I have no idea if nature vs. nurture wins the battle because in our world it seems to be both. Dan was born into an aviation family, with his Dad being a P3 pilot and was raised around it at Our airpark, with his uncle Bob, Bob Woolley (Panther Builder) and friends making weekends fun and interesting for a growing teenage boy.
I have been told by my mother-in-law, Rhonda Weseman, that when Dan was in school he would repeatedly NOT write his name on the paper. However, the teacher always knew which one was his – because there would always be a doodle of an airplane somewhere in a corner.
As you all know our kids are a very big part of our lives – so sheer osmosis is totally going on here. I mean – I have a technical background with servers, databases and routing tables being my main focus for work – so how is it I can walk the walk and talk the talk? Because I am around it, live the passion in it, and have found my personal way to relate!
Luke came to us a few days ago with a conundrum. He loves the Thatcher CX-4 but can’t afford it (on his measley 2nd grader income). So he decided to hit us up to build the next best thing in his book – the Panther. Why? Because he knows where to gets parts – cheap! No dummies around here!
He worked with Dan starting on the rudder – using a skin that suffered a ding unfit for a customer (equals free for Luke). So off to work he goes – “Mom – can you print those pages from the builders manual for me?” and “How do I get this plastic off?”
Dan shows him a trick to use a tube to roll it off…
Then “What do you mean we don’t have center ribs for the rudder formed? I can use the press to make the part!”
We all had a great time with Luke learning how to hone in his skills on removing PVC, deburring, clecoes and following the plans and builders manual. Dan and I both thought – how long is this going to last?
The answer is – who knows? But it’s good right? No matter how long?
Our school system sends what they call a weekly folder home on Wednesday. This folder contains all the papers, tests, grades for the week for parents to review.
So – I go through it like I do every week and sign my name like I always do.
And I notice something on the back of Luke’s papers. I look at Dan, and show him and say – “Uh Oh…”
So – is it simply that Dan has the genes for aviation, or is it that he was raised in the atmosphere for love of aviation and the opportunities that it brings? I think that both go hand in hand… Enthusiasm is catching, and if you are exposed it bleeds into your soul. No matter what it is.
Time to step up the involvement – to promote Experimental Aviation! I mean – look at that face! Excitement is bursting from it!