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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS FeedVisitor, volunteer spirits not dampened by rain
By Rose Dorcey, EAA AirVenture Today

Photos by Rose Dorcey
Justin Hoisington, 21, of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, is in the rain and mud as he marshals traffic at the Nature Center intersection. His fellow volunteers, with whom he rotates shifts, stay dry underneath a tarp.

Mert Lunb has been driving trams since 1993. He notices a decrease in traffic when the rain begins.
Ken Novak, left, of Evanston, Illinois, gets museum information from docent Russ Cleg.

July 30, 2009 - Oshkosh, Wisconsin  - There is rain and clouds today at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, but it isn't changing people's moods. Volunteers and visitors alike are smiling and taking it all in stride.

For 25-year volunteer Dave Ruhl and his crew of five at the Nature Center intersection, one of AirVenture's busiest, directing traffic in the rain is the same as any other day, except "you get wet," he said with a laugh.

"You get wet, you get muddy, but it's not as bad as you might think," Ruhl said. "People are good; they apologize when they splash mud on us."

It's just part of the job, and Ruhl and his crew all agree that it's a lot of fun out there, even in the rain. "We just dry off, change clothes, and go out and do it some more."

Mert Lunb, a tram driver since 1993, laughed and said "beautiful" when asked about working in the rain. He hasn't found any cranky AirVenture visitors in the morning's gloomy weather. "Everybody is pretty darn nice."

However, Lunb said traffic slows down in the rain, when visitors find cover inside the exhibit buildings.

Over at the EAA AirVenture Museum, docent Russ Cleg simply chuckled and said, "We're dry," unlike the visitors he greets. "They're wet when they come in, but they don't complain," he said.

Russ isn't accustomed to the amount of museum traffic he was seeing on Thursday morning, but said he was glad to talk with and share museum information with the "friendliest people in the world."

What many of them are saying, Cleg added, is that they've been to AirVenture several times, but spent most of their time at the outdoor exhibits. "The rain brings them in," Cleg said. "Otherwise they might miss the museum."

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