FROM LEFT: Annie (Mom), Nikki (19),
Sam (14), Harry (12), Stephanie (15), Alex (17), and Mike (Dad).
All EAA members. Hometown: Memphis, Tennessee
Describe your position: Assist
with show setup, drive performer cars, painting, and anything they ask
us to do.
Years volunteering: 9
What do you enjoy most?
Family: We love it. It’s become so much a part of our lives. It’s
the highlight of our summer.
How did you get started?
Annie: I was at KidVenture with the kids, and a lady asked if I
would help her out for a second and I did. Now here we are.
Sam: I went to ask for a screw in the Workshops Plaza, and I saw
the welding and liked it. They asked if I would like to help out. This
year they gave me a welder to practice at home beforehand.
Day job: Mike: FedEx captain
Mike: My father was a professional pilot, so I grew up around it.
Never questioned that I would be a pilot.
Nikki and Alex: Soloed.
Steph: Slated to solo.
Sam and Harry: Plan on it.
Annie: Will one day.
Mike: I was so young I didn’t understand how the yoke worked. I
just knew that when the “silver tube” came out, it was okay to fly.
Once it came out, I would say, “Got it!”
Nikki: I think we were all in the womb on our first ride!
Sam: I want to build an RV-6 one day.
If you could choose an airplane at
AirVenture to fly, it’s:
Nikki and Harry: P-51!
Alex, Sam, and Annie: Harrier.
Mike: King Air.
Steph: Cirrus SR22.
Nikki: We have more fun just watching airplanes. We bike to the
Hilton for popcorn and Shirley Temples and end up having a trail of
people that follow us.
Memorable AirVenture experience:
Nikki: B-17 ride.
Harry: Meeting Patty Wagstaff!
Mike: He likes her so much I’m going to introduce myself as her
What surprised you about AirVenture?
Family: How fun it is. How nice the people are.
Nikki: You’re so used to asking people if they want a ride, and
you go back home and you can’t do that!
Favorite time of day at AirVenture:
Family: Early morning shower fights! They are cold for the first
10 seconds before anyone uses them so it’s perfect! The end of the day
around the campfire, too.
Who is an inspiration to you in
Kids: Our dad and grandfather.
Harry: Patty Wagstaff.
Fun volunteer story:
Sam: Every year we paint A-frames. We usually have paint
everywhere. One time, Mom called Harry and…
Harry: I was running because I thought something was wrong. I
fell on my butt, and it was like a banana slide. Sam washed me up and
cleaned my feet with a brush.
AirVenture survival tip:
Family: Sunscreen, bug spray, and a hat. And, be nice to somebody
If there’s one thing
AirVenture-goers shouldn’t miss, it’s:
Family: Warbirds Spectacular.
Mike: Volunteering has given the kids a chance to have individual
successes. Everyone has found their niche. It’s a relief to see more
and more kids volunteering. Our kids have grown up here.