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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

I just got back from Alaska and the Iditerod Dog Sled Race.  When I was Heli-skiing with Sean Tucker the week before he got a call from a corporate friend that had some last minute cancellations and got us an invite!  We were wined and dined with great food and great friends and had a great time!

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The first day we got to see the start of the race in downtown Anchorage and I bumped in to Gov. Sarah Palin!  When she was campaigning in Florida she made a campaign stop at Fantasy of Flight compliments of the Republican Party.  I happened to autograph a Gee Bee Book for her son Trig and gave it to one of her helpers to pass on.  After she officially started the Iditerod Race by cutting the ribbon she happened to walk towards me holding a baby.  I asked if it was Trig and she thanked me for the book and introduced me to her husband, who likes to fly.

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Later our group got out to a giant glacier by helicopter.  It’s ice flow ended at a frozen lake at about 700 feet above sea level and continued up to about 6000 feet!  On the flight out, Sean and I couldn’t help but notice all the great Heli-ski opportunities!  We landed on the lake at the end of the glacier and got to explore some ice caves.  It was the first time I had ever been to Alaska and it was certainly the first time I ever had champagne on ice!

Kermit the Musher!

Kermit the Musher!

The next day we jumped into some airplanes on skis and flew out to a great lodge located at the third checkpoint on the 1150 mile race.  The next morning the first racers began to come through to stop to feed their dogs, have them checked, rest up, and head out.  By the end of the day all of the 60+ racers and come and gone and during the day I got a chance to do some snowmobiling as well as trying my hand at being a Musher with a team of eight dogs!  It was great fun but I learned not to try it after the dogs had eaten!

Kermit

Last week another Gee Bee book character arrived at Fantasy of Flight and it’s Puff! She’s Zee’s cute little girlfriend in the story but a Gee Bee Y Sportster in real life. There were only two built but the orginals don’t exist anymore. I found this reproduction on the market and made a trade for it. The intention will be to put it together for display. While it had been flown a number of times by the builder, we want to take a good look at it and make a few changes. When I first got in the cockpit, the rudder pedals were too far back for my long legs and the ones in the front were even closer. For the time being it will make a great display.

Early next year we plan on doing some live action filming with the three Gee Bee airplanes for a DVD we are making and hope to place on PBS. We have already taken the “All of Life is a School” book and used the original illustrations with me narrating it to create a short video. We even included the song I wrote. I plan to add some live action footage with kids at Fantasy of Flight around the real characters and include some of the original historical footage that is currently on the www.geebeefun.com website.

So far on display at Fantasy of Flight from the book we have Gee Bee Zee, Jimmy G. Gee Bee, Puff, Matty and Stout. I acquired Missy a few months ago but she won’t arrive until around March of next year.

Plans are to make this new addition just like Puff in the book one day; including the bump cowl, the little wheel pant for the tail wheel and a covered front cockpit. Will she ever be pink? Well, I guess that depends on how much she powders her nose!

Kermit

It seems by next week we will have elected a new president of the United States!  During the primaries, Fantasy of Flight had visits from the Ron Paul Blimp, Rudy Giuliani and John McCain!  McCain’s daughter was with her father on the campaign trail and she wrote on her blog that Fantasy of Flight was the coolest place they stopped!

Yesterday, Sarah Palin, made a stop and spoke to several thousand people.  The place was crawling with Secret Service as well as officers from the local Sheriff’s Department.  Only several days before we were approached about doing an event here and all the Fantasy of Flight employees came together to pull off getting the facility ready for the event.  The GOP rented our Maintenance Hangar and Thursday the Hangar was dumped of airplanes and cleaned.  By Friday evening there were bleachers, giant American Flags, a central platform with a podium set up, all with sound and lights!  People started arriving before the gates opened at 9:00am and Sarah arrived and spoke around noon. 

Not ever wanting to let an opportunity go by, we placed flyers under everyone’s windshield wipers promoting our Roar ’n Soar the following weekend on November 8th and 9th.  This will be our second annual event, which will host Vintage Aircraft, Racing Boats, Cars, R/C Model Aircraft, Skydivers, Aerobatics, etc.  We hope everyone will come out and join us next weekend!  For further information check out http://www.fantasyofflight.com/roar-n-soar/.

Sarah just happened to leave with an autographed Gee Bee book, “All of Life is a School” for her two youngest children!  I tend to be apolitical and only hope that we all reach beyond ourselves and follow our dreams!  Best of Luck to everyone!

Kermit

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