This has to be my most favorite stop in the Ohio Bush to date. I had no idea what was happening. John was just showing me another great grass strip. Okay, it's not that great. It's a little wavy but the "airport" culture and vibes were amazing.
Ralph Charles was a well known aviation Pioneer from Zanesville, Ohio. He was born in 1899. He lived to be 103 and probably would still be alive if he hadn't gone out in the 15 degree weather to build another coal burning boiler one winter (according to his best friend, Pat).
He was the first pilot to carry passengers across the mountains of Pennsylvania in a Ford Tri-Motor. He built planes in the 1920s. He quit aviation all together for fifty years and got back into it when in his nineties, after his wife died. He must have been an amazing dude. John was friends with him and used to drop in for visits. In fact John's Vimeo avatar is Ralph Charles!
His friend Pat runs the show now. He met us out on the lawn with his cane as we taxied in. I had no idea what we were getting into when he invited us in to see an organ. John never told me about it. He just said we'll try landing here...
So, we head inside...I thought it would be some little 4 foot thingie with colored buttons and I would have to act impressed. IT BLEW ME AWAY. It gave me chills. 1580 pipes make up the organ. That's not counting the xylophones, drums, cymbal, player piano, tuba, and many percussion instruments all tied into one keyboard that commands it all. It runs on a hundred year old electric motor and two floor vacuums. It hums and sucks air, so the audio is a little dirty in this one but you'll get the drift.
Where will John G take us next? It's gonna be tough to top this pit stop.
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