A First Volunteer

One aspect to the Museum that’s become evident this week is the capacity to serve other aviation organizations, thanks in part to the recent support of our first volunteer to warm the front office on the ground  floor while I work in the Research Room filing clippings and continuing to arrange the Kits Room.

Kimberly Bush and I met last year at a rally in support of relocating railroad tracks from the heart of Springfield to the near East Side. As soon as she told me she had a brief career as a flight attendant for a well-known airline, she gained a new friend, and I gained a new friend as well. She shared a short story about a Christmas she spent in Pittsburgh, away from home in Illinois and asked for help I was happy to give. I introduced her to the Springfield Chapter, Illinois Pilots Association, and she has been a dynamo of enthusiastic elbow grease in major motion, helping with local events. On Tuesday, she visited for the first time in months, and — apparently liking what she saw on the nickel tour or the Museum — sat down at the office desk and invited me to spend the rest of the afternoon catching up with a huge backlog of labors delayed. I seldom allow myself more than a few minutes away from the public ground floor office before 5:30 or 6 pm here because I consider it imperative to have a smiling face who will engage visitors who come into the office and tell them about what’s on display.

Thanks to Kimberly, the four hours I spent in the Research Room Tuesday were the most joyous and carefree I’ve spent here. I accomplished a LOT. Ditto the next day when she returned for a few hours for more of the same.

Kimberley suggested that our local IPA chapter should produce Christmas cards to send to military hospitals in DC and MD.  (Walter Reed and the US Navy facility at Bethesda) She and chapter president John Salz refined the idea, she shared it with me this morning, and I refined it from there. Today I spent the morning producing the card. We expect to print several editions, probably 10 at a time, with different pictures of airplanes but the same message:

“Our Christmas Salutation (picture) In Heartfelt Appreciation from Springfield, Illinois (open card to top half inside) For your devotion and sacrifice in service to the cause of freedom throughout the world . . . (to bottom half inside) the members of the Springfield Chapter, Illinois Pilots Association wish you a warm, reverent and rewarding Christmas and a healthy, prosperous, year ahead.” The back features the IPA logo followed by “photo courtesy of AeroKnow Museum” and website addresses for the SPI Chapter and the Museum.

I envision AeroKnow Museum as a hub for mutual support of aviation enthusiasts all over the world. All who support the Museum will be gladly supported in turn. If you need proof that it works, consider Kimberley Bush.

If she had not volunteered at the Museum, I would not have produced the card.

There is more good news. Marc Patterson earlier this week promised to pay for the  10 plate-glass shelves we expect to install early next week in the office. We have acquired, but not yet paid for, a wi-fi laptop computer now used for email. I do not have access that allows me to update the AeroKnow.com web site. That capability is on a new DELL computer that broke last Sunday an is being repaired. It won’t likely be back before mid-January. We STILL need a tower PC with wi-fi for the Museum, and steps to acquire it (which is not to say PAY for it — That’s where YOU come in, I HOPE.) are in process.

It’s been a good week.

CAVU and soft landings!

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About Job Conger

I am a freelance aviation, business and tourism writer, poet, songwriter. My journalism appears regularly in Springfield Business Journal and Illinois Times. I am author of Springfield Aviation from Arcadia Publishing and available everywhere. As founder/director of AeroKnow Museum (AKM) and a volunteer with American Aviation Historical Society (AAHS), I created this blog to share news about AKM activity and aviation history.
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