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  #1  
Old 04-03-2020, 04:04 AM
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goatflieg goatflieg is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Clarkston, MI
Posts: 707
Default Confessions of a Shop Flirt

Early yesterday morning I had riveted the horizontal rows of Skybolt fasteners to the upper edge of the bottom cowl, using Pro Seal as a stabilizing adhesive between the aluminum and fiberglass. Later in the day, I went out to the shop and of course it still reeked of the Pro Seal. Yesterday was a beautiful spring day in Michigan; it wasn't too cold, the sun was shining and the air was calm. So I thought it would be nice to open the shop's garage door and air the room out. When I did, the afternoon sun streamed in, lighting up the interior and changing the perspective of the shop in a wonderful way. That garage door faces our street; many of our neighbors will walk by with their kids or dogs on such a beautiful afternoon. I wondered whether they would notice that my briefly exposed shop contained an airplane. I stepped outside and looked back in, to see what they could see.

On these rare occasions when the neighborhood can see my project from the street, I get kind of a giddy tingle that a pretty woman must get when she flirts by hiking her skirt up just a little; a very subtle but unmistakable signal: "Hey... check this out!" It's an odd feeling for a man in his 60s to get, but it ties into something deeper for me. Whenever I'm driving around the neighborhood - or any neighborhood, for that matter - I like to look at people's houses, and if their garage is open, I like to try to see if they have any fun toys. On the surface, this is just being nosy... but there's much more to it than that. It feels more like seeking out kindred souls... which, not coincidentally, defines the purpose of this wonderful website. We're all hiking our skirts up a little here, for all the best reasons. It's not always just to show off or gloat... sometimes it's to share encouragement: "See what I've done? Isn't it cool? You can do it too!" Sometimes it's to seek help: "Check out this scar I have. Does anybody know what I can do to fix this?" Sometimes it's to seek guidance: "I wish I had one of those bodies. How can I get one?"
I live in a nice neighborhood; it's a good place to live... but the people here like to keep to themselves. I'm casual friends with the families next door, and the guy across the street is a fellow motorhead that has helped me with some shop work a couple times... but they're not the kind of neighbors that invite contact, and sometimes I miss that. There's a part of me that wishes that someone would notice that I'm building an airplane and be interested enough to inquire further. I think about when I was a kid... how cool it would have been to discover that one of my neighbors was building an airplane... and how cool it would have been if that neighbor had indulged and encouraged my interest. When I got going on this build, I found myself wishing some neighborhood kid would learn I was building an airplane and want to learn more about it... maybe even help out. There were plenty of times I knew I could use the help, and it would be cool to share the interest with an adolescent. I know... in today's world, that sounds super creepy, doesn't it? But I was surprised at how much an introvert like myself suddenly had the desire to be a mentor of aviation. Being a member of two EAA Chapters (113 and 194) was a great way to channel this, and I enjoy helping out with Young Eagles and Flying Start events, as well as the meetings and gatherings. I think many Chapter members have had the experience of meeting someone younger who expressed a genuine interest in flying and/or building aircraft... and suddenly we want to share our experience with them nonstop; those conversations that seem like they could never end because we keep thinking of new things to share.
In discussing this with my wife, Amy (who has a Ph.D in psychology) she suggested I check out Erik Erikson's 8 Stages of Psychosocial Development; what I am experiencing is part of Stage 7: Middle Adulthood: Generativity vs. Stagnation. Synopsis (quoted from https://www.verywellmind.com/erik-er...-summary-chart): "During this time, adults strive to create or nurture things that will outlast them; often by parenting children or contributing to positive changes that benefit other people."
Well, that explains it. I wouldn't want to raise another child... but I do find myself looking forward to sharing my interests with my grandson Joey. I'm not some creepy old man who wants to lure kids into my lair... I have a genuine interest in mentoring my passion for aviation. So it's ok if I want neighbors to peek inside my garage. I'm not showing off... I just want to share something I love.
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Martin J Filiatrault
Clarkston, MI
RV-8 #83507 - empennage at hangar; currently working on finishing canopy & wing tips.
N657AR reserved
Builder websites:
http://goatflieg.blogspot.com/
http://www.mykitlog.com/goatflieg/
YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/user/goatflieg
Dues paid for 2021... extra payment included for psychological therapeutic services rendered.

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Last edited by goatflieg : 04-03-2020 at 04:36 AM.
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  #2  
Old 04-03-2020, 04:07 AM
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goatflieg goatflieg is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Clarkston, MI
Posts: 707
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Wow... I think I might submit this to Sport Aviation...
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Martin J Filiatrault
Clarkston, MI
RV-8 #83507 - empennage at hangar; currently working on finishing canopy & wing tips.
N657AR reserved
Builder websites:
http://goatflieg.blogspot.com/
http://www.mykitlog.com/goatflieg/
YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/user/goatflieg
Dues paid for 2021... extra payment included for psychological therapeutic services rendered.

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  #3  
Old 04-03-2020, 05:45 AM
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Foghorn Foghorn is offline
 
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Location: Virginia Beach
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You?re not alone Martin. I wish I had the room at home to build for exactly your reasons, to share this passion. Unfortunately I?m building at the airport, which has a big fence and a secure gate you have to pass through. I rarely ever see anyone, even before Covid-19, except a line or maintenance guy walking past. Hopefully those guys go home and tell their kids about the guy building a plane and that starts a spark to build a model (how I got started) or start reading about aviation. I like to tell everyone I meet about aviation. My wife and kids have a joke about it. They say that every conversation always comes back to the plane. Yes it does 😁
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  #4  
Old 04-03-2020, 06:01 AM
RV10Man RV10Man is offline
 
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Location: Oklahoma City, OK
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I'm deaiing with the same thing you describe in your last paragraph.

3 years ago I got a call from a boy that goes to the private school where my wife teaches. He'd "heard" that we live on an airport and we have airplanes at the house. He and some of the other kids were doing a spoof video on Pearl harbor and wanted to do some still shots in the airplane.

That weekend, 3 boys and 2 girls (sophomores) showed up and did their video stuff. They chose to use the RV9A because of the stick set up. After they were done, the boys left, and the 2 girls stayed. Now, these kids know me because my daughters went to the same school, I drive the bus for them, we've been a part of the school for 15 years. The girls stayed and looked at, and awed over the 172, the 150, the RV, my project S19. I offered to give them a ride in the 172. They looked at each other in amazement, then at me like, "you can do that"? They called their parents and got permission, and we flew for about 20 minutes. They'd never been in a small airplane.

One of the girls was a cheerleader and I'd been driving for them since my daughters were cheerleaders. Come to find out, from my wife, that she was this girl's teacher in Pre-K, then her brother's teacher in 4th grade. This girl has become addicted to the airplane, she absolutley loves to fly.

Since that time, this girl has flown with me A LOT. She wants to get her PPL. I'm not an instructor, but my daughter is. I've had her in the left seat, teaching her how to steer with the rudder pedals, showing her what the instruments are, etc. I've offered her the use of our 172, and the gas to get her license. She went to OSH with us last year, and can't wait to go again this year.

Currently, she's a student at Harding University. My brother and I flew his RV over to see her this past February. She's home now. But she's thoroughly interested in my RV9A project and keeping up with me on it.
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  #5  
Old 04-03-2020, 06:50 AM
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plehrke plehrke is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Defiance, MO
Posts: 1,740
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Very good self reflection in the OP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by goatflieg View Post
I wondered whether they would notice that my briefly exposed shop contained an airplane.
When I was building from home and opened the garage door, I always worried they would see what I was doing and complain about how loud my compressor was, it was keeping there baby from sleeping, and violated neighborhood rules. I thought best to keep door closed and avoid those conversation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by goatflieg View Post
how cool it would have been to discover that one of my neighbors was building an airplane... and how cool it would have been if that neighbor had indulged and encouraged my interest.
I like my current situation since my airport has lots of aircraft restoration happening with lots of people walking around stopping by to talk airplanes. When my introvertness takes over I can close my hangar door and go home. There I can still talk RV on Van Air Force Forum without interacting directly with anyone. Maybe I have been always practicing social distancing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by goatflieg View Post
In discussing this with my wife, Amy (who has a Ph.D in psychology) she suggested I check out Erik Erikson's 8 Stages of Psychosocial Development; what I am experiencing is part of Stage 7: Middle Adulthood: Generativity vs. Stagnation. Synopsis (quoted from https://www.verywellmind.com/erik-er...-summary-chart): "During this time, adults strive to create or nurture things that will outlast them; often by parenting children or contributing to positive changes that benefit other people."
Don't know what stage I am but no where near stage 7. Maybe split because professionally I am stage 7 but at home I am not.
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Last edited by plehrke : 04-03-2020 at 06:55 AM.
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  #6  
Old 04-03-2020, 12:55 PM
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rmartingt rmartingt is offline
 
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Location: Savannah, GA
Posts: 1,090
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I remember all the neighborhood kids dropping by and asking about Dad?s RV-6 build. They seemed much more interested than the adults, who mostly either wrote us off as nuts or made cracks about getting a ride.

My shop is in the back yard and I rarely have the doors open, so I don?t really get visitors. But whenever someone asks what I?m doing in the shop, or find out that I?m ?the guy who put the garage in his back yard? and ask what it?s for they seem really interested.

By and large though, I?m in agreement with goatflieg. I wish I knew my neighbors better, I wish people would drop by...
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  #7  
Old 04-03-2020, 01:44 PM
dmat dmat is offline
 
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Location: Union County, NJ
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Hubba Hubba.... take it off!
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  #8  
Old 04-03-2020, 05:45 PM
Snoho3 Snoho3 is offline
 
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Location: Snohomish, WA
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Carl's response got me thinking about my introduction to aviation. As a teenager (many decades ago) I joined the SSA and received a subscription to Soaring magazine. That likely would have been the end of it had not some proactive person from the SSA passed my name and address to the local (25+ miles away) soaring club. I soon received a handwritten letter from the president, Francis Bundy, inviting me up to the airport for an intro flight. Cajoled one of my parents into making the trip and I was hooked. Used to ride my bike up and back on weekends after that.

Couple of thoughts - I wonder if anyone takes the time to proactively hook up kids like me anymore (no Young Eagles then), and I wonder if parents still let kids ride their bikes that far (with no helmet!). Always have been grateful for the welcome I received from Mr. Bundy, and the life-long association with aviation if fostered.
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  #9  
Old 04-06-2020, 08:04 AM
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polishpilot polishpilot is offline
 
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I know the feeling, as anyone building an airplane would know. The County Sheriff where I used to live (and built the 9A) would come over after work and drink my beer while we talked and I tinkered on the plane. Great times.
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  #10  
Old 04-06-2020, 08:59 AM
terrykohler terrykohler is offline
 
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Default Well Written Marty!

Have you noticed that most of the usual suspects present at the Saturday breakfast gathering don't often fly by themselves. I think many of us like to share with others those things we most love to do.
Over the years, I've found that passions such as sailing, golf, flying, and even cooking are not things I like to do alone. Some people are good at going solo - some of us just aren't.
Looking back over nearly 50 years of flying, some of my favorite memories are of kids - telling the 10 year old at the airport fence in Peoria that I needed him at the controls while I did my preflight. Having a Young Eagle start crying after landing and telling me "that was the coolest thing I ever did"! Some of the stuff you get to look forward to.
Oh yeah - I'm expecting a ride as soon as you're out of phase I, and I promise not to to teach or preach.
Terry, CFI
RV9A N323TP
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