Aviation Trail – Part 4

Aviation Trail, Inc. (the official name of the organization) hosts several commemorative and periodic activities throughout the year.  Usually these are open to the public.  They are publicized to an extent, but are not what one might call “advertised.“  To attend one merely needs to contact the organization to reserve space.  Technically members can also set up space for someone else; members get invitation notices that accommodate guests.  Usually there is a nice dinner involved with a couple of choices for meals, but the December 17 event (in commemoration of that first flight at Kitty Hawk) has offered the "Wright family Christmas dinner."  In the summer there’s a picnic. 

The best sources of information about activities are the organization and the National Park Service offices.  There’s a visitors’ center at Third and Williams streets in Dayton that’s open daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.  The special area is marked on maps and is largely on the Williams street side, and of course there is also normally the telephone.  The dinners include awards ceremonies honoring noteworthy individuals.  A special award sponsored by the organization is the annual "Trailblazer award."  It is given to an individual or organization that’s made notable contribution to the advancement of aviation.  There can be more than one "awardee" at a time. 

Membership in the organization is not particularly expensive, and one does not really have to attend anything to maintain a membership (individual and family group) or be informed of what is happening in and about the great legacy of the Wright Brothers in the area.  As mentioned, notices of events are mailed out specifically for events.  Also an eight page periodic (every couple of months) newsletter is mailed out.  That has a report of various developments and other interesting and news type information.  It is also a source of National Park Service information and other things that would not be found in the general media, local or otherwise. 

A basic organization can be well thought out. 


Eastertide, 2014 – All Things On Hold

Perhaps the biggest problem with anything other than daily publications, be it a monthly, weekly or some other, is timeliness.  This is especially true when it comes to things like a series, especially a developing series.  Sometimes it can be possible to work through or around current events but not each time there’s an event.  There’s a given amount of space committed.  Ideally in here that’s for one topic at a time.  It doesn’t have to be as it is, but a follower of some regularity is likely to expect format consistency.  This isn’t to exclude variables, it just minimizes them.  When there’s a conflict between events of the day and things under discussion, adjustments are needed. 

As this is written the Christian High Holiday of Easter is ahead, i.e., tomorrow, and some series deemed worthwhile enough to be writing them need to be left to sit since the day merits note; publication time’s in Easter Week, an abbreviated version of Eastertide, i.e., the Easter season, and after the fact.  The proper thing to be doing, at the moment, just at the moment, is wishing Christians a "Happy Easter."  It really was not appropriate last week as Good Friday had not yet happened.  One is not supposed to be joyous at that.  On the other hand such good wishes are too late for publication as Easter itself is done.  In fact, it’s so done that even the Orthodox is done. 

Belated Happy Easter to those who celebrate — may the fifty days of regular Eastertide be a time of goodness.  Since most everyone can have Easter eggs, baskets and what have you after the fact, these are still appropriate: 


Joy knows no season. 

Aviation Trail – Part 3

The lives of the Wright family is resplendent with the spirit of pioneering.  Pioneering is more than taming a wilderness.  One can, for example, note the fact that in days when education was most often minimal, if at all, the little sister of the Wright Brothers chose to go off to a college hundreds of miles away, although her famous brothers weren’t a party to any such thing.  Indeed Wilbur who’s believed by some to be the one who was most responsible for figuring out the mysteries of flight never finished high school.  As such, Wilbur is a fine example for those youngsters who somehow never completed a more formal line of study while his sister is one for women even today. 

Even if they had invented nothing, the Wrights were noteworthy for how they lived, like in ways mentioned above.  Much of it was recorded decades ago in a substantial book titled, “The Bishop’s Boys,” which if it can be found, is highly recommended for anyone interested in the lives of the family.  There are, of course, other books and papers; but, that one (reportedly) took five years to research and write.  It might be said the Wrights defied assorted accepted ideas or customs; but, eventually, some who respected that family needed the same sense of defiance to preserve the story and that legacy.  That, in itself, is a sad commentary, and some details will never be known. 

In this past week one of the founders of Aviation Trail died and was buried.  The day’s news carried a passing story, but it was the paid obituary that cast real light on nearly an adult lifetime of effort – that included a “disagreement” with city hall.  There were a number of people doing what they could, but the description “a driving force” was true and not noted in the regular news report.  Few persons achieve much alone; credit for something usually extends beyond any individual.  Yet, there are some with a special flair without which the whole effort won’t succeed as well.  Aviation Trail lost a unique person.  And, it was a job well done.  

Ancient Greece taught that change is constant. 

Aviation Trail – Part 2

Aviation Trail has been around well over thirty years in reality – and maybe in ideas it’s been around much longer.  The “reality” is a non-profit organization, but it’s also a trail of sorts.  There are nearly four dozen different places (and/or things) in the area so far “identified” as being somehow aviation related and worthy of note, but they aren’t what might be described as “inter-related.”  They range from the cemetery where the Wright family is buried to the U.S. Air Force Museum.  The trail sites are best considered on a rather individual basis although some can be put together with others.  A travel leaflet put out by Aviation Trail lists thirteen sites people might find especially interesting. 

The idea with the leaflet is that people can set up a sort of self-guided tour. It includes a few notes about each place listed.  A person (or whole family) can just pick one or even all there in whatever way desirable.  A few of the places are National Landmarks, those places run under the direction of the National Park Service.  Many are not.  The leaflet’s free, but if someone wanted a comprehensive list there’s that, too, in a book at a cost of a few dollars.  It might also be noted that every once in a while there are changes in the way things are set up.  If something new is unearthed, for example, adjustments can be needed in anything published, which can take a little while. 

There are actually three “important” things and several smaller ones interwoven in the aviation matters under discussion here.  It might be said that the foundation’s the list in the book available from Aviation Trail.  Aviation Trail doesn’t physically run much.  It is more of a social engineering element bringing attention to aspects of the history.  That important element of support is the National Park Service which physically runs what’s been established as National Landmarks.  So far there are five of those.  (There is also a sixth Landmark that is not aviation related.)  Lastly, there’s an umbrella type element to coordinate things, the National Aviation Heritage Area Alliance. 

Sometimes there’s a lot right around home. 

Aviation Trail – Part 1

As near as can be determined, it has been almost three years since there’s been a real mention of anything related to aviation in this obscure part of the world, although to the left there is a whole category labeled “Aviation Trail.”  Aviation, of itself, has never really been a part of this life, but Aviation Trail is an element of this life – very small and quite permanent.  There was at one time intention to comment more about it, but things can happen to take us away from the best of intentions.  Actually at times quite a bit can be said about Aviation Trail, as there are periodic activities that are newsworthy.  They are covered in standard local news reports. 

Aviation Trail, Inc., is a grassroots organization based in Dayton, Ohio, committed to a preservation of things regarding the Wright Brothers in Dayton.  While important items such as the 1903 bicycle shop and the Wright family home were “saved” years ago by Henry Ford who took them to Michigan (almost board by board), there were, of course, many things still in Dayton which for various reasons pretty much just sat.  Things like Orville’s home in Oakwood were saved (and used for other purposes), but in the area where the brothers actually lived and worked there was nothing to commemorate that world changing matter of man mechanically flying like a bird. 

Exactly why things were not established “on site” is kind of murky, with different factors entering the picture.  There was, of course, much argument at first over who really did manage to figure out powered flight, but there were other factors as well.  As example one only needs to remember that until things are certain, money is hard come by, if “a something” is to be built or done.  However, there was more to it than simply a lack of money.  There were also common misconceptions, especially years later.  Some of it was and is surprising.  And, there is always a question of what should be saved if it is beyond the most basic things (like the house and shop in Michigan).

True stories can be fabulous.