If someone had asked me my prediction of what would occupy most of my time a year after starting to set up AKM, I would have said responding to requests for information. Circumstances have proven me mistaken. The most time consuming activity hands down, has not been helping answer questions, OR model building, OR filing,, OR even continuing to set up and arrange AKM. The task that occupies my attention like a hornet trying to invade the office through a weakening window screen is taking pictures of visiting aircraft. They include a CH-47 Chinook that refueled in transit from Missouri to Michigan a few days ago. a Cessna P210 Centurion en route to Chicago from Arkansas. a rare Bell 230 medevac helicopter from Peoria, whose crew had just delivered a patient to a local hospital and E.A.A.’s restored B-17G, “Aluminum Overcast” pictured here. Over the course of June 30 through July 4 I took almost 200 pictures of “‘Overcast,” and I’ve spent almost every day since devoting some time to processing and filing the best of them. I made the task more difficult than it should have been because I dumped each day’s pictures into separate headings, and sometimes loaded the same pictures twice. I’m having a bummer of a time slogging through them. If I don’t see another ’17 for a few months, I’ll be a happier shutterpuncher.
I’ve downloaded but not yet begun to process the Chinook that visited the FBO where AKM is located yesterday or the P210 that was on the ground less than 30 minutes the day before.
All this processing gets in the way of tasks I would be engaging if I were not the only volunteer here. I haven’t touched filing in the Research Room since last March, It’s been a month since I’ve spent more than 30 minutes in either Book Room and Magazine Room. I have concentrated on arranging the Upstairs Office since we moved the third desk for that room in July 7. On the plus, I have begun to engage model restoration and repair. I’ve even begun a Monogram B-36 I intend to finish, sans jet engine pods, as a 36B in Arctic (NOT “Artic” as the bottom feeders like to say) red and natural metal finish colors. But first priority remains the same: photographing visiting airplanes.
Any model kit, model, magazine or book now on hand at the airport and not yet moved to the airport IS HISTORY PRESERVED. As a museum director, I cannot let tomorrow’s history pass by the window uncaptured, digitally, for posterity.
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To a lesser degree, clipping Wall Street Journal and State Journal-Register aviation articles amounts to the same thing in a different medium–(or if you feed on the bottom, “media.” The FBO crew is saving these newspapers for me daily now (THANKS, lady and gents!), putting them under my office door on nights when I leave early, usually because of near immobility of body or mind due to physical fatigue or depression over issues not worthy of listing here. When I make my morning visits to the AKM, arriving between 6:50 am (today)( and 8:00 am (last Saturday) I take the saved papers to work at my “employer” where I clip aviation articles to take back to AKM at the end of my “work” day there.
It’s not always this hectic. There will be time to catch up. In the meantime, if you live in central, Illinois and would like to make a good museum better by volunteering to help. The cell number to call is 217-361-4494.
Onward and upward!