Oshkosh wrap up. Abandoning the Wenzel…
Finally…am writing this from the comfort of my own home in London. The trip was a blast from start to finish. The Hilton evening actually marked the last night in the Wenzel. I was soooo beat after 8 nights camping in a tiny tent. Prepared to soldier on, but so many people saw the state of me on Friday morning that I had several offers of air beds for the evening. Hat tips to Amy Laboda and Paul Berterolli of Avweb for their generosity in offering me something more comfortable. However, my knight in shining armour turned out to be Philippe de Segovia, the PR guy for Daher Socata. I had given him a book and interviewed him about camping for the epic opus that will be released next week. He was leaving Camp S for foreign parts (returning home to France) and wondered whether I might like to take over his trailer for the evening. I did actually kiss him – caught on camera for posterity. I was so exhausted by that point. The Wenzel had done sterling service, but had leaked slightly in the night (honestly it was it and not me. If I had, I had become so feral by then that frankly I wouldn’t have cared anyway.)
I did my best to remain around the show and act in a semi professional manner, but was so thrilled by the prospect of a real bed and a private space for the night that I was practically skipping around the ground. Which is my excuse for a very cheeky conversation I had with the Smoke n Thunder guys, particularly Steve the Sausage Man. See pictured. Wish I could ID Dax though. Steve’s pal told me he was really famous. I thought he was Emilio Estevez, but was in the resounding minority of one. That’s being a Brit for ya.
I hoofed it over to Camp Scholle just as the heavens opened big time. A tiny beautiful Welsh lady called Jude hailed me over. God, I”m so witty, did you get that everyone? ‘hailed’ me over. Comic genius. “Hailed me over” Wow! Anyways…Jude and her son Matt hefted me and the innards of the Wenzel over to 105 Shaik Avenue, off’ve 35th. I donated the plant and some sundries to them and squelched my way into my new home ecstatically.
I haven’t mentioned what else was going on all around the show. Press conferences, exhibits, lots and lots and lots of flying. Special areas dedicated to Warbirds, Ultralights and Innovation. Workshops. Forums. Restaurants. You name it, it was going down.
What was a real pleasure though was getting ready – having a shower in my very own trailer. I didn’t want to leave. But eventually wound up, courtesy of chauffeur friend Jeff, at scheme designer Craig Barnett’s house for a lovely party. That I had to leave almost as soon as I arrived at since I had no clue how I’d get back to camp Scholle, so gladly accepted a lift from the Smiths, a kindly British couple who knew the ropes of scooting around Oshkosh.
The next day saw me up bright and early for the annual 5k run, which I ran in my best time ever. Huzzah, despite the Wenzel and another fun trawl around the show, getting in depth interviews with the likes of the famous Smoke n Thunder guys. Then another cozy night in the trailer after watching the night airshow with the lovely Borghi family, taking in the sounds and sights of the South African Camp on the way back – and on to the Hilton for my last night in Osh. The fabulous James W brought me back to NYC in his Mooney and I’ve been buzzing on the show since. If you’re looking for the hard news from the show go to www.ainonline.com or www.fligntglobal.com or www.loop.aero or the EAA website itself www.eaa.org. If you’re looking for some entertaining prating about capturing some of the finest points of the show, come back here later in the week, where we’re laying it all down in glorious motion technicolour.