• Planes, trains, and automobiles

    Posted on June 21st, 2009 John Dorcey 2 comments

    When I agreed to attend today’s Wings and Wheels event at the Sheboygan County Airport (KSBM) to staff the Wisconsin Centennial of Flight exhibit, I felt a certain amount of angst. It wasn’t that I don’t like pancake breakfasts or fly-ins. My problem is one of change. You see, I have attended the Palmyra Father’s Day Fly-in almost every year for the last 30 years. It is where my Dad, my two sons, and I have shared a Father’s Day breakfast for as long as my sons have been off baby formula. But change is inevitable and so off to Sheboygan and the 19th annual Wings and Wheels.

    Breakfast is served, Wings and Wheels 2009

    We arrived at the Sheboygan County Airport (KSBM) just before 7:00 AM. My wife, Rose, and I laid out our WAHF materials and headed to the breakfast line. The smell of pancakes and sausage quickly overpowered my desire to stay on my diet (tomorrow is another day). The EAA Chapter 766 folks greeted us with smiles, hot coffee, cakes, and sausages cooked to perfection.

    The fly-in traffic started to fill the traffic pattern before we sat down to eat. The drive-in traffic was a close second. The food line began to fill up before we finished our first pancake and didn’t slack until after 11:00. Last year’s event totaled more than 1000 breakfasts. My unscientific count indicates a number even higher this year. Breakfast was served in the Aviation Heritage Center of Sheboygan County – a first-class facility.

    Sheboygan County (KSBM) ramp, Wings and Wheels 2009

    Outside the temperature wasn’t the only thing heating up. The arriving/departing aircraft and static displays drew crowds to the flightline. Antique and classic aircraft were most common after the typical Cessna, Piper, and Beech attendees. The military was represented by a trio of T-28s, a T-6, an L-39, and one or two others that slipped below my radar. One hangar east of the Aviation Heritage Center, the Sheboygan Area Radio Kontrol Society (SHARKS) had a massive display of scale aircraft.

    The next hangar to the east provided a huge (24 x 40 foot) HO-scale train layout by the Sheboygan Society of Scale Model Railroad Engineers Limited. This large, modular layout kept the engineers busy operating trains while answering the miriad of questions asked by young and old alike. The layout was redone in 2007 and reflects the pride and workmanship of the organization’s members.

    Car Show cutie, Wings and Wheels 2009

    Just as the airside of the event began to wind down the car show took off. Not just a car show mind you, this event included classic cars, antique cars, several hot rods, steam engines, fire trucks, farm tractors (steam, gas, and diesel), and a hand-crank Calliope. Aromas filled the air as the food vendors worked hard keeping everyone fed. The alfresco setting among the planes, trains, and automobiles made the day one to remember.

    A great day for a fly-in. The weather was perfect, the crowds appreciative, and the food – well it is hard to beat a fly-in pancake breakfast. Did I miss Palmyra? Well, yes, but my Dad and sons made the trip without me, keeping the tradition alive. Where will I go next year? I’m not sure but did I tell you about the radishes at Palmyra?