“I was the Hawker captain you showed so many things to.
“I was flying the Hawker 700 N26SC. . . that you took pictures of.
“You have an amazing collection, and I just wanted to say how impressed and delighted I was to meet you and get an autographed copy of your book. I will treasure it!
“There are not many of us kindred souls who appreciate the magnitude of your knowledge.
“I was so impressed that I could just pull a name out of my hat . . . like the Brown B-2, and you would have all kinds of information on the racers . . . from the 30s. Like Brown B-2 Miss Miami . . . as you know all racers were called “Miss” this or that. . . . like Jimmy Wedell’s 44 racer called Miss Patterson, after Patterson, Louisiana.
You are a jewel of knowledge, and I hope I get the chance to visit you again soon.
“Thank you for showing me how kids in the 40s made models. I had no idea. Those templates really made me think about it.
“I know I don’t have to tell you, but you are an absolute treasure of aviation history.
“Over the years I have got to know many old timers in aviation . . . and listened to their stories. We just don’t have any idea how much they did to advance us all . . . things that are taken for granted . . . and th8ings are lost. God bless you for all you have done to preserve that!
“I used to fly Beech 18s and everything you can imagine over the last 30 years.
“I had a new co-pilot today. He doesn’t have a clue what we are talking about. It makes me sad but I only hope things get better.
“We got back to Chicago with the organ transplant, and it went fine. I’ve done that dozens of times. It’s so good to save a life . . . . but what you are doing is amazing too.
“I just wanted to tell you how cool you are, and keep doing what you are doing.
” I consider you a life-long buddy. Thank you again.”
The words above were received in an email. Some readers of this post may imagine they were written recently. The e-mail, displayed in the AeroKnow Museum WELCOME Room, is dated by the computer, Thursday, March 1, 2010, 2:47:41 PM. AeroKnow Museum had been present at the airport less than a year. I was still moving in, one pickup truck load a day, sometimes two.
I will share a few photos of Tom’s Hawker and an update in our next post.
We have grown a lot since March 1, 2010. And we need your support. We are improving, expanding, and still looking for volunteers living in Springfield, Illinois. Write to me — firstname.lastname@example.org — if you want to know how YOU can help.
Thanks for reading this post.