Friday, July 20, 2007

Back home to Oshkosh

Another year, another week at Oshkosh for the grounded pilot.

I love Oshkosh -- or at least the week when there's the big air festival here known as AirVenture. I've been coming long enough now that there are a lot of friends I want to catch up with. A handful stopped by the campsite (a big campsite this year because I'm holding a big barbecue for everyone on Wednesday night).

But the nest never seems so empty to me as the first day I arrive. Oshkosh is one of those things I've kicked myself for not coming to earlier. We've lived in the Midwest since 1992, and I think 1999 was the first year the whole family came over; and we had a great time. The kids were mesmorized by the air show. A year or so later, they were mesmorized by the girls.

By a few years ago, the "magic" disappeared for them. They didn't reconnect with people they had met the year before, and the last time they were here, they were at the age when kids can be real jerks to each other.

But, still, as I sit -- with wireless this year -- in the tent here, I'm hoping that someday, we can all do a few days over here one more time.

I'm here on a media pass this year. I'll be writing stuff for the RV Builder's Hotline and also trying to scrounge some stories from Minnesota folks who are here so I can do a Web piece for Minnesota Public Radio.

I'm covering a news conference on Monday when I think Cirrus is going to unveil their VLJ -- very light jet. This is the big thing in aviation now and, I guess, there's a market for this. Imagine taking all those little piston airplanes out of the sky, and giving everyone a jet instead. That's where the world is going.

On Thursday, I hope to meet Morgan Freeman and also Apollo 13 pilot Jim Lovell. They've both got news conferences scheduled.

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