Monday, October 4, 2010

Response to Book Launch and Flyboy Gathering September 26, 2010

Petrolia Flyboys Book Launch, Sept. 2010

Oyez, Oyez, Oyez,

Ladies and gentlemen:

Most, but not all of Petrolia’s history
is associated with products which grow ON the earth, or with
materials which are pumped up from
deep BELOW the earth.

Some of our rich, diverse and profoundly interesting
past is connected to events which
have taken place in the wild blue yonder
far ABOVE the oil and the soy beans.

To help you understand this part of our history,
Judy Listhaeghe and Virginia Macchiavello, otherwise known as

The Fisher Girls

have worked long and hard
to write and publish their new book,
Petrolia Flyboys.

Welcome to today’s launch of that book.
When you read it you will come to know, and I’m betting you
will come to love and admire
our very own Hardoiler Flyboys.

God Save the Queen!
I am so glad it all turned out well. I can't imagine how you felt presenting this to the community.  I am sure all the "boys" were watching up above.
Thanks for including me in your adventure. I have enjoyed our visits on the phone.
Karen "Knox" McVeigh

We want to thank you four girls and mom for an excellent job with the book, well worth waiting for.  The reception was absolutely fabulous and a treat to great old pilots and significant others.  The details on the food table did not go unnoticed.  Great job well done.

Lois White & "Flyboy" Ralph Knutt
My thoughts immediately went to the planning and jotting down ideas for an “event send-off” to celebrate the books completion even though we were in the initial stages of starting to write our book approximate three years ago. Invitations would go out to gather together the community of pilots, their families and friends who would contribute their thoughts when interviewed for the writing of this book.  Imagine all the people in one room, some who had not seen one another for decades.  This past summer I prepared collages of pictures in frames gathered vintage flight articles and news clippings part of a collection I had as the memory keeper for our family. Some items that came to be part of the display were the first uniform worn by the Stewardess for Great Lakes Airlines designed by Fly girl Evelyn Grieves, a Model Plane made from original fabric and glues used on a full scale aircraft that my father and I created for a school project while he was refurbishing a full scale aircraft in our garage.
Just before the event three days were spent baking with my friend Peg and decorating aircraft shaped cookies from two inches to six inches in size sporting their own registrations to be served along with the grape, date and cheese platters.  My sister Nancy spent time creating airplane shaped sugar cubes to add to the coffee and mulled cider that would be served. 
September 26, 2010 on a lovely Sunday afternoon one by one the pilots started to fill the
lobby of the Victoria Playhouse in Petrolia.  There was friendly chatter and excitement,
as some had not seen one another in thirty-seven years or more.  Books were purchased
and the signing began.  Each participant wanted each other’s signatures by their stories
 in their copy of the book.
“The sudden clanging and ringing of the bell” commanded attention from the audience as Petrolia’ Town Crier Les Whiting attired in costume made his way into the crowd bring greetings “about the sky over the oil fields of Petrolia abuzz with planes.” Greetings were brought from Petrolia Mayor John McCharles, Plympton-Wyoming Mayor Lonnie Napper and Member of Provincial Parliament Bob Bailey. Co-author Virginia introduced the book and how it came to be. Airline Pilot Jim Kobler read aloud his story from the book, George Gander spoke of his memories and then did a ‘Roll Call of Pilots that were members of the Petrolia Pilots Association’ and Ray Ellenor closed with his memories.
Two videos were shown of pilots their craft and airshows made from old film from 1953 to 1975.  Copies of this film were given as a bonus with some of the books.
Some of the pilots that attended that day brought their sons and daughters and grandchildren.
Music was played from the 1950’s and 1960’s with artists like Jim Reeves, Patsy Cline to add to the atmosphere. Definitely this was “a trip down memory lane almost like time travel”.
Pilot’s Ted Haight, Del Haight, Murray Reid, Jerry Kucenty, Guy Van Brabant                   showed up who were also part of those great days.  Oh how I wished I could have interviewed them for the book!!!  They had great stories to tell.  I hope they will add some of their stories to the blog should they come on to the site.
A special thank you to all the people that attended to make the Event turn out the way it did.
Sincerely,  Judy “Fisher” Listhaeghe
We don't really know your sisters, so we address this little thank you to you!

Wow!! What a wonderful tribute to your father!
With this book his memories will live on for generations to come.

We are sure there are countless hours of research and phone calls to bring it all together.
It must have been a great experience for you and your sisters to re-live memories.  As you said truely a "Sister Project'!

Thankyou for allowing our family flyers to be a part of your special project.
It was a great day!  The book a labour of love!

Tammy, Dave, & Krista Clark

It was an absolute privilege to finally meet you and your family.  Your Dad must have been some pretty special kind of guy!! 

I have never met him.  However, I was in Oil Springs yesterday planting wheat and I brought along one of the books.  My Dad was reading it and he said he met Stan many years ago. 

He was going to buy a cultivator from him.  Your father called my father and said he couldn't sell it to him, the guy who Stan was going to take the cultivator on trade from backed out.  My dad said Stan didn't have to call him, but he did anyway.  It just goes to show what a straight shooter your dad was!  He has left a positive impression on many.  (Even to those who were not involved in aviation.)

Thank-you so much for the invite.  Sunday was a pretty special day in Petrolia.  It was amazing to see all the 'old-timers' (I say that in a polite way.) see each other again.  I was too young in their hey-day to have been part of it.  But it sure is fun to see and hear about it now.

Congratulations to you and your sisters for an outstanding project.

All the best to all of you,

Kindest regards,

At the event... I felt like Emelia Earhart, I felt like Audrey Hepburn,  they were all coming to me for my autograph on their copies of the book.  One by one they came....
Flygirl Berenice Gander, September 2010.

From the Desk Of Ruth Core

  We wanted to let you know what a great job you and your
  sisters did on Sunday. We saw so many people that we had not
  seen in a long time.
  It sure was a lot of work for you , but I know everyone
  sure enjoyed your efforts. The book was a success and I know
  that my son will be glad to have a copy.
  Everything was done to a T and am sure your mother was very
proud of you girls.
Thanks again .

Ruth & Jim

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Petrolia FlyBoys Book Launching


The “Fisher” Girls – Nancy, Virginia, Judy and Susanne wish to announce the release of their book “Petrolia Flyboys.”
You are invited to the launch of the book and book signing
at V.P.P. Lobby, 411 Greenfield Street, Petrolia, Ontario
September 26, 2010 from 2:00 P.M to 4:00 P.M.
Some of the Flyboys and Girls will be present!  Come and meet them! 
Light refreshments will  be served.
Petrolia In the sixties and seventies within the “flying” community had its own culture.  “Flying Machines”, “Frost-flying” “FlyIns”. “Aerobatics”, “Tiger Moths”, “Cubs”, Luscombe’s” and “Mishaps” create visions of “Flyboys” gathering in groups, in hangars at Lambton Flying Service or over a milkshake at Reece’s Corners or on Bob Racher’s farm air strip.  Flyboys exchanged their latest flying skill, maneuver or the discovery about their flying toy.  They described differences in how the flying machines handled.  The “aspiring” pilots both young and old hung on every word, inspired by the adventures, hoping one day to participate in the conversation.

These were times of “flying by the seat of your pants”:  pilot and machine one.  The culture had its own language, values and members bonded by the love and thrill of challenging the law of gravity.