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PHLAPS Member Profiles

Truly superior pilots use their superior judgment to avoid those situations where they might have to use their superior skills.

Ravin’ Ray Riley: Triple R or Rrrr, as we sometimes call him, has hair the color of an embarrassed fire truck, the build of Japanese eating utensils, and the energy of a Bobcat in a small pen with forty-two hungry coon dogs. Ray spent years as a crop duster (Ag pilot) and still has a nervous tic that causes him to duck his head every time he goes under a power line. All of Ray’s faults (of which there are many) can be easily overlooked for his one redeeming quality: He owns an immaculately restored Stearman.

 Caricature by Steph Strasser

 

Wild Willard Fairbanks: A portly fellow who spends much of his time thinking about how to avoid physical exertion. As an ex-attorney and now circuit court judge, he has a tendency to pontificate when pontification might be better left to another time. Though he’s never been there, he talks about Alaska all the time and vows he’s going one day. WW (he hates for us to call him Wild Willard) tends to easily get into an argumentative mood, influenced, no doubt, either by courtroom banter or talking to his sixth (or seventh, I forget) wife.

Doctor Ed Dillon: Ed is a renowned heart surgeon, one of those fellers who takes your ticker out, plays with it a bit, and puts it back or tosses it away and gets you another one. So, since he is a physician of some import, you know, of course, what our nickname for him is. That’s right… Marshall. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Guess you have to be old enough to remember the TV show. Ed owns a beautiful Beech Baron with all the latest gadgets, and if you think he has your life in his hands during surgery, you should see him fly.

Big Mack Whalen: Ever been cruising down the freeway thinking about beautiful things or, worse yet, talking on your cell phone and suddenly realized your rearview mirror is filled with “KCAM”, only the c and k are facing backwards? At that moment you get some sense of the size and power of a MACK truck. Keep that image in mind and you will have a basic idea of the physical characteristics and the personality of Big Mack. An ex-Navy SEAL and present member of the local SWAT Team, he eats barbed wire for breakfast.

“Libby” Charles Maclin: Must be some kind of masochist. We let him come to our meetings just because he’s fun to have around, sort of like a puppy. You see “Libby” is not his real name. It stands for liberal, as in flaming, bleeding heart, tree-hugging, whale-saving, I’d-vote-for-Ted-Kennedy-even-if-he-had-a-sex-change liberal. He’s really pretty smart but hasn’t got a lick of common sense. It’s just great sport to get him all riled up about something like “men marrying their motorcycles” or something. He’s a college professor (a young one) busy about the business of molding the minds of our young people.

Bobby Earl James: For a living he works the little 10,000-acre farm his daddy left him. Though farming is extremely hard work and the American farmer is probably more oppressed than political dissidents in China, Bobby Earl seems to have an inordinate amount of time in which to keep his hunting, fishing, and NASCAR watching skills honed to a razor’s edge. Does not wear overalls, but can be counted on to have on something of camouflage at all times. And I’m told he does wear underwear with the John Deere logo.

Captain Calhoun C. Treadaway: Cal is a man always with a plan of some kind going on. It’s probably because he lives way out in the country, and all that drive time back and forth gives him too much time to think. His plans are good, though, always figuring to help somebody. As an ex-Navy fighter pilot he tends to talk too much with his hands. Flies the heavy metal now.

Luddy May Snodgrass: While she isn’t really a member of PHLAPS, Luddy May is probably the person most critical to its function. She is the waitress (waitperson for you politically correct nincompoops) down at the Get-It-Quick Crossroads Store and Café. She is a walking contradiction in every way. Gruff talking, quick to tell you to SIDSUAKYFOF (you ignorant folk see the glossary), straight to the point with everything, she is as sweet as honey on a blueberry muffin. Harder than tempered steel underneath, she is soft and cuddly on the outside. Big in the front end, big in the back, and with a huge pile of teased blond hair on top, only her heart is bigger.

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