April Oldfield is the activity director at Sherwood Assisted Living in Sequim.
She and a trio of residents at her place of work had a rather memorable experience on the second day at the second Air Affaire on Aug. 31.
“The Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation contacted me a few months ago asking if any of our residents would like to go for a plane ride during the Air Affaire Celebration in August. After asking around I found four that did (unfortunately, one of the gentlemen was unable to attend).
Everyone was very excited about the free plane ride!
Kelly Turbyfill was in the Navy, then the Air Force reserves as a pharmacy technician.
Esther McKinnon’s husband served in World War II as a pilot; he flew B-25 Mitchells. Esther and her husband traveled all over and their preferred mode of travel was by plane. ‘Something I will never forget as long as I live,’ she told me. As she sat in the cockpit she thought about the pilots who had trained in the plane for the war.
It gave her chills. Her thoughts turned to her husband as she wondered if he had trained in one of these planes. She felt so honored to be able to sit in the same cockpit she almost came to tears.
Betty MrkVicka was in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) at the end of World War II.
Diane and Mike Winterboer are volunteers from Eugene, Ore. They travel all over and donate their weekends to making people’s dreams come true. Mike is a pilot with American Airlines.
The plane is a 1942 biplane that was used during World War II for training. Diane said, ‘They figured if they could get these off the ground, they could give them bigger ones.’ The plane ended up being used for crop dusting after the war. It was owned by Meek Dusters and it still bears that well-known name.
Local business owner Casey Dennis, who owns Casey’s Kettle Corn in Carlsborg, sponsored the rides for everyone this past weekend. He passed out bags of his kettle corn to everyone that had come and we sat there like we were at the theater, munching on great kettle corn and watching with fascination and eager anticipation as each person went for their flight.
I can’t begin to tell you how terrific this was. All three loved being up in the plane. Being able to do something that you think you probably would never do is an amazing form of personnel therapy.
I was a bit nervous at first but once we watched someone taxi down the runway and take off, I caught the excitement bug. We can’t even begin to express the gratitude that we feel for these dear people who made this happen.”
Everyone has a story and now they have a place to tell it. Verbatim is a first-person column that introduces you to your neighbors as they relate in their own words some of the difficult, humorous, moving or just plain fun moments in their lives. It’s all part of the Gazette’s commitment as your community newspaper. If you have a story for Verbatim, contact editor Michael Dashiell at firstname.lastname@example.org.