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Hidden Jewels Of AirVenture

Where To Go And What To See When Your Tired Of Airplanes. Is That Possible?

By Tom Woodward

Though I'm sure it's rare, there may be a time when you have had your fill of airplanes at Air Venture. So what is one to do? Surprisingly there is quite a lot to hold your interest, whatever that might be. Let's touch on just a few of the hidden jewels on the grounds.

Have you been by the Airline tent? Maybe not all that important if you have never flown for an airline but nevertheless a great place to look up an old friend, buddy or colleague with whom you used to fly. If you work or worked for an airline any time in your life, enter the tent, sign in under your respective airline and take a minute to see if you have friends visiting. You can also list your location on the grounds, contact number and other pertinent information. Stop back later in the week and see some of the wisecracks left by the practical joking Captain you enjoyed flying with in the day when airline flying was fun.

Need some time to reflect and collect your wits in a quiet place? Head over to Compass Hill and the Wall of Dedication. On top of Compass Hill you will find striking life-like sculpture called "Directions" by Larry Anderson (pictured) depicting a family on an aviation outing that is centered on bricks laid out in the shape of a compass rose. Make a donation to the EAA and you can have our name embossed on a brick for future visitors to wonder, "Who is that person?" Just don't check the headings too closely as they seem to be a few degrees off.

Try the Vintage airplane area. OK, this is an airplane area but somehow different from all the other airplane areas. It is located on perhaps the most idyllic couple of acres on the grounds. It has a mystic allure which lulls you into drifting back to the "better" days of aviation. These aircraft are lovingly restored, maintained and polished. Seeing a Beech Staggerwing makes you think you came onto the aviation scene a few decades too late.

Finally, if you're feeling a bit dehydrated, work your way over to the EMS center. RN Mary Jeanne Trosky coordinates a group of 5 nurses and 2 to 3 doctors, available between the hours of 8am to 7pm, to soothe your symptoms. She has 3 exam rooms and there's a second site at camp Scholler near the Red Barn. They can also write prescriptions and have them delivered. Best of all they have a "Cool Room" where you can recover from heat exhaustion.

FMI: www.eaa.org/support/compasshill.asp

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