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Old 09-15-2012, 12:01 AM
Bob Axsom Bob Axsom is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 5,685
Default Reno 2012 Day 7

Breakfast at 0630 at the Home Town Caf? in Lemmon Valley behind the Shell Station. In four days of trying to connect with the SARL racers there I finally made it. There is a story there but I?ll just leave it hanging for folks like Mike Thompson to stew on. Good food, large portions surrounded by racers and fans. I sat at the end of a long table that I suspect was arranged for the racers that eat there every morning. I was a few minutes late and I sat at the end across from a gentleman called Ollie Crawford. He told me only his mother called him Oliver. I learned that he lives in San Antonio, Texas and I mentioned that I was stationed at Lackland AFB there in February of 1954. He asked if I took Basic Training there and I said yes. He told me that he took Basic in 1943. I asked if he was a pilot and he said yes he was. I asked what he flew and he said P-40s. Now, younger folks that have the insatiable love of airplanes may have a fuzzy notion of a P-40 in shape and size but to school boys like me during WWII the Curtis P-40 was the first fighter we ever knew and it was special. I told him I saw the movie ?God is My Copilot? and I read the book ? I think it was the first one I ever read. The Flying Tigers and Robert L. Scott were the essence of fighter pilots and the legends that surround them. Ollie slowly pulled his hat out of his lap and showed me the Flying Tiger identification. He asked if I had heard of Tex Hill and I said I had. He told me of some political situation that prevented Tex Hill from getting medals he was recommended for and his (Ollie?s) effort to correct that situation including communicating directly with Robert L. Scott to get his eye witness confirmation of the heroic feats of Tex Hill. Now Ollie Crawford is working to get an Air & Space Museum established in San Antonio. Later in the day Ollie was in the Crew Holding Pen for the Sport Silver race right up against the rail nearest the taxiway in the sun. I was back against the hangar wall in the shade as our pilot Bob Mills was the alternate for the Sport Silver Race. Watching him and his son as Alan taxied by in his Lancair Legacy with his arm sticking out under the canopy holding a small American Flag was a touching moment, an observation of two patriots.

At 10:00 it was time for the Bronze Sports class to race. Bob Mills and his Crew Chief Tommy Ishii had worked into the night to get #43 ready to participate and it was ready with a new starter solenoid and oil cooler. The race was similar to yesterday?s race in that the Radial Rocket pressed him early but faded after the first couple of laps. He finished 2nd after the Glasair #22 and a little ahead of the Radial Rocket #105.

Then we got some disappointing news when Mark Fredrick called a Mayday at the start of the Silver Sports class and landed safely but out of the race and out of the rest of the races at Reno this year as well with elevator and trim tab damage.

To provide a secure place for Mark?s airplane the Axsom Blue Bird got evicted out of Bob Mills? hangar but it found a temporary home in the Sport Class Hangar. Don?t tell anyone that we are mere pretenders. Well go ahead, I?ve taken the photographs already and all I have to do is post them on the internet to prove that for one brief shining moment Race #71 was resident with the Sport Bronze Class racers in Reno.

I saw SARL racer David Adams in the Gold and Silver Sport Class hangar this afternoon talking to Alan Crawford so more are coming each day. Tomorrow we race again and we think #43 is ready for the task.

Bob Axsom

Last edited by Bob Axsom : 09-19-2012 at 05:04 AM.
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