Remembering the Stars and Stripes

SkyGeek may not be some things, like a Fortune 500 company. We are not big business. But there is one thing you can be sure of: We are proud to be American.

As we celebrate Fourth of July, among the BBQs and the fireworks we realize that sometimes the more important aspects of the holiday are pushed aside.

Freedom and independence – ideals that were hoped for by a bunch of colonial rebels and now are dreams realized and remembered among the stars and stripes of Old Glory.

Imagine being a minuteman up against a formidable opponent, a lobsterback, a soldier better equipped and suited for combat? To be outnumbered and out-trained is enough to retreat for good. Isn’t it amazing that colonials in the 1770s didn’t back down when it made sense to?

History tells who prevailed and that is why year after year we celebrate those who sacrificed to ensure a country was established based primarily on inalienable rights for citizens seeking life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Fast forward to today and you will see America has grown to a superpower. Pretty impressive given such humble beginnings.

This may seem like a a long rant. It is (hey, it’s my inalienable right). But there is a point.

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The little engine that could. The logo for yellowairplane.com.

SkyGeek is a small business and while other aviation supply companies are bigger, that doesn’t mean we won’t continue to fight to serve you, the customer. Perhaps our journey will be like America’s, an underdog ready to rise and eventually reaching the top. We shall see if history favors us…

Speaking of history and speaking of underdogs I want to mention a nice site I stumbled on recently: yellowairplane.com.

At first glance, this site looks like a piece of history itself – something out of the 1990s. The layout is in need of an upgrade and the links are not very refined. But the amount of research and effort put into the content is commendable.

I applaud the owner of the site for compiling a list of aviation museums, which a visitor can search by state. I think this is a great site not only for Fourth of July but one way to discover ideas for summer vacations or really vacations of any kind, especially for aviation enthusiasts.

“These airplane museums not only tell about aviation history, but they tell us about the history of all mankind. They tell us about the tremendous wars that we have fought to keep our freedom.”

Who wouldn’t love to explore a site with that kind of mission statement?

Yellowairplane.com may no longer have an up-to-date list as information is always changing. What I would say is explore the site and give the owner feedback so he can improve an already comprehensive directory. It would be wonderful to contribute and help out someone so determined to preserve and promote aviation. A true patriot!

Fathers In The Sky

Father’s Day is a time to give thanks to those men in our lives that have influenced us during our formative years. It’s more than giving a gift, a mug and a hug.

Fathers have guided and inspired countless children to strive to achieve something better for themselves and their families. They often set the tone and are examples to those around them. Like men in general, fathers are often leaders.

But above all they are workers. A man is still very much defined by his career and profession. And it is his work that reveals his character and how others perceive him.

“Who is your dad? What does he do?” The questions are often paired together because they are in some ways synonymous.

Fathers can be anything and can perform any function in society. Police officer. Professional athlete. Firefighter. Lawyer. Doctor. Plumber. Society needs them.

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Possible gift for a pilot father via Etsy

Families need them as well. Active in body and mind, fathers can show how to get it done and in doing so serve as a model for which their children can look up to both literally and figuratively.

And yes, some fathers are even pilots.

There is a definite appeal to being a pilot. Like their uniform or style (sunglasses and bomber jackets, anyone?) they represent this commanding presence of respect and authority. Sort of like a father would in a home.

There is a certain level of trust a pilot conveys, a sense that he knows what he is doing. “Don’t worry, we’re safe and secure,” one tends to think when seeing a pilot. Just as a father can appeal to impressionable sons and daughters as a person that can provide relief during tough times, there is no denying the appeal to wanting to be a pilot.

But fathers don’t have to be all serious. They can provide relief of another kind – comic relief. And so can those inspired by them.

Kids say the darnedest things? You bet.

In celebration of Father’s Day I found this hilarious quote that is sure to delight dads and aviators alike. This quote was taken from a really witty and cool site called, SkyGod (perhaps a relative of SkyGeek). Apparently this quote was written by a fifth grader. Gotta love the candor and innocence.

As a salute to all those father pilots out there, enjoy:

When I grow up I want to be a pilot because it’s a fun job and easy to do. That’s why there are so many pilots flying around these days.

Pilots don’t need much school. They just have to learn to read numbers so they can read their instruments.

I guess they should be able to read a road map, too.

Pilots should be brave [so] they won’t get scared [if] it’s foggy and they can’t see, or if a wing or motor falls off.

Pilots have to have good eyes to see through the clouds, and they can’t be afraid of thunder or lightning because they are much closer to them than we are.

The salary pilots make is another thing I like. They make more money than they know what to do with. This is because most people think that flying a plane is dangerous, except pilots don’t because they know how easy it is.

I hope I don’t get airsick because I get carsick and if I get airsick, I couldn’t be a pilot and then I would have to go to work.

Famous Female Flyers

Mother’s Day is coming up….Yup. Or has it already passed? Time flies it seems…

They say behind every great pilot is a great woman. Well, what if that great woman IS the pilot?

History tends to favor the accomplishments of men (With a term like HIS-story is it any wonder?). You often hear about “Founding Fathers” but what about “Founding Females?”

At first, I wanted to compile a comprehensive list of famous female aviators that have not only inspired countless women but also shaped the world of aviation.

Apparently, I am not even remotely close to being the first to do so. Many lists on many sites exist, all of which display quite beautifully the accomplishments of these incredibly influential women. What would be the point of adding another list?

Rather than create a composite of these lists, why not simply direct your attention to the sources themselves? And that’s what follows. After all, who has time to make another list; we are too busy hugging our moms.

LISTS (Accompanied by commentary)

***Mother Nature Network compiled a list of Fabulous Flying Women consisting of eight aviator greats such as Bessica Raiche, Jacqueline Cochran, and of course Amelia Earhart.

***Women in Aviation, International awhile back wrote a detailed article that mentions the 100 most influential women in the aviation and aerospace industry. Be warned: for those that can’t read without pictures, this article is text-heavy.

***About.com provides a nice timeline of Women in Aviation. Really a quick overview but a great primer. Could probably be used as a source in a paper for students doing research on the topic.

***The site Listverse (how appropriate given its function in our post) published an article naming the Top 10 Pioneering Women of Aviation. It contains more of an international selection and contains lesser known women like Amy Johnson and Sabiha Gokcen.

***The Smithsonian (as you all know one of if not the most famous national museum) created a list entitled Flying With America’s Most Famous Female Aviators complete with a gallery of 13 women pilots. This list includes greats like Bessie Coleman (the first African American female pilot); Mary Riddle (the first Native American woman to earn a pilot’s license); and Patty Wagstaff, who was the first woman to win the U.S. National Aerobatic Championship and uses her skills to perform stunts in movies and television.

In relation, the website for the Smithonsian National Air and Space Museum contains an excellent page on Women in Aviation and Space History. What’s great about this link is that it contains columns of images of these famous female flyers in tile form. Click on the tile and you are transported to a mini-bio of that particular aviatrix. Wonderful layout to match the equally wonderful content.

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So there’s a list of lists for you. Hopefully by investigating the lists yourself you will realize that womankind’s contributions to aviation has and will continue to soar to new heights, shattering glass ceilings and stereotypes along the way. What parent wouldn’t be beaming with pride?

A Charitable Lighthouse

Researching manufacturers and the brands and products they offer is just part of normal operations at SkyGeek. But every once in a while we come across a company that deserves a little more attention.

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Lighthouse for the Blind’s logo. A true vision of charity.

Lighthouse for the Blind (LBH Industries) is one such company.

LHB specializes in producing things such as liquid and office cleaners, repellents, medical products and more. They also manufacture paintings and coatings, such as ECO Sure and So Sure. In examining our Skilcraft line of enamels we found it is a brand that belongs to LBH.

What sets LBH apart from many manufacturers is their business is driven by helping the disabled. The company’s mission is simply this: “To assist individuals who are legally blind maintain dignity and independence by making available employment, education and support services.”

In other words, they are—in a sense—a charity-driven business. That’s just plain cool.

LBH is located in St. Louis and, based on their willingness to create a sustainable quality of life for the blind, they definitely live up to being located in the Heartland. It tugs at the heartstrings to see opportunity provided to those often overlooked in the workforce.

Their corporate video explains perfectly who they are and what they stand for:

As the video says, they produce for many private industries as well as for the government. But it’s their public service particularly to the blind that serves as an exemplar. Low absenteeism and little turnover? That kind of a workforce would benefit any economy.

I am rather impressed by the extent to which the company’s outreach programs support their local community. It’s not as common to find this kind of altruistic behavior in business as one would think. Sure many businesses give to charity. But somehow this goes beyond a simple donation: employing those that may otherwise be ostracized or denied the chance to be productive members of society is to be commended. And their extensive outreach programs only prove the commitment to their overall mission.

Lighthouse for the Blind, SkyGeek takes off its propeller hat and salutes you. Keep shining that beacon of hope for those less fortunate.

In the meantime, this writer is so impressed that he will be sending a donation. Is that something you, the reader, would like to do as well? If you can see the sense in being charitable, go ahead, Make A Donation.