I was greatly honored and deeply touched by the Florida Aviation Historical Society inducting me into the Florida Aviation Hall of Fame recently!  They have been doing this since 2003 and other inductees include Juan Trippe, Joe Kittinger, Jackie Cochran, Eddie Rickenbacker, Charles and Anne Lindbergh, Slick Goodin, Glenn Curtiss, Jimmy Doolittle and Howard Hughes! 

I feel somewhat humbled to be included in that group but also realize I have yet to hit my stride with what I’m creating with Fantasy of Flight.  I told the group we honor and give accolades to hero’s not so much because of what they have done, but because they show us the untapped potential that lies within us.  And THAT is what Fantasy of Flight is all about.  Keep your eyes on what we’re doing because it’s going to impact a lot of people in a very profound way!

Kermit

    

Just wanted to post a couple of great shots of how much fun G. Willie had at our recent Roar & Soar Event in early November.  He got to enjoy several of the venues and take in some of the great sights. 

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

We are slowly recouperating from last weekends events. Roar ‘n Soar was a big success and I will write a post about it when I get some final numbers and round up some great photos.  After I finished flying on Saturday, I headed off to a music festival called Riverhawk to do a photo shoot for a music video I am working on.

A friend of mine named Mark Johnson is a renowned banjo player and two years ago at this same festival he played a tune on stage he wrote and later recorded named “Katie Weeks”  after my daughter.  It was on his second CD Album called “Acoustic Rising”, which later went on to be nominated by the International Blugrass Music Association’s Instrumental for Album of the Year!  It also became one of the top requested songs off the Album on Bluegrass XM Radio.

Anyway, at the festival two years ago Mark told us to catch his act.  Katie was 2 1/2 at the time and dressed in a cute little cowgirl outfit.  We were all sitting in the front row and it was the first time Teresa and I had ever heard the song.  When Mark began to play it, Katie spontaneously got up, went out in front of the stage with everyone watching, and began twirling around the dance floor!

As you can imagine, everyone was very touched by what was going on.  About eight months later the CD came out and I began listening to it in my car.  It was a great tune and, as my thoughts flashed back to the scene of Katie dancing, words began to come to me.  I soon realized I was to write a song for it.  After a couple of months I had the lyrics done, went down to a recording studio, and laid some rough vocal tracks over the original instrumental.  Everyone I played it to was tearing up by the end of the song!

The vocal version has become “Daddy’s Little Girl” with the intent of recording the tune properly and creating a music video to go along with it.  I don’t want to spoil the final product but I hope to create an Internet Site where daughters can download the song attached to a Father’s Day card!  At some point, Father’s will be able to send it along with a card to their daughters.

As if I don’t have enough projects going on, I hope to have this done and launched by next Father’s Day in June!  I am attaching a picture of Katie dancing with Mark and I in the background from last weekend.  Just to give you a taste of the song the first verse and chorus of “Daddy’s Little Girl” goes like this –

You see that little girl . . . the one just over there . . .

Full of innocence and wonder . . . big blue eyes and curly hair . . .

Well, I just thought you’d like to know . . . that smile with skinned up knees . . .

Well, that’s my little girl . . . so watch her . . . if you please . . .

Chorus –

Watch her dance . . . watch her smile . . . watch her spin . . . laughing all the while . . .

And if you see that little girl come dancin’ ‘cross the floor . . .

You’d better grab your heart . . . ’cause it’s gonna melt some more . . .

Watch her dance . . . watch here twirl . . . watch her spin . . . she’s Daddy’s Little Girl!

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 https://www.fantasyofflight.com/collection/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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