Elk's Lodge #1419
Yesterday as I was ready to post the blog we had some company. It was Bill's sister, Denise and her husband, Dan Wotring. We had talked with them on the phone while we were touring the Nixon library but thought the lateness of the day and the horrible California traffic, would prevent a visit.
Boy, were we happy and surprised to see them.
We had a great time visiting with them.
And then there was another knock on the door.
It was Daniel, Bill's nephew. We enjoyed talking with him and he offered to show us his business, Aviator Flight Training.
Lucky for us it is located in the world's largest private airport, in Upland, which was a short drive away. It was dark so Daniel drove us over.
The first plane he showed us was his DC 3. I hope I remembered all the details correctly. There was so many interesting things I think my brain was on overload.
This plane was used by the military in the invasion of Sicily.
I was a nervous wreck sitting in the co-pilot seat. There was a red level that I couldn't step on because it was used for ejection.
Daniel said that later in it's history', the plane was used as mail delivery and there was a side door where they loaded the mail. When he opened the door the propeller was very close. I took a photo of it, but it didn't come out in the dark. I think Daniel said it was called a hamburger door.
Here's a photo of what it looked like when new.
Daniel said when they were renovating the plane they found signatures of the military men and bullet holes.
The plane was also used as a commercial plane. Daniel said the plane was rented to be in movies and TV, most recently in the Showtime series, Masters of Sex.
We then drove down to one of his hangers. This was the plane that started the business.
Daniel is an expert in tailwheel training. Warbirds are his specialty. He also gives rides which during the Christmas season is very busy.
Daniel does all the work and when not doing that he instructs at Edwards Air Force Base. He puts real meaning into the word passion.
We also understand that his wife, Samantha is very supportive of his passion.
I wish we would have taken more photos but we were so interested in everything Daniel was telling us, photos were the last things we thought of.
We're so proud of Daniel!
Today we drove the 75 miles over to Simi Valley to visit the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. The traffic is bad but it was worth the drive. The Library and Museum opened in 1991 and encompasses 100 acres.
Bill and I both commented yesterday that we didn't see a replica of the oval office while at the Nixon Library.
We weren't disappointed at this library as there was an oval office display.
We've seen a lot of these rooms at other presidential libraries.
It was so much better than yesterday's visit.
What a fete to get this airplane up the hill to the library. The building was built around it.
This Boeing 707 was used by seven presidents until replaced in 1990.
"2700 was disassembled over a nine week period by a nine person crew from The Boeing Company into the following sections: fuselage, tail and stabilizers, engines, main landing gear and wings.
2700 was transported to the Reagan Library by truck, on a specially designed trailer crossing four freeways, traveling 104 miles. The truck departed San Bernardino at 11:00 pm on June 20, 2003 and arrived at our hilltop at 5 am on June 21, 2003."
There was an exhibit on the secret service as well as the limousine, cars and motorcycles.
You were allowed inside Air Force One.
I didn't hear the facts on how large the crew was but the plane holds 52 passengers.
Marine One was also on display and you could walk through it.
We decided to view Air Force One and Marine One without seeing the other exhibits in order. There were a lot of school children and that way we managed to get ahead of them.
The Berlin Wall exhibit was very interesting.
When we went outside to see the rose garden and actual Berlin wall, it was starting to sprinkle.
It was a great Presidential Library and I highly recommend visiting this one.
The only down side is the traffic getting there.
Yes, this last 24 hours has been great. I told Bill if we hadn't had the tour of Daniel's business and hanger the library would have been a bigger highlight. Just goes to show, family comes first.