Where has summer gone?
Wow, here we are already the middle of October. Where did this summer go? This was a busy
summer for sure, but I want to slow down for a few minutes and look back at what was
accomplished over the course of a few months for most of you. In what seemed like a rapid-fire
summer we had the annual membership meeting/convention in Lock Haven, PA, followed closely by
Air Venture at Oshkosh. Then a short break then the Southwest regional! Some of you made it to all
of the events while others only made it to one or two of them, but either way, it was a full summer.
So how did all of these events happen so quickly and close together? Well, this club is an all volunteer
organization and everyone that put these events together for you did it without pay and
they did it for you! Two chapters worked for your enjoyment for well over a year to make the
convention happen. The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic chapters spent countless hours meeting and
planning, and even more hours traveling to and from to arrange things like discounts at local restaurants for us. But it didn’t stop there they managed to secure several really nice door prizes for
you the membership including a B&C alternator! They all did this for you, but the best reward they
could have received is that you the members turned out even with Covid still looming large and even
better was the number of first-time attendees at this convention.
Then we move into July with the 70th anniversary of the Pacer and Tri-pacer continuing into Air
Venture. That started out over 18 months prior to arriving at Oshkosh! Once again, club members
stepped up to make this event happen and we filled the allotted parking spots in Vintage. So how
did this happen if a chapter didn’t arrange this for you? Well, this idea came from my pea brain, but
so many others stepped up and made this happen. Dan Knutson stepped up in a big way and
accomplished some great things. Paul and Michele Wolff took care of making Baraboo the place
where we all got together before Air Venture started. They provided a great meal on Friday evening
before we departed on Saturday morning. Dan Simpson took time from his schedule to arrange the
port-a potties for us at Baraboo. There was even a catered meal on Sunday evening with a
presentation by Clyde Smith. Again, what was gained from this by all of the people that worked so
hard for so long… was your participation!
Then again, here in Mid-October, was the Southwest regional. Even this was put together by
volunteers that get nothing in return for their hard work, except the gratification when members
participate. Cliff Van Vleet, and Kent O’Kelly, and I am sorry if I missed anyone else, worked on this
event for months before it happened. These are just three events that happened throughout the year.
Remember that we also have club officers and Board members that work on your behalf all year and
never ask for anything in return.
Okay, so by now you are asking, “What is all of this about?” Fair enough! For the most part our
experiences are good ones, but every now and then someone wants to make you second guess
your commitment. Some times people just aren’t happy and feel that they need to vent their
frustrations on one of the officers or board members, all of which do this for free for you the
members. Now remember, we also have the Store, the Tool Library, the Tech Advisors, the Forums,
and a new addition–a CFI that has just stepped up. All of these people are doing this to help you
with information and/or a service to keep your airplanes flying and affordable. So, when we get an
email from someone complaining because they are frustrated and question if their membership is
worth the price of admission, it makes you sit back and think. Just look at everything I mentioned
that the club offers you at a very affordable price, and I didn’t even mention the Quarterly News
publication or the Supplement. So, is the Short Wing Piper Club worth the price of admission? Yes,
and it is a bargain at that! Just remember, the events that are held are for the membership, so of you
do not participate, who is to blame? This also applies to the Chapters, if you do not participate, they
will not be there when you need them.
We are an all-volunteer club and need your help to keep it going and to help keep the cost
affordable. This coming year 2022, we will be electing a Vice President and a Treasurer, but we need
you to step up and help keep the club running. Yes, I am asking you to volunteer some of your time
to move the club forward and into the future. This club belongs to you, so help make it what you
want it to be and keep these old birds flying.
I look forward to seeing everyone,