft in flight with blue skies today. "I have all the footage I need of these planes with a gray backdrop!" Tomorrow promises sunshine. Art and Russ should be happy campers.

Tonight we had a formal dinner at the Air Force Museum. For the occasion, the pilots dressed in WWI uniforms and their wives in nurses uniforms.
Andy and his wife Michelle in full regalia!

Putting on the final uniform touches!
All set to go!

At the dinner, Andrew King, Mark Holliday and Dan Murray were recognized for their historic journey!
The event was held in the museum itself and a video montage of the history of flight was shown and the Air Force band played. We sat with General Metcalf and his wife. We felt very honored!

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