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REPOST.. An Oshkosh Moment

Posted By:
Scott Williams
#1 Posted: 1/30/2011 02:13:44

Sorry for the re-post, my first posting failed to show the images and most of the text. The site didn't allow me to edit it properly...


I have a photo to share today, and a story to relate as well..

The photo's from AirVenture 2004 and as you can see, it's of a couple guys standing around the tail of Aluminum Overcast, the EAA's B-17.


The fellow on the left.. he's Bob Wilson. That's his grandson on the right. Until last weekend I knew neither of those things. It's how I came to find out that makes the story.

Back in '04 I was attending my second-ever AirVenture. For someone with an interest in aviation and a passion for photography, being there was like finding Heaven on Earth. It was fun just walking the grounds and keeping my eye peeled for the next photo opp. No grand plan.. no fixed schedule, just a relaxed approach which suited me fine.

Soon enough, I found myself at this particular place and time, raising my camera and tripping the shutter, thereby capturing the moment you see here.

I'd taken nearly a thousand stereo slides by AirVenture's end. After they were developed I examined them closely, checking whether or not I'd captured those moments as I had envisioned them. And then, they were filed away. (For me, the reward's always been about spotting the scene and capturing the moment. It's mostly a private passion.)

Last year the EAA asked if I'd be willing to share some of my stereo photos. If they hadn't, I'd probably have left them right there in that file. But the proposal was interesting and so I was on board. That offer forged the first link in our unlikely chain of events.

The second link was forged when I edited the many thousands of images down to a few dozen. Bob's photo was one of those to make the cut.

Allow me say that, from the start I've liked this image. It captures the essence of AirVenture.. the atmosphere, the happenings, the people. And how.. by passing along generational experiences new ones are created. In the photo Bob appears to be sharing some of his experience. I'd like to think that he did, Unfortunately we can no longer ask Bob about it.


It took some time to edit the images for display. They're 3D and have certain technical requirements not found in 2D images. Then our third link was forged. That was two weeks ago when Bob's image was finished and uploaded for review.

Another week passed and another link forged. Last weekend my wife and I hosted a lunch for some of her friends where we planned to spend the afternoon with: some snow shoeing, dog mushing, coffee roasting.. and a photo show.

For the show I'd made a spur-of-the-moment decision (link #4) to present the images that I'd just completed. As we were viewing them, one of the ladies thought she knew someone. As she looked closer she recognized Bob, her late father-in-law (along with her nephew).

That's how I came to learn Bob Wilson's name, and what he meant to someone from his family. Another link.

However the chain of events unfolded, I was pleased with the knownledge that I could (in some minor way) reunite a family with it's memories. Photos have the ability to do that and I'm glad that mine did.

How about you? Did any of you known Bob? What memories might you share?



Janet Davidson
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerAirVenture Volunteer
#2 Posted: 1/30/2011 21:39:44

Lovely story, lovely photos.  Thanks for sharing, Scott.