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Lehigh Valley EAA Chapter 70 Pavilion (Summer 2004)
Build a picnic pavilion? "Sure, why not?" We have built bigger things before, like for instance, Kessler's hangar. (Excuse me, storage facility). We ought to have it done in a year or two but don't have enough money to finish it any faster. Lets's have it done by the Fly In? No way!
The old salts (read that cynics) at Chapter 70 collectively muttered under breaths that this latest pipe dream would probably never see a completion even if it did manage to get started. After all, we have the "experience" to prove it. We remembered the arguments, uncertainties, snafus, and broken promises from the last project like this. “What?” Make $500.00 loans at 6% to pay for it?". Now I know that we are really off the deep end! Do we really need the thing anyway? While not wanting to throw cold water on the scheme we all agreed to go along with it knowing full well what was bound to happen. After all, we had the" experience" to back us up. And experience is the best teacher, is it not? Usually it is. (Everybody knows that).
Well, nearly everybody did, except for a few naive souls who would have to be put through the proverbial wringer. Craig Baylor foolishly agreed to be project manager. The first thing that happened was that the 6X6 support columns appeared more or less on schedule. Oddly enough, despite the warnings about misalignment (mostly issued by the old salts again) the columns went together very nicely and soon were ready for the roof trusses. After a week or so some of the old salts returned to the construction site to see something slightly astounding. The roof trusses were in place and the plywood sheathing was ready to go on! When did all this work take place anyway? Don't you guys have regular jobs to go to?
The next time we appeared on the scene the roof shingles were being applied and the feeling was (at least from this old salt) that if we didn't get up there and do some work we might miss the whole episode! This is unbelievable. It seemed as though the majority of chapter members (and a few people who weren't) were up there in the sky putting on shingles! It was about one week to go to the Fly In and the floor of the pavilion needed concrete. Well, here comes the killer we thought. Ain't no way we will get that concrete in place for the fly in. Remember our bad experience up at Kessler's? We never got that floor. Yet amazingly, a few days before the fly in there was the new concrete floor! And looking just great, too.
I'll let some of you readers in on a dirty little secret: A few of the old salts were thinking about hanging it up with Chapter 70 prior to this pavilion project. Reasons? No purpose, no direction, no enthusiasm, and a few other intangibles. If there was ever a jolt of enthusiasm administered at the right time, this was it. So there you go. Was it deja vu all over again? Hardly. It is now and always will be a proud and fond memory.
And, oh yes, there is something more that needs to be stated. The popularity of the pavilion at the Fly In was simply amazing. In the twenty years of chapter 70 fly ins that I have been involved in I believe that the pavilion generated more cash that any other entity! (Those hard working food handlers deserve so much credit also). Thanks for the memories and thanks to chapter president Ed Deacon for spearheading this effort. It is also time to recognize everyone who helped make the pavilion the overwhelming success that it was.
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