By Kenny Grisham, EAA Chapter 59 President
Flying the other day, for some unknown reason, I suddenly had an epiphany. It wasn’t “When in my right mind did I decide I would try to teach someone to fly an airplane?” or “I’m pretty sure the landing gear survived that,” or “There’s a lot of lake between this biplane and dry land.” It was something a little more philosophical. It was diversity.
With all of the political correctness going on and people claiming to be everything to everyone, it’s really surprising that there are actually places where diversity does thrive. EAA chapters all over the country are just that. I can’t think of any other venue where people from such extreme walks of life come together. What I really find incredible is that, for the most part, no one even realizes it’s going on!
At any given time, you can be in the hangar and observe groups of people discussing various topics, most of the time aviation related. You might even hear a political discussion or two. Sometimes those are easy to find because you can hear them from a considerable distance. But I digress; we have all sorts of members in our chapter. You’ll find business owners, certified public accountants, retired veterans, engineers of all kinds, builders, delivery men, physical fitness fanatics, educators, pastors, mechanics, dentists, professional pilots and amateurs alike, aeronautical structures specialists, insurance adjusters, makeup moguls, and people with any other conceivable background.
The really neat thing is that you’ll find all of these people on equal ground and brought together by aviation. Many times, no one can tell that the guy who knows an insane amount about airspeed indicators is broke, out of work, and enthusiastically sharing his knowledge with a member that has traveled the world for an international company he helped develop. Or a hardcore liberal is getting advice about landings from a capitalist Republican conservative and listening intently to every word. If they only knew…
So, not that it really even matters, just know that the EAA offers a place where you can go and be a part of something that truly is able to place everyone on the same level. Its underlying diversity is a bonus we can all be proud of. So get back in the air, take someone with you, practice a few landings, and above all, have fun! See you in the air.
Blue biplane turning base,