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Celebrating Aviation's Good Ol' Days At EAA

September 7, 2004 - Hundreds of visitors took a fond look back with EAA to aviation’s golden years over the Labor Day weekend during the annual Good Ol’ Days celebration. Events included a very well attended mystery dinner theater on Saturday night and daily events at Pioneer Airport, drawing many hundreds of visitors to EAA’s world class facilities.

About 330 people filled the Pioneer Hangar for Saturday night’s aviation murder mystery dinner theater. During the day, hundreds more enjoyed flights of vintage airplanes, including the first public flights of EAA’s restored 1927 Laird Swallow biplane.

Volunteer Betsy Irving and EAA staffers Nicole Raudabaugh and Gregg Deimer appear in period dress for the Good Ol’ Days

Those flights included actual mail runs in which visitors created mail at the Pioneer Mail Station located in the Pitcairn Hangar, bagged and handed off to the airplane pilot who sped away to the appointed rounds.

Visitors could also compose and send telegrams from Pioneer’s new communications exhibit; view hand-propping demonstrations; a reenactment of the 1927 Spirit of St. Louis departure for Paris; and a special vintage aircraft air show.

Several vintage airplanes flew in for the event Saturday despite the hazy skies, including a Waco biplane flown by Larry Boehme of Madison, Wisconsin; Bob and Judy Gillette’s Luscombe 8A; Harold Burton and his wife in their PA-12, who flew in from Rice Lake; and Phil Deruiter in his Fairchild 24R, who flew in from Michigan around the lake.

A children’s activity center in the Wittman Hangar gave the kids something to do while moms and dads enjoyed the classic aircraft and programs. The center featured potato sack races, “good ol’ games” like chess, checkers and other board games; as well as marbles; croquet, and a kids’ history contest.

Longtime EAAer and retired staff member Gene Chase (right) can give first hand accounts of how things were in aviation’s Golden Age.

Pilot Sean Elliott receives a mailbag for the airmail demonstration in EAA’s impeccably restored 1927 Swallow.

Visitors enjoy the balmy weather during flight demonstrations.

EAA’s Travel Air biplane makes a low pass past vintage aircraft parked alongside Pioneer Airport.

Kids see how communicating used to be like with Pioneer’s telegraph system.

 

Accredited by the American Association of Museums
  
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