Oshkosh 2008

The Zenith of Achievement

     This year we flew alongside the Zenith Z6a to Oshkosh.

After last year's do-or-die effort to get the Dh-4 there, we were rewarded with a single day trip to Oshkosh, landing just after the field opened up after the airshow.

"Let's go to breakfast dad, I'm hungry."

Well-fed and ready to go have a look around.

Wow, he's getting tall.

What we came for-the Zenith Z6a parked next to

Addison Pemberton's Boeing 40C.



     I've been to Oshkosh 25 times in the past 35 years, but what Sky got to do this year amazed me. He and I were walking back from visiting the display buildings, going thru AeroShell Square to our plane for lunch we he saw Glacier Girl. He wanted to see that, so as we were walking over to it, I saw they had a Spitfire parked besides the P-38. "You go see Glacier Girl, I'll be over here looking at the Spit," I told him. I walked over to the roped-off Spit and realized I knew one of the pilots, Doug Rozendahl. We were talking and when he asked if I still lived in St Louis, the other pilots head spun around so fast I thought it would snap off. We stared at each other a few seconds, then broke out in big grins. It was Jim "JD" Dale, whom I had flown with a Trans States many years ago. He was now working for the owner of both airplanes, Rod Lewis. We talked for a while. Sky came back and I introduced him. Then JD got this goofy look on his face and asked,"You ever wanted to sit in a Spitfre? How about now? He lifted the rope up and ushered us in to see the Spit up close.

     I was floored. "Step on the wing, not on the side panel, you can step on the seat and you're in." As quick as he said it, Sky was sitting in a magnificently restored Mk Vb Spitfire. JD answered all Sky's questions and then helped him out. "Ok, your turn."

     I was sitting in a real Spitfire cockpit. One that Don Blakeslee had actually flown.

     We got out, thanked Jim profusely, invited to come see our Fairchild 24 and floated all the way back to our airplane.


     That night, after the air show and dinner, Sky and I decided to walk out and see if any new Warbirds were in. An hour before dusk is the perfect time to go see them because of the nice soft, directional light. When we got there, we saw there was not one P-51B (Jack Roush's) but another! This one was flown in by it's restorer, John Muszala. .Jack's had a canopy cover on, so we went to look at the other one. Sky walked around the nose to the right wing and was reading the display boards. I was over by the left wing, taking snaps. All of a sudden this huge man comes around the nose with Sky in trail asking "Is this your son?" What could I do? I couldn't lie. What had he done? Oh shit. "Yes," I answered. "Well if he wants to sit in the cockpit, just hoist him up behind the wing. He can sit there as long as he wants. Open the Hood," he said to his worker on top of the wing.

"What?" I said relieved and amazed.

"If he wants to sit in it, just hoist onto the wing from the back. He can sit there as long as he wants," John said again slowly so this imbecile could understand him.

"Okay" As Sky and I walked around the wing I asked him if he had said anything to the man. He said he hadn't. He'd just been reading the board when the guy asked him if he'd like to sit in her.

             Thank You John Muszala.