After the Living Legends event in Beverly Hills, I was able to hitch a ride out to Salt Lake City with aviation supporter Tracy Forrest. He let me fly his Citation Mustang out of Santa Monica to Salt Lake City where I was going to kill some time before the Quail Hunt the following weekend at my family’s ski condo.

The Mustang is a great entry level jet, very economical to fly, and has the same Garmin 1000 radios I used in the Cessna 172 I got my Instrument Rating in. The weather was great until we got close to SLC and we then went on instruments, picked up some light ice, and shot the approach. Having just got my Instrument Rating, this was a great experience for me!

Citation Mustang in the rain at SLC

I used the quiet in the mountains to catch up on my blog and never made it out to the slopes! I’ll talk about that in a later blog post. I was happy to be invited back to the Quail Hunt and headed off to Dallas/Ft. Worth five days later by airline to hook up with my ride out to the Ranch.

Last year I got to fly a Cessna Citation Jet out and back and this year was no different. Since I now had my Instrument Rating, I had all sorts of questions. And lo and behold . . . guess what supplies they picked up for me for the weekend? My current favorite rum!

Looks like the beginning of a great trip!

After the Living Legends event, I was beginning to notice a subtle pattern forming! People were going out of their way to supply me with some great tasting rum. At least . . . until my Naked in Jamaica rum comes out! (I feel the need to insert a disclaimer here – I love to drink socially with friends and don’t do this on any kind of regular basis. The only problem I have with drinking is when all they’ve got is that nasty white rum available! I won’t name the label.)

Everyone was kind enough to let me fly up front in the right seat so we headed off to pick up Dick Cole about halfway. Dick was Jimmy Doolittle’s co-pilot on the “Thirty seconds over Tokyo” raid and the beginning of WWII in one of sixteen B-25 Bombers that launched off the deck of the aircraft carrier Hornet!

With Famous Doolittle Raider!

Two people are really responsible for Quail Hunt. John Agather organizes it and is the son of Vic Agather. Vic ran the Boeing B-29 program in WWII for America and was responsible for getting the B-29 Fifi for the CAF. Herb Kelleher is the other and is part-owner in the 200,000 acre ranch we explore in west Texas. Herb is one of the principals behind the success of Southwest Airlines. John and Herb together have created a great event to bring together aviation notables together for a weekend of fun and camaraderie.

With famous round-the-world Voyager Pilot Dick Rutan!

If you remember, last year, country music star Aaron Tippin was my roommate. He showed up late this year so I bunked in with a new fun guy named Perry out of Reno. He brought a load of guns for everyone to play with and we literally had a blast! The next picture pretty much sums up the whole trip!

Bullets - 2000 / Quail - Zero / Fun - Priceless!

Can’t wait ’till next year!

Kermit

I recently got back from the Living Legends of Aviation event in Beverly Hills.  As usual, it was a great event and it’s always fun to see old friends and meet new ones.  While I’m not big suit and tie guy, I love to get dressed up in my tux!

One of the fun things about being a Living Legend (other than the alternative), is being able to bypass the “normal” entrance and walk the red carpet for the Paparazzi!

Posing for the Paparazzi!

When I walked up to begin, I couldn’t help but notice I was following Morgan Freeman and his entourage!

Walking the Red Carpet!

For some reason, I didn’t notice as many flashes going off when I went through!  Hmmm?  Oh, well . . . so much for being famous!  :-)

With LLoA Founder Jerry Lips and Morgan

On the flip-side, you know you’ve arrived when they have your favorite drink sitting next to your table and won’t let you get to the bottom of your glass!  In the past I’ve had to walk to the bar in the back to get a drink and have to live with the white rum (I won’t name the label) they stock, which I can’t stand!  One day, my Naked in Jamaica rum with orange juice will be my drink of choice!

You know you've arrived when . . .

This year though I got put to work so, maybe that’s why they had a stash for me close-by!  Actually, I was honored to be part of the program in several ways.  First of all, as a Living Legend myself, I got to hang a medal around one of the new Legends, Jeff Plunkett.  Next, I was was included in a tribute to Cliff Robertson, who recently passed away.

Go back and look at last years LLoA blog post where I included several pics of Cliff and myself.  The tribute we all did can be seen at http://youtu.be/2k7CT6mrspE .  I’m right at the beginning, but feel free to watch the rest of the tribute by others to Cliff as well.

The coolest thing I got to do, was to present the Award to Boeing for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.  It was a great opportunity to touch everyone with a bit of Fantasy of Flight philosophy and I got several great comments later.

I thought it somewhat interesting that, while I was waiting backstage before presenting the Award, I found myself following Morgan Freeman again!  There seemed to be a pattern forming!

Backstage and up next!

Friend and Film Director, Tony Bill (Movies - Flyboys and The Sting), was introducing Morgan for the Aviation Inspiration and Patriotism Award. I soon followed to introduce the Aircraft of Legend Award and present it to Michael Sinnett, who accepted in on behalf of the Boeing Dreamteam.

Presenting Award to Michael Sinnett!

The following clip of the presentation will be seen by tens of thousands of people that brought the Dreamliner into reality!  Pretty Cool!  Check it out at - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9qTxAWq6mk

All in all, it was a great event for me and everyone else.  I can’t wait until next year!

Kermit

I continue to work, albeit slowly, on developing my private label rum brand called Naked in Jamaica based on the song I wrote and recorded of the same name and have blogged about before.

Aging in an Oak Barrel

In pursuing the blend we tried aging some in an oak barrel for six months, tasting samples every month for six months.  In the end, it wasn’t conducive for a flavored rum such as Naked in Jamaica, which is actually great as it shortens the time in bringing the product to market. I continue to play with the blending but it takes time, for once you blend something it takes about a month to “marry,” allowing all the ingredients to blend together into a smooth taste.  I’ve learned that blending is an art, not a science, for you don’t know how the different ingredients will react and affect the flavor when you put them together.  We’ve received approval for the basic blend and the next step is to get approval for the labeling on the bottle, which has to meet certain requirements.

Chef Kermit doing some sampling of his own!

One fun thing I got to do was participate in an event called Cooking Men.  I got to be Chef Kermit at a charitable fund-raiser where about 60 different members of the community supplied some kind of dish for the attendees paying to sample the different food stations.  Fantasy of Flight chef, Cory Reynolds, came up with a Naked in Jamaica infused desert topped with a to-die-for rum sauce.  We made way more than they required and ran out early!  Hopefully, that’s a premonition of things to come!

Kermit

Rough Concept for a Bottle Label

Believe it or not I’ve actually been blending my own private label rum lately.  I’ve always enjoyed drinking Dark Rum and Orange Juice and, many years ago, while Teresa and I were dating, I wrote a song on the beach in Negril, Jamaica called “Naked in Jamaica!”

I recorded a long, as well as a short version but have released neither.  The long version is twelve-minutes long but has a parody at the end using the song “Rawhide” which I have yet to get approval for.  I see the long version as an audio track for a film short one day but could release the short version as it’s all my material.  It may have Spring Break cult potential!

Here’s half of one of the chorus’s -

I’m Naked in Jamaica while I work upon my tan . . .

Refresh my drink, got time to think, and could while I still can.

The sun, the breeze, my drink, the view, I soak them all within . . .

It’s time to turn, so I won’t burn, and tan my tender skin!

Anyway, I decided I needed to come up with my own private label rum brand and just started learning about the whole process at a local distillery.  The first thing I learned is that it’s not a science . . . it’s an art!  Can life get any better!

Kermit