Famous author, Richard Bach, came by for a visit and checked out our Travelair 4000.  Richard is most famous for his classic Jonathan Livingston Seagull, which is about a seagull that transcends the perceived limitations of his species while trying to get them to go beyond themselves.  He also wrote many other classic books revolved around aviation and is a legend in the aviation and writing community.

Richard and my Travelair 4000

I first met Richard about six years ago when he came to visit Fantasy of Flight during the Sun ‘n Fun Fly-In.  He has become a great friend, as we both enjoy aviation and using it to get people to look within themselves and self-discover the potential that lies within.

Probably the other most famous book Richard wrote was Illusions, the Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah. It’s a great story about a barnstormer giving rides during a season in the mid-west that happens to bump into another barnstormer and the adventures of self-discovery that follow.  Famous film director, Zack Snyder, has told Richard he intends to do a movie-version of the story as soon as he finishes filming Superman II for Warner Brothers.

Guess what airplane the reluctant Messiah flew? . . . a Travelair 4000!  Richard has recommended the use the Fantasy of Flight Travelair for the film!  Now, how cool is that? I  sent a video clip of the Travelair flying to Richard and Zack so we’ll see how all this unfolds!

Kermit

Astronaut Edgar Mitchell recently came by for a visit and tour of Fantasy of Flight.  He was the sixth man to walk on the moon and the Lunar Module Pilot for the Apollo 14 mission.  After successfully landing on the moon and departing, his job was basically done.  On the trip back to Earth he sat in thought as the capsule rotated for cooling purposes from the suns rays.

While looking out the window, he saw the Earth, then the sun Sun, then the Moon . . . every three minutes . . . for three days.  At some point, he had a very transformational and mystical experience which changed his whole perspective of life.  As a direct influence from this experience, he founded the Institute for Noetic Sciences to study human consciousness.

Edgar and myself touring Fantasy of Flight

But there’s somewhat of an interesting twist of synchronicity to our stories.  When Edgar founded IONS in Petaluma, CA, he also found interested people to help support and realize his dream.  As it turns out, and I didn’t know this until several years ago, the chairman of the Board of Directors for IONS for the first twenty years . . . was the lawyer that negotiated my famous geologist grandfather’s oil-royalty in Australia.  It has been my grandfather’s generosity that has allowed me to share my passions and good fortune with others.  Small world!

Edgar is also well known for his outspoken views on UFO’s and getting the government to disclose what they “really know” about them and alien life forms.  While giving Edgar a tour through my offices, I couldn’t help but take a picture in front of one the doors where the bathrooms are located, of which there are four.  One is for Ladies, one for Gentlemen, one for Angels, and one for Aliens.  In my world, you just never know who might stop by!

While the door is definitely an inter-dimensional portal to other realities . . . it also serves as a storage closet for Earthly maintenance products!

Small world?  Hey, maybe it’s a small Universe!

Kermit

We hosted a symposium again at Fantasy of Flight for Black History month honoring the Tuskegee Airmen.  They were the black pilots that flew for America during WWI and got their name from the field they trained at in Tuskegee, Alabama.

Hanging with my friends after a flight to honor all that they did

Again, I got a chance to fly my P-51C Mustang for them as the attendees looked on.  They talked about their adventures and exploits as well as the hardships they went through due to the racial prejudice and segregation at the time.  I was honored when they inducted me into their organization as an honorary Tuskegee Airman because of be being the first person to paint an airplane in their colors to help promote their cause.  Their signature markings were the red nose and tail.

Helping tell the story!

Several news stations came out to cover the event and I got a chance to sport the red jacket they gave me!

Kermit

Got a chance to go to the annual Living Legends of Aviation again.

 

Shot taken from my table at the Gala, which is held at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, CA

They always have a pre-party the night before and this year it was in a big hangar at the Van Nuys airport with many of the latest jets on display.  One day!

I got a chance to catch up with an old friend, Cliff Robertson, a famous Oscar winning actor for his role in Charlie.  I first met cliff when he visited my museum in Miami in the late 1980′s.  After showing him around, I took him up in my original WWI Avro 504 with a rotary engine!  He never forgot me!  I later got to spend even more time with him when he became the first Chairman of the EAA Young Eagles Program.

Cliff and I at Pre-Legends Party!

He also starred with our DeHavilland Mosquito in the films Mosquito Squadron and 633 Squadron and used to own a Stearman, a Spitfire, and a Messerschmidt 108!

On the cutting edge of trend . . . or hopelessly behind the times? Actually, just being ourselves!

I couldn’t believe he had started growing a ponytail so I couldn’t resist taking a picture from of us behind!  I think we were the only ones at the party with ponytails!  It’s great to hook up with old friends and meet new ones.

It was a great event and it’s fun enjoying the glamor and the glitz!

You never know who you might run into!

And sitting at the table next to me . . . Harrison Ford and his wife Calista Flockhart!  I first met them, and got to know Harrison when he was the third Chairman of the Young Eagles Program while being on the Board of the EAA.  He’s an avid flyer and enjoys flying his Husky, Bell Jet Ranger helicopter and Cessna Sovereign.

Looking forward to next year!

Kermit

Got invited out again to the Kelleher/Agather Quail Hunt in west Texas again and had a blast.  I’ve blogged about it before so won’t go into the details of the event but this year had some interesting and fun twists.

My Roommate!

Guess who my roommate was?  Country Star Aaron Tippin!  He did some singing for the group on an old guitar and I got a chance to bang out a few songs on an old piano they have at the ranch house where we all gather to eat, drink and be merry.

Shamans Bud "Light" Feather and Kermit the Brave "Lost-his-Feather" pleading to the Great "Spirits" to show up later for the evening's festivities in an actual Indian ceremonial cave complete with petroglyphs!

As is the protocol, we drive around the 200,000 acre ranch all day in search of the elusive Quail (I’ve never had the heart) and gather in the evenings to tell tall tales with aviation greats such as Bob Cole (Jimmy Doolittle’s copilot), Dick Rutan (around the world flight), Bud Day (longest POW in Vietnam), Tex Hill (highest scoring Flying Tiger, now deceased), Sean Tucker (airshow performer extraordinaire / heli-ski partner), Clay Lacy (movie pilot), and an assortment of Air Force generals, etc.  As I mentioned before, most of the shots fired are with a glass and based on the groups past hunting record Fish and Game is considering giving us a conservation award!

My carriage for the trip!

This year was a great surprise when I got a chance to fly out from Ft. Worth and back in a Cessna Citation Jet.  I got to ride up front and actually got to take-off and land it.  What a blast!  I am hoping one day my Stayhealthy investment will pay off so I can get my own personal transportation.  I guess I’d better get my Instrument Rating first!  We’ll see!

Aaron listening to Naked in Jamaica!

During the weekend I got a chance to play Aaron my songs Naked in Jamaica as well as Daddy’s Little Girl! He was impressed!  What a great fun group of guys.  I can’t wait until next year!

Kermit

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