Friday, August 03, 2007

Of Our Elaborate Plans, The End

So, like I was saying, my parents recently sold the family business which had catered to private pilots for nearly 50 years. It's an ignominious end to a lot of history; a slow fade due to economic strains, plus the need to retire and watch even more television.

In homage, here's a small sampling of photos that only partially conveys the bootstrapping ambiance of the airport scene. Not only that, but it was the last outpost on planet Earth to vend Nehi Soda in bottles. I'm gonna miss the place.

A burgeoning enterprise. --mid 70s???

I wasn't going to post any photos with people in them, because they'd just see this, get mad, and yell at me. This color shot is exceptional, however, because it fits my memory of the early years the best. While I don't know who these folks are, the girl in the short skirt is standing provocatively at the entrance to a sketchy-looking shack masquerading as an aviation business.

That's where it all started!

Aside from being born on a riveting table, I spent my entire youth pulling weeds around the place. Later, more dignified office digs were acquired elsewhere on the airport field.

I trust that someone reading this can decipher the overt body language in the above shot and comment.

Corrugated aluminum is the key building component to any aviation establishment, or FBO (fixed-base-operation).

Standard hangar with standard scrap heap.

The mythical double doors of flying, once painted with question-marks to confuse customers. It was part of a game to make sure that pilots stayed alert. Which door opened to the big money prize, or, alternately, the foaming rabid wolf? No one ever knew for sure. Many died finding out.

The famous workbench where anything imaginable was fashioned out of corrugated aluminum faster than balloon animals. Great for kid's parties or Bar mitzvahs.

Music was enjoyed throughout the day and blasted over loudspeakers to overcome the sound of pilots starting up their planes. Featured here is a favorite LP for many years amongst the crew called "Demanding, Hard-Nosed-Perfectionist". Waltz music.

A look into a maintenance shed, with a disciplined arrangement of critical supplies. Efficiency equals safety.

I'm not sure if this was a mascot or a very small mechanic frozen in terror. Suffice to say, while he had his back to the Christmas spirit, he really loved gazing at piston parts.

The End

(or is it?)


Cocovan said...

I'm gonna miss that place, I too have fond memories of the airport...On to better things?....
Post the super eight movie so we can piss-off your brother:)!!!

Geritopia said...

There are no better things other than drowning my pain in Nehi Soda.

I'll get on the Super-8 annoyance project right away!

Joey Polanski said...

Two errors in this post:

Firs, I dont see th burgeoning Entrprise in th top photo.

Seckon, th top photo cant be from th mid-70s cause Mr Shatnr dint start wearin th maroon Starfleet tunic until Star Trek: Th Motion Pitchr, which come out in 1979.

Chaps Cakehole said...

Truly the end of an era. Those photos really bring the place back. I'm sure I battered several Hz from my hearing range during late night band practices there. (But I'm sure your parents thought this was a great improvement from rehearsing in their garage!)

Peace to you & your family.

Chaps Cakehole said...

But how did I miss the Nehi vending machine? Did it also carry Moxie, Fresca, and Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray?

Geritopia said...

spock-ski: I believe you have the time-frame correct. Thanks for the fix. You win a complimentary panel of aluminum.

chaps: Nehi vending was over at a joint called Nagles. They also had chocolate bars that were so old they were turning white -but not like the white chocolate you'd actually want.

the offices were a formidable practice pad for neutrally youthful entertainers, providing no acoustic provisions, which was the best part.

Joey Polanski said...


Please, tell me its corrugatd!