Saturday, July 24, 2010

Oshkosh Diary - July 24, 2010

It's a lovely evening in Camp Scholler at AirVenture 2010 in Oshkosh... as long as you're looking up. Glance anywhere else, and you're looking at a looming disaster, at least for a few days until things dry out.
They've had over 10 inches of rain here since the beginning of the month and it shows. The little creek where I usually camp is running like the Mississippi.

Out on the frontage road, at least a mile long line of RVs (the kind on wheels) are stalled. They're not letting them in and some EAA people are going RV to RV handing out water. Inside Camp Scholler, only tenters are setting up. The RVs and other big units are mostly parking on the roadways and setting up there. It's a nightmare.

I looked at the EAA Radio compound where I was going to set up and decided that -- at least for tonight -- I'd head for high ground. I'm out on Second Street, which is a healthy stone's throw from the highway. But it's not standing water and my standards for comfort got lowered considerably. Tomorrow, perhaps, I'll move in with my broadcasting friends.

As for airplanes, I've seen very few fly in. Michael Regen is here. I'll be doing a story on him and his soon-to-be bride. He's parked his RV on the tarmac near the FBO until they start parking planes on grass.

His wedding on Tuesday will be in the North 40. Here's what the North 40 looks like right now.

And here's what it looks like in the campground:

The spot I'm at is working out fine for now. I'm half-deaf so maybe the truckers blowing their horns in the middle of the night won't bother me as much. But I come over here mostly to socialize and there isn't much of that out here. People don't walk by on their way to somewhere else. Out here, you've got a golf cart or a car to get where you need to go.

Glenn Brasch, his son Michael, and Darwin Barrie were setting up their site across from where they used to be near the camp locator shack. I almost got the car stuck when I stopped to say "hello." I now have a generous coating of mud on it.

There's no working wiFi yet. This year, EAA has built small buildings around the area as wiFi hotspots, which I presume means you won't be able to sit in your tent and watch Hulu this year. Good. But it doesn't appear to be turned on yet.

So I'm down at Starbuck's where a barrista who used to live on St. Paul's East Side asked me if I'm in town for the air show. "Do I scream 'air show'?" I asked. 
"No," she said, "it was your TCF Bank card. But, you know, you fly people are pretty well dressed. Usually we get beer guts and sandals in here. I was wearing muddy sneakers and a T-shirt. I chose not to show here my beer gut.

I suppose I could've pursued it and ended up at the point I dread ("you pilots are all rich."), but I'm tired and I still have to work up the energy get over to WalMart and navigate around the -- apparently -- Starbucks customers.

Drop a note if you have questions or comments and we'll be conversing here during the week.

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