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Great News!  

My Gee Bee Book All of Life is a School won a Bronze Medal in the 2009 Independent Publisher Book Awards Children’s Picture Books (7 & Under) Category!  

3,380 books were in entered in 65 National categories with an average of 50 contenders per category so I feel honored to have been included in the top three!   

 

gee-bee-cover-small-222x30010I originally came up with the idea for the characters many years ago and wrote it as a film script including songs.  Without funding for the animation, I decided to get product on the shelf and condensed it down to an Illustrated Children’s book.  

If you have an interest in the book, it can be purchased online at www.geebee.com or at our Fantasy of Flight gift shop.  Catch me flying Airplane of the Day on weekends when I’m in town and I’d be happy to autograph and personalize a copy for you!

Kermit

blog-shot-missy-11Another character from my Gee Bee Book All of Life is a School has arrived at Fantasy of Flight . . . Missy!  

She’s a faithful reproduction of the famous Brown B-2 racer Miss Los Angeles that raced in the 1934 Thompson Trophy Races, placing 2nd.  

Since the original aircraft no longer exists, this aircraft was meticulously built by Bill Turner in the 1970′s.  A 200 hp six-cylinder Ranger engine was used in lieu of  the original, extremely rare, 300 hp six-cylinder Menasco engine.  Until recently, Missy was on display at the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Francisco.  

The aircraft was flown as recently as a couple of years ago so we will put it on the maintenance schedule and get her flying again as soon as we can! 

If you would like to share your love of the Golden Age Racers with a special child in your life, check out Missy and her friends at www.geebee.com.

Kermit

TODAY IS THE END OF AN ERA!  

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The last truckload of all my aircraft parts arrived from Miami, ending over a decade and a half of trucking to Fantasy of Flight. Fantasy of Flight restorer and mechanic Paul Stecewycz was in charge of the effort and hauled most of the almost 200 truckloads.  In January, I flew the Grumman TBM Avenger up, which was that last flyable aircraft we had left in Miami at what was the old Weeks Air Museum facility at the Tamiami Airport.  One or two other loads were brought up recently leaving only the wing of my Kawasaki Ki-46 Hein Japanese fighter.  

Hurricane Andrew clean-up of Weeks Air Museum two weeks after August 24, 1992

Hurricane Andrew clean-up of Weeks Air Museum two weeks after August 24, 1992

I originally purchased the Fantasy of Flight property in 1987 and after four years of permitting and dealing with 17 regulatory agencies I finally got the permits to build Fantasy of Flight four months after Hurricane Andrew devastated my Miami facility on August 24th, 1992.  Within a year I moved to Central Florida to focus on the project.  The first building completed was the storage building on site where we now offer daily tours.  I eventually sold my house and warehouses and now the only thing I have left in Miami is my mother!

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Paul insisted on making the last load, and rightly so, for he said it would be somewhat of a “spiritual experience” for him as it closed the door on a very long project.  Paul was responsible for inventorying many boxes of parts brought up that now reside either as airplanes on display or pallet racks of parts stored to the ceilings in two buildings totaling 44,000 square feet.

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It was somewhat of a surprise when he rounded the corner of the building for “a photo shot for my blog.”  What he didn’t realize was that he was met with a banner, many of the Fantasy of Flight staff, champagne, and cake.  After a quick speech and a toast, I presented Paul with a trophy thanking him for all his hard work and effort.  We will display the banner in the restoration facility as a reminder of a past gone by!

Kermit

blog-shot-kermit-and-franceen-with-storchI had the opportunity to show one of my Monroe Institute Trainers, Franceen King, around Fantasy of Flight last weekend.  Franceen was a trainer for three of the eleven Monroe Programs I took over the last few years and has the second longest tenure as a Monroe Trainer of almost two and a half decades.  I gave her the Vision Tour and let her sit in the Po-2 and Spirit of St. Louis reproduction and listen to the Audio Experiences for each plane.  Later, I flew Airplane of the Day in the Fiesler Storch and gave her a ride.  Between making fly-bys for the crowd, I pointed out Orlampa from the air.

She actually developed the Programs I took with her called Exploration 27 and Starlines 1 & 2 and has been involved in consciousness exploration for many years.  She lives in the local Florida area and before I met her had already visited Fantasy of Flight with her father, who was a pilot during WWII as well as her husband.  She told me when she first arrived and read my saying on the entrance wall, “She felt I was a kindred spirit!”  It was not long after that we first met during my sixth Program at The Monroe Institute.

Franceen was kind enough to help me edit some of the more technical material for the Starlines Chapters of my book The Journey Never Ends, which encompasses ten of the Monroe Programs I took during 2006 and 2007.  Several of my more profound experiences happened during her Programs that we nothing short of phenomenal.  There are other mentions about the Monroe Institute in my blog but you can check it out further at www.monroeinstitute.org.

As far as the book goes, I am pretty much done with the Introduction and the ten Program Chapters and am currently trying to get my head and arms around all the material for the Summary.  It is currently 1250 pages and over 650,000 words so don’t expect to read it all in one sitting!  I have several get-away trips planned to work on it over the summer and am still hoping to finish it by the end of this year.  

One thing I can assure you . . . anyone that reads this book will NEVER look at reality the same again!

Kermit

grumman-duck-in-flightWe hosted our second Splash-In event as part of the Sun ‘n Fun Fly-In on Thursday, April 23rd.  It was a great success!  Last year we had 85 seaplanes and this year we had 101!  The weather was perfect and I got a chance to fly the Grumman Duck for everyone.  We are beginning to plan and promote our own Seaplane Fly-In during the last weekend of September of this year so keep your eyes peeled for more information.  With our great shoreline and seaplane ramp, we have the potential to create one of the premier Seaplane Fly-In’s in the world!

ford-tri-motor-with-hong-my-and-dan-cherryOf course, during the Fly-In I get to meet many new and old friends.  One of the more interesting new ones were Lt. Hong My and Dan Cherry.  The first time they met was in the skies over Hanoi, Vietnam where Dan Cherry flying an F-4 Phantom shot down Hong My in his Mig 21.  They got reacquainted 37 years later and have since become friends, visiting each other homes and doing special events.  They happened to be over at the Sun ‘n Fun Fly-In and I was asked to fly them over and give them a tour of Fantasy of Flight.  I picked them up in my Ford Tri-Motor and gave them both the opportunity to try their hand at flying it.  It was very interesting to say the least because you hardly use the rudder in a jet except to steer on the ground and the Ford is very much a rudder airplane.  I think it was a bit of a shock to both of them to watch the slip ball swing from side to side as they tried to wrestle the Ford around the sky.  After landing, I gave them a grand tour of our facility!

b-25-with-kermit-and-steve-brownAnother person that came by for a visit was an old acquaintance but new Head of the CAF (now Commemorative Air Force).  I gave him a tour of Fantasy of Flight and explained my Vision as to where we were headed.  He seemed deeply influenced by some of the things I was proposing as well as some of the things we were currently doing.  I let him sit in the cockpit of the Polikarpov Po-2 while he listened to the Audio Experience about the Night Witches.  When we climbed out of the cockpit he said, “I HAVE  to play this to my Board of Directors . . . this is exactly what they need to hear!”  The next day he brought by several of his staff to show them the facility and listen to some of the Audio Experiences.  Not a bad testimonial!

Kermit