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Tuesday
Jul262016

Flying With Faber: Willow Run Airport -A Journey Through History

By Stuart J. Faber

A portion of Willow Run plant today. (Stuart J. Faber)Our minds often work in mysterious ways. It’s hard to explain. I often can’t recall the name of a person I met yesterday, yet frequently the visions and memories of certain folks I met during my childhood tiptoe into my thoughts with uncanny clarity.

It’s been over 75 years since Jack Jerstad drove up to our Racine, Wisconsin house. Donning a bright Hawaiian shirt, he emerged from his 1930s Ford Woody Station Wagon, greeted us gleeful, screaming kids and whisked  us off to day camp where he taught us about nature’s magic-water creatures, weather, identification of species of trees and birds.  He honed our swimming, boating and hiking skills.  I only knew Jack for a few weeks during that summer of 1940, yet, he has had a profound impact on my life. It was Jack’s enthusiasm and dedication to the kids which sparked my passion for nature’s earth and its innumerable gifts.

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Monday
May162016

Flying With Faber: Walking Through American History in Nebraska

By Stuart J. Faber

I wish I had met William Campbell and Charlie Miller. Not exactly household names, but if I tell you that they were pals of Buffalo Bill, hopefully, that might perk your interest.

William Campbell, born in 1841, was among the first riders when the Pony Express, a predecessor of FedEx started up in 1860. At age 16, he was slightly older than some of his colleagues. Later, Campbell became a Nebraska state senator. Later, he moved to Stockton, Calif. where he died in 1934, a year after I was born. Although he is often reputed to have been the last surviving rider, I’ve read about others, including Charlie Miller, born Julius Mortimer in 1850. Charlie was a mere 11 years old when he first mounted a Pony Express horse. He made an unsuccessful attempt to join the army at age 92 and died at the age of 105 in 1955. Buffalo Bill, by the way, the most famous (and older) Pony Express rider, (he joined at age 15), died in 1917.

Pony Express Station at Gothenburg, NE. (Stuart J. Faber)The Pony Express route extended from St. Joseph, Mo. to Sacramento, Calif., a distance of approximately 1,900 miles. Were I to fly that route, and all of my electronic equipment went on strike (my GPS, VORs, even my ADF, which for years, has been on life support), what would I do? It’s been more than 65 years since I flew my first cross-country. I cruised at low altitudes from one city to another with the assistance of Wisconsin roads, towns, lakes, and rivers. I was never very good at it. Today, should I be called upon to fly the Pony Express route by the seat-of-the-pants, I would follow I-70 and I-80 across the Great Plains, then over the Rockies, the Great Basin, and finally over the Sierra Nevada Range. If these Interstates were obliterated, I’d be in huge trouble.

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Thursday
Apr212016

Flying With Faber: Irving and Las Colinas, Texas – The Other Dallas 

By Stuart J. Faber

Mustangs (Courtesy Irving Convention & Visitor’s Bureau)I travel to Dallas about once a year. I look forward to meandering around Turtle Creek, downtown Dallas, and Ft. Worth. I visit with some of my favorite chefs, hunker down with a Texas-size Porterhouse steak, work it off at the hotel fitness center, and then take in some shopping.

On some trips, I might settle in downtown Dallas. On other trips, I’ll stay in Ft. Worth.  However, Las Colinas-Irving is the region that seems to offer the best of all Dallas-Metropolis worlds.

Several factors attract me to Las Colinas-Irving. To begin with, virtually everything is new and manicured – but not to the level of austerity. I generally prefer traditional and rustic. But I also love the openness and vitality of this exciting new neighborhood. Second, Las Colinas-Irving is centrally located and virtually equidistant from Ft. Worth and Central Dallas. Third, this neck of the woods has some of the best hotels and restaurants in this part of Texas. And for those with an urge to shop, every appetite from haute couture to Bass Pro Shops can be satiated within 20 minutes of your hotel.

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Monday
Feb152016

Flying With Faber: Our Annual Trip to San Francisco

By Stuart J. Faber

The Dining Room at Farallon, San Francisco. (Courtesy Farallon)In the course of each year, my job takes me to the four corners of the planet. One week, I may be in Shanghai. A week later, I am on the other end of the globe – perhaps London. In between, I might visit places that some folks might regard is less glamorous.

That’s okay with me – I’m not always looking for glamour. You know, at times you might love to dine on gourmet cuisine (I’ve never quite understood what the term means), on a table adorned with white linen and bone China plates. Other times, it’s just as exciting, or even more so, to saunter into a dive in a small, obscure town and have a down-home sizzling steak or burger dinner. (For the latter, I’ve often written about, and rhapsodized over, one of my favorite joints in America – Jocko’s steak house in Nipomo, Calif. I can’t count the times we’ve flown or driven from Los Angeles just to devour one of their steaks).

The point is that I often can derive just as much pleasure and exhilaration, or more, from a trip to some off-the-beaten-path village as I can from strolling down the Champs Elysees. But when asked about my favorite places in the world, San Francisco is always near the top of the list.

One reason is that the environs of this city are so magnificent and unique that, as is true with all genuine beauty, the pulchritude increases with each observation. Another is that San Francisco was my boyhood home for two years during WWII. Some force draws me back each year.

The Airport

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Tuesday
Oct202015

Orlando – An Extraordinary Culinary Destination 

By Stuart J. Faber

During my freshman year at the University of Wisconsin, I met a student from Orlando, Fla. Her name was Nina.  My attention was drawn to her because I had never met anyone named Nina.  Wisconsin, a melting pot for immigrants from Scandinavia and Germany was populated with girls named Mary, Nancy, Susan, or Joyce.  I do recall one girl named Nora but not a single Nina.

Nina hailed from a town with which neither my fellow students nor I were familiar.  Actually, none of us in the early 1950s had ever heard of Orlando, Fla. Nina soon became a target of warm and friendly teasing-“Nina from Orlando.”  

Once populated by Creek and other Native American tribes, this city of modest origin is now one of the largest growing metrotrapolitan areas in America. It boasts more than 62 million visitors each year – the country’s record. The two million square foot convention center is the country’s second largest – exceeded only by Chicago. Disney World, of course, is a world-renowned destination. Orlando International Airport, once a grass strip, then an Army Air Force base, now receives daily flights from as far away as Dubai.

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