Archive for April, 2010

Trip Down Memory Lane

Friday, April 30th, 2010

I’m just back from a quick trip out to Elkhart Indiana to meet up with my bro Dick, who flew-in from Vero Beach FL, for a visit with our Aunt Joan and Uncle Dean. They are the last of our family on my father’s side who are “living in the country” where our Jackson family comes from.  Elkhart is where we first lived before the fam moved to upstate New York. It was a fun trip for us to visit with our Aunt and Uncle, revisit what’s left of the old places and relive the early days.

Ran into buddy Skip Dickstein, who was on his way to shoot the Kentucky Derby for Blood Horse Magazine, We shared the ride on SouthWest to Chicago.

Ran into buddy Skip Dickstein, who was on his way to photo shoot the Kentucky Derby for Blood Horse Magazine. We shared the ride on SouthWest to Chicago.

Leaving Albany in the rain

Leaving Albany in the rain

Above the weather

Above the weather

Coming into Chicago

Coming into Chicago

Taxiing-in at Midway Airport

Taxiing-in at Midway Airport

Picked-up the rental and on the road to Elkhart - god, the mid-west is flat!

Picked-up the rental and on the road to Elkhart - god, the mid-west is flat!

With Aunt Joan, their daughter Sharon, Uncle Dean and me at their current place

With Aunt Joan, their daughter Sharon, Uncle Dean and me at their current place

The fam's original digs in Elkhart before moving to NY in '49.

The fam's original digs in Elkhart before moving to NY.

The grandparent's place on Laurel St that was just a little down the street from our place. It is no longer the place that I remember, and I have no recollection of our place on Laurel.

The grandparent's place on Laurel that was just a little down the street from our place. It's no longer the place that I remember as a child, and I have no recollection of our first place on Laurel.

Joan and Dean's old place on Beardsley still looks good.

Joan and Dean's old place on Beardsley still looks good.

The Main St bridge over the St Joe River into downtown Elkhart.

The Main St bridge over the St Joe River into downtown Elkhart.

After moving to NY, by bro and I would spend our summers back in Elkhart with our Granparents, and Aunt Joan and Dean. Our parents would put us on the train in Schenectady, give a Porter some $ to see that we got off the train ok at Elkhart. The New York Central 20th Centry Limited would go right through Elkhart on it's way to Chicago. The pic is the Elkhart train station that our Granparents, or Aunt and Unc would get us off the train.

After moving to NY, my bro and I would spend our summers back in Elkhart with our Granparents, and Aunt Joan and Dean. Our parents would put us on the train at Schenectady NY, and give a Porter some $ to see that we got off the train ok at Elkhart. The New York Central's 20th Centry Limited would go right through Elkhart on it's way to Chicago. This pic is the old Elkhart train station that our Granparents, or Aunt and Unc would get us off the train.

A model of the 20th Century Limited we road to Elkhart in the railroad museum at Elkhart Depo

A model of the 20th Century Limited we rode to Elkhart in the railroad museum at Elkhart Depo

Museum rolling stock similar to what we rode to Elkhart IN from Schenectady NY

Museum rolling stock similar to what we rode to Elkhart from Schenectady NY

What a train dinning car looked like. A big treat was oatmeal and cream served in the dinning car for breakfast.

What a train dinning car looked like, except that back in-the-day, it was very plush with fine china service, heavy silverware. A big treat was oatmeal and cream served in the dinning car for breakfast.

Northern Indiana Iron and Brass Co. that was started by my granfather, Laz Jackson and Casper Sweitzer back in the 1920s.

Northern Indiana Iron and Brass Co. that was started by my granfather, Laz Jackson, and Casper Sweitzer back in the 1920s.

This is the original NIBCO on Plum and Mishawaka that my gran built

This is the original NIBCO on Plum and Mishawaka that my gran built

The original, original part of Nibco that my granfather built brick by brick as my Aunt described.

The original, original part of Nibco that my granfather built brick by brick as my Aunt described.

Bro Dick and I in Harry Caray's Restaurant at Midway Airport. Harry Caray was the Chicago Cub's announcer who was famous for his rendition of "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" during the 7th inning stretch.

Bro Dick and I in Harry Caray's Restaurant at Midway Airport waiting to fly out. Harry Caray was the Chicago Cub's announcer who was famous for his rendition of "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" during the 7th inning stretch.

Weekend Balloon Flying Weather for May 1 and 2

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Flying weather should be good for the Saturday AM ride, but after that, flying weather goes downhill. It looks like for the coming week, we will be getting a series of fast moving systems which will offer short windows of flyable weather between short periods of instability and/or rain showers. We have plenty of space available for the Saturday AM flight and for our flights for the coming week. If you are interested in flying, give a call to book space. The weather should be mild with some beautiful early spring scenery out there.

Availability for Balloon Rides and Flying Weather for Week of 4/26

Monday, April 26th, 2010

I will not be available for doing a balloon ride until Friday afternoon the 30th. Currently the forecast looks good for Friday, with the possibility of some rain showers over part of the coming weekend. The rain showers are currently only forecast for a slight chance, but with warming temps coming for the weekend. If you are interested in going on the Friday afternoon balloon ride or over the weekend, send me an email, or call and leave me a message. I will respond when I can for balloon ride requests for later in the week.

4/24/PM Hot Air Balloon Ride

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

Saturday PM was a great evening for a hot air balloon ride. We had a couple on-board from Danbury CT for a lovely early spring flight.

Veronica & Mike

Veronica & Mike

Weather Update for this Weekend

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

We are expecting decent weather for the coming weekend. We should have high pressure, and good flying conditions for most of the coming weekend. We currently have space available on all flights, so call if any interest in viewing the early spring foliage colors. It really can be just as colorful as the fall, but with softer tones from the flowering trees and all the varied greens and yellows as the leaves just unfurl.

Hot Air Balloon Ride Flying Weather for the Week 4/19

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Our weather looks to be somewhat typical for this time of year. Systems are moving through every couple of days with chances of showers, temps in the 50s-60s during the day and 30s at night, with short flyable periods in between. It looks like the best chance to fly this week will be both flights on Tuesday plus Wednesday AM, and again Friday AM or PM and maybe Saturday AM. Currently there are chances of rain showers late Wednesday through Thursday, and again over part of the up-coming weekend. We have space available on all flights this week through the coming weekend. Call if interested in viewing the early spring color.

Safety Seminar

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

Yesterday was safety seminar day down in Saratoga Springs for hot air balloon pilots from the northeast. It was a good event, hosted by a group of local flyers who did a great job of organizing an good group of speakers with timely and interesting topics.

That's Mario looking over handout material during the "Pilot Decision Making" session

That's Mario looking over handout material during the "Pilot Decision Making" session

Some of the group in attendance

Some of the group in attendance

That's Baker, one of my ground crew

That's Baker, one of my ground crew

Bill Hughes speaking on Risk and Complacency

Bill Hughes speaking on Risk and Complacency

Paul Stumph - who spoke on Maintence and Repair, and Alan Jones

Paul Stumpf - who spoke on Maintence and Repair, and Alan Jones

Greg Livadas - who spoke on History of Ballooning in NY (The Flying Allen Family of Smoke Balloonists) with Rick Pollock and Tom Ford

Greg Livadas - who spoke on History of Ballooning in NY (The Flying Allen Family of Smoke Balloonists) with Rick Pollock and Tom Ford

Russ Barber, one of the event organizers

Russ Barber, one of the event organizers

Early Spring Flying Weather

Monday, April 12th, 2010

For this week, the weather looks good for hot air ballooning, especially in the AM’s, during the week. Rain is currently forecast to return by week’s end into the coming weekend. Folks who want to experience the colors of early spring will need to get their flights in this month or by very early May. Our mild winter and early warm weather has everything blossoming earlier than usual. Spring is just as colorful as the fall, in a muted, pastel pallet of color as the leaves just begin to unfurl and the flowering trees blossom. The view from the balloon looks like an  Impressionist’s  landscape painting, like a Monet or a Pissarro.

The view by hot air balloon of the spring color.

The view by hot air balloon of the spring color.

Flying?

Friday, April 9th, 2010

In case anyone is wondering, we haven’t done any of our passenger flights just yet this season and won’t be this weekend. Weather doesn’t look that great to do any rides, and anyhow, we are being invaded by friends from the north, the Leahy’s.

Yup, that be lil' Johnnie Leahy

Yup, that be lil' Johnnie Leahy