It was like taking off from Earth
By Margaret Melloy Guziak -
Under a sunny, Colorado-blue sky, and an almost windless, Saturday morning on September 29th, 82 local kids had their lives change dramatically when they were lifted off this earth in an airplane for a 20-minute flight into the skies above Mack. They were piloted by 8 or 9 certified EAA pilots from local Chapter 800, based at Mack Mesa Airport, who volunteered their planes, gas and time to promote an interest in general aviation in children, a goal of the international Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA).
The flights started at 9 a.m. Syndi sat at her computer, printing out the needed paperwork, before handing it to her assistant who clipboarded them, and then to Ross, who called out to the seated crowd the names of those who would be flying next. Each pilot greeted his young passengers by name, hunkering down to introduce himself and talk to them about what they were going to see, before leading them up to his plane parked on the runway.
Pilots invited any parents or guardians to come up with them, listen to them describe the plane and watch as each child was helped up into the cockpit, putting on their headsets and seatbelts before taking off. Some planes held only one passenger, others two or three, so it was a long day, but every child got their chance to fly that day. The local Chapter EAA800 set a record with the new total of 82 kids. Watch this paper for the next available Young Eagle Flight set for next April. With the expected crowd, it may be a 2-Day event. Dates will be announced later.
Ray Milburn Green
Good friends, Judy and George Harer, were waiting for us Sunday morning at Judy’s Restaurant, 435 H3wy 6&50, Fruita. “I have an assignment for you,” Judy said, as we pulled out chairs at an adjoining table. “There’s a nice guy we know who will be 100 years old this week on October 4, 2012. You must interview him. Scotty can give you his address and phone number.”
Our waitress, Scotty, overheard the conversation. “I’ve already got it all written down for you,” she smiled. “You will love him. You need to write about him for the Fruita Times. “The Daily Sentinel put a little “Happy 100th Birthday” notice with his picture that he’d given them. It was in Saturday’s paper with his picture, but you need to meet him yourself.”
Agreeing, I took the information and made a note to look for the notice and his picture in the paper at home, before calling him and setting up the interview at his Fruita home the following Tuesday morning. Locating it later, I read “I have three daughters, Rosalie, Maralie and Carolyn. I have my little dog, Daisy. On Fridays, I have breakfast with a group of Masons; the rest of the week I have breakfast with other friends. I also have a very special friend, Zola. How could I ask for more, except to have my wife back”.
Reading what he had written convinced me immediately that I had to meet Ray Milburn Green for myself, so I set up the appointment. The resulting article about this gentle, smart, little man and the surprise birthday party at Judy’s Restaurant is in a separate article. Look for it. And thanks, Judy and George Harer, and Scotty, for the tip. If other readers have any requests, you can contact me at Judy’s, our usual breakfast hangout every Sunday morning around 9:15am, and we’ll try to work something out.
Big box stores and shopping
Sometimes, people “bad mouth” the big box stores and that isn’t fair. Here are some facts everyone should consider: In addition to contributing to various local charities both at the holiday time and throughout the year, they make their presence known in many ways. Because of their big budgets and huge, product-filled stores, they collect sales tax revenue, contributing dollars and jobs to the local economy. And they are able to hire many locals, many from the Redlands and Fruita areas, to work in their stores part-time.
Saying ‘howdy’ at Sam’s
We’ve met some retired folks who work at Sam’s as “greeters” and “product distributors”, handing out samples of Sam’s foods, to either supplement their set income or to reduce the boredom of staying home after leading busy, very productive, working lives. One such person we met last week was “Pete”, who cheerfully called out to those approaching and passing by his booth, offering them samples of squash soup, something I hadn’t tasted before. We chatted about mutual friends we had while tasting our samples of delicious soup, offered in a mini-cup with a mini-spoon. The next time you are in Sam’s, go taste some hot soup, talk to Pete and tell him we sent you. He’ll be surprised.
Wal-Mart also hires some MSU kids, letting them work around their class schedules, which can change the days and hours every semester. Again, this helps not only the local economy, but the Mesa State University student individually as well, as they work to help pay their ongoing college tuition and living expenses. One such student is our youngest grandson, a bicycler, snowboarder, rock-climbing graduate of FMHS, who assembles Wal-Mart bicycles, while taking a full class load at MSU.
Who is the singer, Melissa, whom we hear about from her fans? Remember, you heard about her here first.
How can fifth and six graders get ski pass deals in January through the “Fifth & Sixth Grade Passport Program” offered by Colorado Ski Country USA? We will tell you how.
Win a $150 prize by entering a photography contest showcasing the Colorado Agriculture Industry. Entries are due by December 31st. We will give you their website with further details.
More about Peggy Malone and her friend, Jake Jabs, of American Furniture Warehouse. Engaging Young People in Civic Responsibility Must Be a Priority.