Friday, February 6, 2009

A Little This, A Little That

Now that the calendar has turned to February, the darkest part of winter is behind us. It’s daylight until 6 p.m. in Oshkosh now, and this weekend the temperatures should finally get into the high 30s and maybe even the 40s. It makes working outdoors a little more tolerable, as we had gone nearly six weeks with the temps never rising above freezing.

This week we lowered the IAC headquarters building into place. That building hasn’t moved far — just 100 yards or so south. It’s now close to the intersection of Wittman Road (the main thoroughfare along the flight line) and the AeroShell Square taxiway, where the EAA Sweepstakes building was last year.

The walls for the new Vintage type club/workshop building are being constructed indoors, then transported to the site to be installed. While that means we have to be pretty sure in our measurements (measure twice/cut once, you know), it allows us to be inside and warm while building.

Interesting discovery this week — an EAA staffer found a number of 1981 grounds maps while cleaning out a storage area. It’s fascinating to see the grounds as they were 28 years ago.

Large version:

There’s no AeroShell Square, no exhibit hangars west of Knapp Street Road, and it was the first year for Theater in the Woods, in what was then called “Ollie’s Woods.” Most importantly, there's no EAA Aviation Center on this map! It wouldn't open for another two years. All of this reminds us how much the grounds have changed at Oshkosh over four decades (Remember the drive-in theater at the 41/44 interchange?).

Someone asked Paul Poberezny about the changes and whether those have taken him by surprise during the event’s 40 years in Oshkosh. He replied that not really, but he added that it’s kind of like watching your kids grow up. If you see them each day, you really don’t notice it, but if you were away for a year or two you’d be astonished at how much they’ve changed. For people who might come to Oshkosh every few years, they’re surprised at how things do change, even if we who are on the grounds each day might not notice.

Now that spring looks as if it may eventually arrive, it’s time to be thinking about the EAA Chapter and volunteer work parties that come to Oshkosh to help out each year. Let me make a little pitch here: You’re always welcome to come join us for a day or a weekend on the grounds. A large number of Chapters already do that, and we have a great time. This year, there’s one other bonus – you’ll have an advance insider’s look at the changes so you can amaze your friends with your knowledge of the new site!

1 comment:

Dan said...

you made this comment: "You’re always welcome to come join us for a day or a weekend on the grounds." how do we do go about doing that? I'm a Airventure volunteer and I would love to put some sweat equity in this project.