Barnstorming Carnival

Yesterday was the best adventure day I’ve had in ages. To be clear, it didn’t go as planned. It just worked out well.

I had planned to spend the day at the Barnstorming Carnival organized by my good friend Dewey Davenport. Dewey is the guy I wrote about a couple of years ago when he gave me my first biplane ride.

He organizes this weekend celebration of barnstorming every July. The event features a fly-in, kiddie activities, food trucks, a car show and plane rides. The highlight, of course, is a ride in a biplane with Dewey.

I headed westward yesterday morning but the weather was disappointing as I kept running into grey skies and rain. So I opted to do some other things and wait to visit the carnival. I ended up squeaking into his last flight of the day.

It made my day. Year.

I especially enjoy being in a place where planes are coming and going. I am unabashedly jaded most of the time but badly hope that I never lose my sense of wonder where airplanes are concerned.

One big part of this event is instilling that sense of wonder and excitement in children. Dewey remembers what it was like to be an aviation obsessed kid so he and his volunteers prioritize interactions and activities for kids. It’s really great to see.

This is the 1930 D-25 New Standard that I flew in. It’s part airplane and part time machine.

It was a good day. I really enjoy seeing the world from high above- a strange quirk of mine given how terrified I am of heights.

This is the last day of the 2021 Barnstorming Carnival. If you’re in the Springfield, Ohio area, this event is held at the Springfield Beckley Airport. General admission is free. Click here for more about this event and here to learn about Dewey’s business.

Check back in the coming days to read about other things I did yesterday.

Santa, a Biplane, and Something To Be Excited About

Little kids like planes so I was pretty excited to hear that my barnstorming friend Dewey was helping with something special for kids in his community this Christmas. You see, he picked up Santa and gave him a lift to the airport in Springfield, Ohio on Sunday.

Santa and his elf spent that afternoon visiting with youngsters and learning their fondest Christmas wishes.

While Santa was tucked away with a line of kids in a warm airport terminal, Dewey was outside visiting with the kiddos and their parents. He fitted them all with aviator caps and goggles before lifting them up into the plane for photos.

Despite the cold, biting wind you only experience in western Ohio’s flat farmland (I’m from the hills where the wind can’t get up that much speed), groups of kids and adults came trooping outside for their turn with his 90 year old open air cockpit biplane.

I swear that many of them were just as excited to see the biplane as they were to meet Santa. The pilot seemed equally thrilled to give people the opportunity and to talk about the lost art of barnstorming.

He’s good with people and you can tell that there’s little he loves more than sharing his passion with others. It was fun to watch and I was happy to play a very small part that day.

A piece of me wishes I had something to be so excited about. I’m enthusiastic about lots of things and interested in almost any topic but there’s never been one thing that captured my enthusiasm so dramatically. Although, if I did something so cool as barnstorming in a fabulous old biplane, I might be singing a different tune.

Here’s a thought for today. If you have kiddos and you see a spark in them, you see that they’re excited about something, try nurturing that spark. Encourage them to learn and grow with that thing they love so much. It could turn into a career or maybe just a lifelong hobby. Either way, I’m guessing they’ll be happier than the rest of us who just bounce around from interest to interest.

And if Santa is coming to an airport near you, friends, go see him. There’s nothing cooler than seeing Santa climb out of an airplane.