Some of the older planes at today’s gathering at the Griffing Flying Service airfield had more panache than their modern counterparts. The older planes were like the Apple products of their day, where attention was paid not only to engineering, maneuverability, and speed, but also to style and packaging and presentation. This plane, with its bright aluminum frame, sharp colors, and sleek propeller assembly, had a very distinctive art deco feel — with the emphasis, perhaps, on the art.
When we landed on our flight in from Pelee Island this morning, the Griffing Flying Service field in Sandusky, Ohio was covered with brightly colored planes. Chapter 50 of the Experimental Aircraft Association was having its fly in, drive in pancake breakfast — which meant we had to take a closer look at some of the planes.
There were lots of cool planes there, including some vintage aircraft. My favorites, however, are the biplanes, with their parallel wings and struts and open cockpits. I’ve loved them since I was a kid and read a book about World War I aviators called Knights Of The Air. No Red Barons were visible during our visit, however — or goggles-wearing beagles, either.
I’ve been off the grid, so I didn’t think much about Mitt Romney’s pick of Paul Ryan as his running mate until today. As we were driving home, Russell, UJ, and I listened to a replay of Meet The Press, which featured the all-too-predictable conservative and liberal shouting match about whether Ryan’s budget plan will gut Medicare and destroy the student loan program — among other issues.
Of course, it’s too much to expect that any political debate these days could be done at a reasonable decibel level, without yelling or over-the-top metaphors. Nevertheless, I thought the discussion (if you can call it that) itself said something about the selection of Ryan. Rather than arguing about whether the pick would help Romney politically in this state or with that constituency, the commentators were talking about something of actual substance — the budget, our debt problems, and how we deal with them. How refreshing it would be if this election actually involved consideration of those crucial, meat-and-potatoes issues, rather than phony, grossly overheated topics like whether the evil Bain Capital caused a woman to die of cancer!
I think our exploding debt is the most important issue we face. I therefore applaud anything that gets our country to focus on its budget problems and the hard choices we need to make to actually address those problems. I recognize that my fellow citizens might disagree with my views on how we should address those issues — but that’s what elections are for, aren’t they? If the selection of Paul Ryan causes President Obama and Mitt Romney to lay out their plans on taxes and spending and the deficit in sharp detail, and the election becomes a referendum on those plans, I think our country would be much better off.
For these reasons, Romney’s selection of Ryan is a positive thing for us all. I hope we’ll be talking more about Ryan’s budget, and other fiscal issues, until Election Day. For now I say, let the debate begin — and let’s see if we can’t have that debate in a civilized way, shall we?
We had a great time at our annual father-son get-together at the Quinnebog Fishing Club on Hen Island, although we missed Richard and Chris. The weather for most of the weekend was wet, cool, and stormy, but fortunately it doesn’t rain on the cribbage table. In any case, this morning’s sunrise was beautiful.