Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Hummingbirds Obsession and other things

 A lot of harsh sun today so some parts may seem washed out.

 Cute head tilt.
 Hovering and looking around as they are territorial and dive bomb each other all the time!
 Still on the alert and looking.
Look closely and you can see the bill and the tongue in the feeder here.

 For some odd reason, the ruby colored neck looks yellow here !!!
 House finch couple kept hanging out on one of the Shephard's Hook.
 Day lilly in front of living room windows.
 Sunburst through the trees.
Goldfinch staring at me as I lay on the patio across from him.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Ford Tri-Motor Air Zoo's 1929 5AT

I only accidentally discovered this old plane was visiting, seven minutes from my home.  I kept hearing it fly over the area the last two days and finally snapped a photo of it yesterday.  I tweeted and Facebooked a photo to ask 'what kind of plane is this?' and lo and behold, I got an answer right away! 

700 WLW radio reporter,  Bill Rinehart, one of my best informational guys on Social Media, gave me the answer soon after I posted the photograph online.  He posted links galore and I then read this was at the Butler County aka Hamilton-Fairfield Airport, offering rides at $75 a person.  It was too hot to go out yesterday afternoon, so I waited until this morning.

I had no money for such a flight, nor such a desire on such a hot day.  Nevertheless, I had to see this old plane. In 1929, this was "luxury travel" with a steward bringing you a boxed lunch to eat on your flight.  It held eight passengers and flew 100 mph.  It has three engines and is quite loud I read and was told. Back in the day, the commercial flying kind were lined with balsa wood paneling inside to help insulate the noise a little better.   What I saw today is a stripped down version of the 1929 model.

Yellow wooden step box is under the door, out of view.

View out the left window from a seat.

It took the pilot an hour and 10 minutes to fly it from Columbus, Ohio to Hamilton, Ohio which is a two hour car drive.  Once they got six people to pay, it would go up in the air for a flight.  Folks were waiting in a hangar with fans and it was quite a nice retreat from the sweltering 90 something morning heat, with dewpoints in the swampy 70's.

I took photos of the outside and walked inside the plane (the yellow box is the step up into the door) and imagined what this might be like in the air.  There is a window at every seat, though if you were near one of the side engines, views would not be as panoramic straight out to the side.  Still, it would be a kick.

I loved listening to older guys talk about the plane and had I not been so overcome by the heat (A personal health issue, nothing to do with this plane!) I could've stayed for hours to listen to airplane talk.

It is leaving Hamilton today and heading to Kalamazoo, Michigan for tomorrow's ride dates.

I wish I had learned more in ADVANCE of this as I would've helped promote it online and called a few people that are plane buffs, not on social media.

For more information, see this link.
More history, click here

Want a virtual tour? Bill also supplied me with this link

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Remembering Jack Huentelman, Doctor, Musician, Family

There have been very few family members in my life, never knowing my grandparents, nor any cousins...only one aunt and uncle really well. When I was seven years old, My sister married my brother in law, Jack Huentelman. He was a family member forever, even after he and my sister divorced after 30 years.We still loved him as did my late mother. We had fabulous Christmas dinners at his home and rare cook outs in the summer on his deck.

Eight years ago, Jack was found dead in his home by a very good friend. He'd had a heart transplant several yrs earlier and did not take care of himself, as the anti-rejection meds were beastly. He tweaked the doses to make them tolerable. I can't even imagine what it was like for him.

He was a doctor-surgeon himself, so knew the risks. But still, it was very sad to  lose him suddenly.....never having been ever to tell him how much JOY his music brought to my life and what he had meant to me.

A friend was over at the house the other day and he noticed a metal horse on top of the hutch in my room. Jack gave it to me when he was dating my sister, because he knew, I was a little girl crazy about horses!

This is the horse Jack gave me almost 50 years ago.  See it from my bed as I type this .. .. He was a humble man both in his being a doctor and a musician.  How humble? I once heard him call the mechanic to see if his car was ready and heard him refer to himself as "Mr. Huentelman" to the receptionist.  I asked him why he did not use the term doctor. He said it wasn't necessary for them to know this, even though he'd gone to them several times. I said he'd gone a lot of years to college and deserved to be called a doctor. He just shrugged.

He was in solo practice most all his life as an Ob-gyn. On call, 24/7 except for RARE vacations or when he had a gig.  He was a true musician at heart and played wonderful piano. He also led a big band in which he wrote arrangements, by hand, neatly for all 20 instruments!  He was a genius, literally, and it came through in many things.  I took no pictures much as a kid and have few photographs of him.  This photo of his big band is not a good one but taken at the wedding of his son's reception at Mt. Echo park, 2002.

I asked him once, why he was an obstetrician....ALWAYS on call, in cold snowy, weather, in the middle of the night, to get out of a warm bed and drive to deliver a baby.  He told me that for all the work and surgeries he did, nothing was better than to help bring a little baby into the be a part of something so miraculous and he never took it for granted.  

His ability to write for a 20 piece big band was amazing....fabulous handwritten sheets of music...I wish I had asked for some but musicians begged for his bag of arrangements after his death.  A special musician got them and lives two streets over from me. I've never met him, but want to get the nerve to meet him and ask for a song or two, maybe, that he never plays. Just to have something that Jack had written with his own two hands.  Not a copy. It was mostly big band, or swing music with some modern pop thrown in for good measure.

 Jack's son, Jim and his wife, Jill at the reception where Jack's band played
 My mom was 82 here fast dancing to big band swing! She was amazing and we'd never seen her dance. First and last time. She rarely got to hear the big band.

These black and white photos I took with film in 2002 at my nephew's wedding reception, Mt. Echo Park

Me, my mom, Nancy and Jack 2001 or so?

I still miss him.  I know his family and friends do as well. Some photos I had that others gave me, the colored pictures. Don't know who took this of Jack at the piano. Love it.