By Steve Carruthers
As I sit down to write this we are in the last quarter of 2021, but by the time it makes it to print and to you it will be 2022. The really strange thing is I started in October and wrote something for this issue, then something happened and here I am in November starting all over! No, my computer didn’t crash and cause me to lose it, and no my dog didn’t eat it either, but something so wonderful and spectacular happened that made me change course completely.
As I was finishing up my column for the News, the November issue of the Supplement came out and the response from that made me take a step back and take another look. We all have our ideas and vision for the club, and it sometimes makes one take a step back and reconsider when we have a member that just isn’t happy and wants to make everyone else as miserable as they are. Well, my vision for the club is we are all here to promote the Short Wing Piper models and support each other in any way possible. So, when someone wants to take away from that it is hard to understand why and even worse it makes one start doubting themselves. Well, what happened right after the November issue of the Supplement came out was probably that best thing anyone could have ever hoped for.
On our Facebook page right after reading the supplement, one of our members from San Antonio, Texas, made a post that restored our faith! Brad Marcum responded to the Supplement by saying that he feels we are doing a great job! It is always nice to hear someone say great, but what he also said is that he is offering Flight Review help to members in the San Antonio area! That right there is what makes this club the success that it is! It is one member stepping up to help bother members and not asking for much in return. He actually said free, but I would honestly hope that he would be compensated for his time, maybe not in money, but a trip for lunch or something.
That started me to thinking about the club and our success over the years. This club has been around for 43 years, so do we measure our success by the number of years in existence, or maybe by the number of members it has? After all, while membership does fluctuate, we have been around a really long time, but that is not what I look at to see our success. I look at what we, the Short Wing Piper Club, offer you the membership. The members and officers, from the early days, gathered information, tools, and people willing to help each other. Today we offer the Piper drawings for all of the Short Wing models (and at a very reasonable price) that are invaluable in maintaining these planes. We have a Tool Library so our members can just check out a tool (merely for the cost of postage) to keep their planes flying and without the expense of purchasing a tool they are likely to only use once every 5 years. We offer a list of Technical Advisors to help you when you are having issues or just need something explained to you. We also have a list of CFIs to help with type specific training or transition. We also have the Education Foundation that has helped many young people further their education and pursue a career in aviation.
So, when I look back over the many years this club has been in existence and everything accomplished, I consider this club to be very successful. But when you look at the above listed things that make the club successful, how did all of this happen? There is only one thing that makes this club, and that is you! Yes, the members of this club are what make this a club and the most important part of the club. It is the members like you that take the time to help your fellow members in any way possible that make this the success that we see today. My vision for this club is that we all do everything possible to help our fellow club members to make it more enjoyable for all of us.
Now we also need to talk about a couple of other items before moving on. This year we have two officer positions up for election, so we need candidates for those positions. These are two-year terms of office and the incumbents have served several terms already. So, we
are looking for nominations for the office of Vice President and Treasurer for the upcoming election. If you or someone you know is interested, please nominate them so we can continue to make the club stronger. I can promise you the pay isn’t very good, but it is rewarding and when you look back on the year and see what we have accomplished, you will be proud.
Additionally, it is also time for Hall of Honor nominations. Please go to the website and look at the requirements to be nominated and let’s honor those who have gone that extra mile for the club. At the 2021 convention we inducted two very different and deserving members. Eddie Trimmer has supported the Short Wing Piper Club over so many years and donates one of his STC’s to the club to give away at our annual convention. Dan Miller was the other recipient for his dedication to the club through his tireless support manning the store. Dan gets orders, has things copied, packages them and ships them, and does a terrific job, and again for the benefit of the club. These are just two examples of very deserving individuals that do things for us and never ask for anything in return.
As we start the New Year, let’s see if we can be more successful than the last year. I am surrounded by so many very good people and they all care very deeply about this club. I want to encourage each of you to consider participating in events and programs that you haven’t before. That can be volunteering for an office, attending the convention, maybe help at the Type Club table at either Oshkosh or Sun-N-Fun, or contribute your story about flying to the SWPC News. This is a club of the members for the members, so let’s all make it just a little bit better at every opportunity we have.
Happy New Year,