“He got his commercial pilot’s license at this airport”, she told the waitress. He’s an old crop duster.” We had been looking at all the photos and airplane memorabilia as we waited for our food at this decorated café which had become a favorite of mine.
My sisters and I had been planning a family outing here all summer long, but timing just never worked out for all of us until this late-fall afternoon. The group consisted of my Dad and Mom; my older sister and two of her grandkids; my younger sister and her youngest son; and my son and me.
We used to come as a family to this small airport from time to time when we were kids. We came on a Sunday afternoon just to watch the planes, or there would be times we came to visit an air show that had been scheduled on the tarmac.
Much later in my life, when my husband was driving truck, he would bring my son and I here to have lunch at the little airport café when he had truck business to tend to in this part of town. I guess it was then that it became one of my favorite stops; a place that could turn in to a short, but fun day trip, that my son and I would also venture off to from time to time.
So, because of that and my childhood memories, I guess, somehow we decided we needed to make a little family outing with my folks and sisters to see if we could refresh any dormant memories from our past; and also just because we knew our dad would enjoy once again being at this airport where he had indeed received his commercial pilot’s license all those years ago.
“Where do you find all the photos and memorabilia?” my older sister asked the friendly waitress.
“Well, we buy it and sometimes people just bring it in to us,” she replied. “Bring in a photo of your dad flying; we would love to add it to the collection!”
My dad hadn’t heard the conversation between the waitress and my oldest sis; but when we told him what she had said, he beamed, holding back tears that seemed to be demanding a showing in his expressive eyes.
We are simply a family of airplane buffs, probably with Dad’s crop dusting days as the catalyst for the interest. My nephew has loved planes since he was just a little tyke, and he has a huge amount of knowledge on airplanes of all generations and all wars. My son joined Civil Air Patrol with a desire to learn to fly. And Dad was a tail gunner in a B-24 during World War II, but his desire to fly came at a very early age. His mom had taken him for a ride when he was only about 6 years old with a Barnstormer whom had come to their home town.
So, not that we needed it, but with all that interest in airplanes in our family, it kind of made us feel like we had a reason to be here at this airport cafe, and that we somehow belonged.
I'm sure there is a lot of history that comes with this air field as well as the restaurant, and I intended to include it here. But time is short for me and that will have to be for another post.
One thing is certain, the food is excellent and the service is great; but for me, the nostalgia of it all and the place it holds in my heart is what I love the best.