Saturday, September 10, 2005

OK, back to the fun!

Uploaded by AviatorDave.
Well, having been rudely interrupted by a bacterial infection, I felt much better today. Gail and I had hoped to return to Rhinebeck for the model airplane Jamboree, but I decided I was still too weak to travel that far. But then last night my neighbor Bill reminded me that our local model airplane club, the Waymart Wings, was having its annual airshow and model fly-in. Great! That's only a 20-minute ride, and I missed the event last year - because I was at Rhinebeck, actually.

It was perfect weather, and we drove out to the club's field on Kellachow's farm - actually a full-scale private grass runway for his own family. The club was out in full force, the flightline crowded with neat model airplanes, and a few full-sized ones too. As we arrived, a local pilot was performing stunts in his Decathlon monoplane, finishing with the "Delsey Dive" - just like Rhinebeck! He did great, too; he whirled around in descending turns, managing to cut the falling streamer of toilet paper at least six times before it fell dead-center onto the airfield. Gail and I took out our chairs and parked my model Jenny biplane on pit row, and walked around photographing the planes and the farm. We sat and chatted with Bill and my other model-flying friends, who I haven't seen much since I've been so involved in full-sized flying. We enjoyed the day, and the models buzzing overhead, and a few honest grilled hamburgers. (Gosh, it's good to have my appetite back!)

On the way back, we stopped at a nearby monastery; St. Tikhon's, a Russian Orthodox monastery and theological seminary. The onion-shaped domes and beautiful setting lured us in for photography, but as we were there, the brothers and sisters were congregating for a service. Gail was quietly composing a photo of one of the icons, when the air was split by the loud, clear pealing of the bells! We both jumped, and then wandered over in time to watch the spectacle of the bell-ringers; two cassock-wearing monks (I presume) were ringing the bells by hand, playing a fairly complex tune by pulling the heavy ropes on the freestanding bell tower. It was fascinating, and when they were finished we were left alone outside the chapel to photograph the monastery grounds. The bells themselves were among the most beautiful items; the largest, according to its inscription, was newly founded this year.

Were were just finishing our tour when I got a call from my CAP comrade Frank, who was in the area with his family and asked us to dinner. So we met a short while later at Kundla's Open Pit Barbecue, about which I have raved in the past, and had a barbecue dinner that couldn't be beat - and lively conversation with he and Marianne and Frank Jr., one of my cadets. An altogether satisfying day to be out of the hospital!