As I look out my window at the changing seasons this October in Kingman and reflect on a year in the city, I see a sky full of airplanes!
What a place for an air and car show! I watched the pilots blow smoke across the clear blue skies with precision that amazed me.
That red Edge seemed to do everything with ease, including falling out of the sky at the top of the vertical climbs.
How did Norm DeWitt keep track of the ground and the horizon as the Edge came tumbling out of those maneuvers?
Did you hear him say the propeller cost $25,000? Wow!
Several friends who fly out of the Kingman Airport were thrilled to watch The GEE BEE,a a replica of the historical plane from the racing days of Jimmy Doolittle.
I was told that Doolittle walked away from the GEE BEE because it was so dangerous to fly.
I hope pilot Delmar Benjamin made some safety modifications when he built the replica he flies.
Otto the Heliocopter sure played to the young people in the crowd, including me.
For some reason, that wingless aircraft always has a special appeal.
The act with the yoyo, smoke and swinging Kingman's Tourism Director Debbi Smith into jail was a crowd please.
As I watched her fly through the air and get into that dusty jail, I thought she would do just about anything to bring one more tourist to Kingman to "put heads in beds."
Speaking of tourism, I was told most of the motels were full for the weekends in October.
What a contrast with the air and car show following the Andy Devine Days and Rodeo.
It is always fun to see the old west return for a few days.
The only people who may be as challenged as the pilots are those guys who crawl on the bulls to attempt that eight second ride.
You have read a number of my columns (I hope) about the history of Kingman and the great potential for history as a tourist draw.
The two events just completed are built around Kingman history.
The rodeo should be obvious with the long ranching history of Mohave County beginning with Spanish Land Grants before Arizona became part of the U.S.
The rodeo is tied to a celebration of famous Kingman movie star Andy Devine.
Without the historical remains of the WW II Kingman airfield and those 35,000 gunners trained to shoot from our bombers, we would have no air show.
Kingman is fortunate to be one of the many cities across America with a great airport left from the training bases of WW II.
Much of the industrial development I saw in South Georgia was located on the many left over air bases.
I am encouraged that a group of local citizens are leasing a remaining original hanger and developing a museum at the airport to keep that era and its contribution to Kingman before us.
The generation that remembers is about gone.
The Beale Hotel was a large part of both events, but somewhat forgotten.
Most of you know that Andy Devine's dad managed the hotel and young Andy spent his growing years there.
Remember that many of the soldiers here in WW II had relatives visit and stay at the Beale.
Some honeymooned there.
I have been told that the 300 block on Andy Devine Avenue contains the basic history of Kingman, the early merchants and builders and much of the building style.
Local architect Joan Dilley said no other single block has as much history as the 300 block on Andy Devine.
Sure seems a waste to see it falling apart.
The Hotel Brunswick would look rather lonesome setting all alone on that block.
I enjoyed a brief visit with Dennis Devine and his daughter at the Mohave Museum breakfast before the Andy Devine Days parade.
It is wonderful to see the family take such interest in the heritage Andy left in Kingman.
Would it be some kind of travesty to see the hotel he grew up in lose its place on Andy Devine Avenue? Sure wish someone would come up with some new plans to put that back into the local mix of history.
Karen Lynne, a Heritage Crossroads officer, said the R/ UDAT study gave her "new eyes" to look at downtown Kingman.
I brought a new set of eyes to Kingman about a year ago.
I am still enthusiastic about the town, its history, and the friendly people.
The great way you folks come together for the Andy Devine Days and the Auto and Car Show, plus the Route 66 Fun Run in May, assure me Kingman is in good hands and our history will be preserved.