Something recently told me to get my Lockheed Vega flying!  I’m not sure where the message came from but it seems like a great idea!

I purchased the Vega from Dave Jameson, several months after Hurricane Andrew ripped the Miami Weeks Air Museum apart on August 24, 1992.  I must have been feeling sorry for myself?  :-)

We begin the disassembly process!

While digging out from the destruction, it continued to be displayed at the EAA Museum in Oshkosh, WI.  By the time it made it to Florida for Fantasy of Flight’s grand opening in 1995, it had not flown for over a decade.  At the time, we had other things to worry about and since it looked great we just assembled it for display.

Wing coming off!

Over the years, the original 500 hp Pratt & Whitney R-1340 engine was replaced by a bigger and later 600 hp version from an AT-6 Texan with a constant speed propellor.  It’s my intent to restore it back to the original early-style engine and ground adjustable propellor.  Because of the engine conversion, the instrument panel began to reflect later-style instruments and the plan will be to put everything back to as original as possible.

Nice shot of the disassembly from above.

Also, the wheels and brakes were upgraded and fiberglass wheelpants installed.  We haven’t looked into whether or not the original wheels are available, or even if it originally had brakes (It may have originally been built with a tailskid), but brakes will be needed for sure.  I acquired an original set of wheel pants from the Tallmantz Collection purchase in 1985  that we will try and salvage or use as a pattern for new ones.  Dave Jameson may have actually purchased this Vega from Tallmantz, so we might be reuniting them after all these years!

First load – the Wing!

The Vega will be upgraded and made airworthy by Kevin Kimball and his shop about an hour away from Fantasy of Flight in Mt. Dora, FL.  They do great work and have produced several award winning vintage aircraft restorations from this period.

Currently, it’s my intent to keep it in the colors of the Winnie Mae and use it one day as a character in my illustrated children’s book series starring many of the famous planes from the Golden Age of Aviation.  His name will be Wiley and, of course, just might find himself with a patch over one windscreen!

Second load – Bye, Bye Vega!

During the process of talking to Kevin about the restoration, I found out he has always had the dream of making a mold to produce the fuselage which was used in the making of not only the Vega but the Orion, Sirius, Altair and Air Express!

Never to have been one to be satisfied with just one model of a type, I couldn’t help but think, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have a set!”  We’ll see.





I am very excited to have completed my second illustrated children’s book in the Gee Bee Series, The Spirit of Lindy. After two years of writing, working with the artists, and endless tweaking, I recently sent it off to the printer!

It’s a great story based on the famous flight Charles Lindbergh made from New York to Paris to win the Orteig Prize in 1927.  I came up with the concept, wrote the story, and had two great Disney-trained artists, Dominic Carola (pencils), and Ryan Feltman (paint), do the artwork.  We came together to create a beautiful book that, we all feel, has more potential than my first book, All of Life is a School.

The first book was actually a condensed version of a feature film script I’d written.  At the time, I owned several of the ten airplane characters in the book.  Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to collect another character here and there and eventually realized life was leading me to collect all ten!  I now have seven on display at Fantasy of Fight!  There’s a possibility to collect two others but the third, Curtiss, will have to be built from scratch, as only the original exists and is in National Air and Space Museum in Washington.  Something tells me, I don’t think they’ll be willing to part with it any time soon!  :-(

Cover Art including Questions on the back to help teach History in a Fun Way!

While creating the next book, and to save myself some money, I got smart this time and made sure I only included new characters that I already had in the collection!   This will be my approach for future books in this series, as I’ve got plenty to work with.

Two new characters making their debut are Geoffrey D. H., an enthusiastic DeHavilland 4 Mailplane with a grand idea, and Lindy, based on the Spirit of St. Louis.  Of course, it all takes place at Fantasy of Flight where Gee Bee Zee, Puff, and all their friends pursue Geoffrey’s idea, build the plane, and learn a valuable life lesson in the process.

Geoffrey D.H. makes his debut!

Currently, I’m awaiting a sample copy from the printer to approve before we run the presses.  As with All of Life is a School, the first run will be for 5000 books.  I’m hoping to have them by the Sun ‘n Fun Fly-In in late March 2012 but this may be somewhat tight, as the printer is currently on vacation and I’m not sure where I may end up on their schedule.  If I don’t make Sun ‘n Fun, I will definitely be signing copies at the Oshkosh Fly-In in July and the Reno Air Races in September.

So far, I’ve sold over 6000 copies of All of Life is a School out of the Fantasy of Flight gift shop, on the Internet, at airshows and other smaller events.  I’ve had no luck trying to break into the major bookstores so, I’m quite proud to have sold this many on my own.  I actually have signed so many books the non-autographed ones are rarer and probably worth more!  :-)

Lindy is Ready to Go!

Since the book will now be printed in 2012, I’ve missed the deadlines for entering any 2011 contests.  I’m excited to submit it, as I believe it has as much, or more, potential than All of Life is a School, which won a Bronze independent Book Publishing Award!

I have concepts for another dozen books in the Gee Bee Series and now have to think about which one to focus on next!  Once I get The Spirit of Lindy books in hand, the real work will begin trying to promote and sell them!  At least I’ve laid the foundation with the first book and already have an email list and somewhat of a following.

I’m still learning the business, which is all but impossible to break into for a first-time author.  I can only apply what I’ve learned so far and hope to implement some new things as well.  But, hey . . . now I’m a two-time author!  We’ll see.


I was recently introduced, somewhat synchronistically, to a gentleman named Kevin Blackwell through a roommate I had at The Monroe Institute.  As I have indicated in several previous Blog Posts, I have been working on my book “The Journey Never Ends!”, which is about my two-year, ten-Program experience there.  I have been slowly making progress on the Summary, which has been like herding cats because of all the material.  I recently gave the Introduction and first three Chapters to the President and the Director of The Monroe Institute for approval of my format for the book, which includes a lot of TMI proprietary material.

Anyway, something was telling me I was supposed to go see Kevin, who reportedly had a talent for connecting with people from the past . . . potentially, anybody!  I proceeded cautiously but realized, if he did have this talent, he could confirm several interesting past life connections I learned about during my inner explorations at The Monroe Institute.  Some would be considered controversial in the best of circumstances so I followed where the energies were leading me and contacted Kevin by email.  I told him I wanted to try something different than what he might be used to and, if he was truly connected, my approach would work.

I told him I wanted to make four connections but did not elaborate.  They could have been anybody but they were actually all me.  Prior to arriving at his home in Santa Fe, NM I wrote the four alleged past life connections on a piece of paper and put it away.  He knew NOTHING of my intent and I sensed, if this was truly meant to be, he would be given whatever information I was to receive from an objective and non-bias perspective.  Just before we began I asked, “Oh, by the way, could you please do them in chronological order?” We spent the whole day doing the readings.

Not only did he nail the order, he confirmed much of the information I received at Monroe and elaborated on them even further!  We were both blown away by the information as well as the experience.  His readings have now become a 64-page Appendix item in my book!

Several months after the readings I had the opportunity to show Kevin around Fantasy of Flight and treat him to a ride in the P-51D.  If you want to learn more about Kevin he has several interesting clips on Youtube.


It’s Thursday, July 31st and we’ve passed the halfway mark of AirVenture 2008. In just three and a half days I completely sold out of the 420 books shipped up and of those, I personally signed over 300!

EAA had me set up in the “Wearhouse” by Aeroshell Square in the Author’s corner and also had the books for sale in two other locations including the Museum. It was a lot of work but I really enjoyed meeting and talking to everyone. Fantasy of Flight has a lot of supporters out there.



I am so excited the Gee Bee Books are finally in! The initial order was for 5000 books and they are now on sale in the Fantasy of Flight Gift Shop as well as on They should also be up shortly on our own website.

The book is called ALL OF LIFE IS A SCHOOL and is a 64-page illustrated children’s book based on REAL HISTORY, REALY AIRPLANES and REAL CHARACTERS! It takes place at a mythical airfield called “Fantasy of Flight” where everyone pushes their boundaries and strives to become all they can be. I came up with the idea four years ago and it has been a very interesting, fun, and educational experience. Not only about how to go about doing a book but learning copyright laws, self-publishing, marketing, distribution, grammar, punctuation and what teachers want to see in a book for 3-8 year olds! All that I have learned from this experience will make any future projects a lot easier.

We are also working on a separate kid-friendly website that will have fun and games as well as information about the characters. We will soon be recording some character voices for the site so, I think we might have as much fun creating as the kids will visiting it. Later, I plan to add a cute Gee Bee theme song I wrote so, check watch for the site announcement in future posts.

If you are fortunate to purchase the book at Fantasy of Flight we also have some really cute kids shirts and dresses for sale with the main characters on them: Gee Bee Zee, Jimmy G. Gee Bee and Puff. If you see me around Fantasy of Flight, don’t be shy about asking me to autograph the book for you!

Hope to see you soon.