It was a picture perfect day today and one of the days I always set aside to go to our Memorial Day Show, complete with old aircraft, a wonderful exhibition of what it was like during the War. If you're not familiar with Long Island, New York, it was the "headquarters" for building planes. In Farmingdale, my own town, there was (and still is) Republic Air Force base and in Bethpage, Long Island, it was/is Grummans. It is difficult to remember back to those days where you rarely met anyone not working in one of the two places!
Ah, the good old days! The companies were more then fair, they valued their workers, gave paid time off and sick days and had great health care. We were secure with our homes and, we thought, our jobs. But when the war ended, the need was gone. Still, another "Boom" from another visionary came along, Mr. Levitt who knew all these people returning from service were going to be seeking affordable housing. And they were, in droves. I grew up in Wantagh on the Levittown border and had one of the standard ranches. Two types of homes, a ranch or a cape were your choices. Schools were built, stores went up, and it was a Mr. Roger's neighborhood where everyone looked out for each-other.
There were no fences back then to keep the neighbors out, they were always IN! And everyone knew your name, your family and even your pets :) But let me try to stay on track, today was a day to honor those people who served our Country and I have never seen it done better then I have today. I went to Republic with my daughter, Laura, to see what we would find. The usual crowds, the older veterans who were kind enough to come and answer your questions and a throng of people from all over. You could take a ride in a B-17 if you wanted, asking price of just under $500. Or you could just marvel at the old planes and artifacts from the war. And remember back to a different time on Long Island.
Here are some pictures I took to show you what went on today at the show. The planes left from Republic, went to do an air-show at Jones Beach (another marvel in itself) and returned. Times were unknown so we spent most of the day there, just enjoying the shows and talking to so many people with such a deep interest and knowledge of the "good old days."
Where WOULD we have been without these helpful people??
Thought they worked for such little money, they loved helping and doing their share.
Remember the Nose Art? My father's plane was called The Argonaut.
These next two shots are enlarged for you to read. My father, Lt. Colonel Peter F. Provenzale always said your time was up when it was up and there was nothing you could do about it. I guess surviving this would make anyone believe that!
My father was in the Eighth Air Force, proudly serving with Clark Gable.
A beautiful day for a Tribute in Farmingdale, Long Island.
Those planes were MOVING! What a terrific site!
A great shot in Flight.
I could go on all day with these photos but I'm going to save some for another day. I hope you enjoyed seeing these every bit as we enjoyed taking them. Come to New York some time to catch this, you won't be dissapointed.