I was "out and about" in town this week, and happened to cross paths with a friend whose comments caused me concern. I would like to share the gist of the conversation with you, and add a few remarks of my own.
The lady began with a compliment about my column ... a nice thing to hear, of course. Then she went on to add, "I have been reading the information with interest. It all sounds very good ... .IF you are telling the truth." Well, this got my attention! She then went on to say, "We certainly DO need a civic center ... a place for the Community Chorus to perform and for us to hold other events like class reunions and wedding receptions ... but I'll bet it never happens like that. I know how this kind of thing always goes: 'they' will run out of money when 'they' get started, then the only thing we will end up with is the museum."
I want to address this because, as in my conversation with her, it is my desire to alleviate any feelings of skepticism surrounding the intentions of the "Building the Vision" team.
As I explained before, the merging of the two "visions" involved in this project is logical and fortuitous. Both aspects will benefit the community and the people in it. The blending of the two concepts will enable both to be realized; something that most likely could never occur if either was approached individually. There is no underlying "scheme" to dupe people into supporting both, then seeing only ONE to completion. I assure you that the people who are spearheading this campaign will only do what they have told you.
In this day and age, as the saying goes, we do see a lot of corporate greed and organizational corruption. Therefore, it seems only natural to me ... if, indeed, sad ... that many of us have trouble trusting people in charge. We have been jaded. Well, as Bryan Berlin often says when we speak to groups about the project, "We hope that the only "problem" we have with the building, once it is erected, is that it is too small."
If the popularity of the center warrants expansion, that will be easy to accomplish. The concrete construction is such that extra space can be added with little effort. By the way, our own Coreslab Structures Missouri, Inc. (formerly Quinn Concrete) will be providing the forms, truly making this a project that will benefit the community on many levels.
I am so glad that my friend's fears came to my attention. Such feelings should be heard and addressed. Only by working together, striving for the same goals, and trusting one another can our dreams be realized. Thank you, friend, for visiting with me ... and thanks to all of you who take the time to read this column and express interest and enthusiasm for the endeavor.
I made a presentation to a group this past Thursday, and one lady raised her hand to speak. She said, "When I came to Marshall years ago, I was amazed that a town of this size did not have many places available to hold events. I am so glad the community has decided to 'get with it' and make such a place available. We need it, and this project shows that Marshall is truly 'on the move.'" Amen!
Pouring through N-B history
Now, it's time for a change of pace. I am having a wonderful time pouring through a stack of materials provided to me, concerning the history of the Nicholas/Beazley Airplane Company and Marshall's place in the early phases of flight. As the weeks go by, I want to share some of the interesting facts with you. Today, I will bring to you the content of an article appearing The Marshall Democrat-News on May 15, 1929:
"An attempt to break the altitude record for light planes ... those under 771 pounds in weight and with a 60 horsepower engine ... will be made during the St. Louis Aircraft Show, May 27 to June 1, by Barney Zimmerley, chief pilot for the Marshall Flying School, it has been announced here. The present record is 22,500 feet and is held by England.
"Zimmerley will fly a Barling NB-3 low wing monoplane, product of the Nicholas-Beazley Airplane Company here. The only additional equipment, besides that on the stock plane, will be an oxygen apparatus, it was said.
"Nicholas-Beazley officials are confident that the Barling NB-3 attempt will bring the record to the United States. In unofficial flights at the Marshall Airport a little ship similar to the one which will be used in St. Louis was taken to a height of 19,400 feet with a wooden propeller and without the use of oxygen. The unofficial flight was made December 22, in mid-winter, and weather conditions forced the pilot to abandon the attempt.
The St. Louis flight will be made official by the use of a barograph furnished by the National Aeronautical Association, which will have representatives on the Lambert-St. Louis field to supervise the flight."
As Paul Harvey would say, "And now ... the rest of the story. A picture of Barney Zimmerley appeared in the Chicago Evening Post soon after the air show above a caption that said"
"ANOTHER SKY HITTER ... Barney Zimmerley of Marshall, Mo. is snapped at St. Louis after establishing a new world's altitude record for light planes ... attaining 25,100 feet in a craft weighing only 690 pounds and having an 80-horsepower engine.
Check this out ...
In the window of the campaign headquarters on the east side of the square, you will see a large cardboard image of Barney Zimmerly, in his aviation gear, next to an airplane instrument. This display is provided to us courtesy of Lucy Fletcher (Perchhill) and will enable the public to keep track of the campaign's fund-raising progress. Stop by to see how it's going. Help us, if you can!
Building the Vision appears on Wednesday.