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Rough River Eastern Convention

The Cardinal Flyers gathered in Rough River, Kentucky in September of 2006, prepared to relax together and perhaps find a few Cardinal related things to talk about.

The weather was excellent, with a warm fall feel and a few trees thinking about turning colors. Rough River is a small resort, but we had plenty of room to move in and take over. This is a popular state park, known for good Kentucky food, so things got a little more active around mealtimes.

Arrivals found a few Cardinals already gracing the ramp, including one who seems to live there but never arrived to claim his bird. Most of us arrived on Wednesday night prepared for the day trip in Thursday.

Our tour started with a visit to the Coke museum in Elizibethtown. While this may seem like an odd place for anything of any substantial interest related to Coca-Cola, it turns out that it was home to one of the earliest distributors, with a particular interest in the significance of Coke memorabilia.

The tour started with some of the oldest relics from the beginning of Coke, and included a collection of thousands of bottles, long lines of coke machines and several unique delivery vehicles.

This happened to be the Grand Opening day, and the staff were dressed in period costumes. We also had the opportunity to purchase nickel coke from the soda fountain, just like in the old days.

After a relaxing visit we were ready to move on to lunch. Alan Laslie had shared the secret of his favorite lunch spot, tucked away inside an old house full of antiques. We blocked traffic with the bus long enough to disembark and fill their back dinning room with hungry Flyers. It was an excellent lunch, and a good introduction to the Brown Betty and other local favorites.

Our next stop was the Maker's Mark bourbon refinery, although that description hardly seems to describe this interesting place.

Like so often seems to happen, we arrived to find some confusion. We were right on time, but a bus had pulled in a few minutes before us and was taken for us, as in 'Here's our 2:00 bus group!" But it was in fact their 12:30 bus group, an hour and a half late. So there was just a little milling around while they came to understand that this not only a new bus, this was the bus with a reservation! Such is the story behind the scenes at events like this... it will probably always be so.

However it turned out well for us, because the folks behind the desk tracked down and engaged the guy they called their very best guide, and he was excellent! He regaled us with tales of how things used to be before prohibition, what that had done to the region and how the distillery had come back from those difficult times.

He walked us through the process with equal servings of education and entertainment. The many steps required, and the subtle variations of method that makes their product unique.

Along the way we got to taste the mash at various stages, peek into the barns, and witness the trademarked sealing of the bottles. At the end of the tour a few of us got the chance to try our own skills at bottle 'dipping', as it's called. That an a sample of their bourbon chocolates pretty much made the day.

Our final stop of the day was at the house and grounds where 'My Old Kentucky Home' was written, a famous song which I believe is the state song of Kentucky. It was after closing time, but they were expecting us, and we had a personal tour of the home from a guide in period dress.

She had a fascinating story to tell as we walked through the house, hearing of the people who had occupied it, what their lives were like and how they lived the fine life long ago in Kentucky. After the tour we wandered the grounds and enjoyed the faint bells playing the famous song.

It seemed the perfect time for a group picture. Soon we were ready to head back, pondering how that lovely song must get into the heads of people who work there every day.

Our tours over, we met up with late arrivals at the resort and enjoyed a few evening snacks. And here is where one of the odd little themes of the event first raised its head.

We were warned early that Rough River was in a 'dry' county, where they are not allowed to sell alcoholic beverages. This seemed a small matter, since the principles of CFO (at least Keith, and I'm writing this!) are not really drinkers, per se.

We're led to understand, however, that others enjoy a beer at the end of a hot day, so we endeavored to bring in a suitable supply for those so inclined. Evidently this is legal as long as we stayed inside the room, a fact which was drilled into us early and often. Even our deck-side reception was moved indoors so we would not insult the local population with the decadent consumption of alcohol in public.

So, fine, we're indoors and have a few coolers for those who are interested. But wait! In all the discussion about beer, the resort failed to note our order for soft drinks! So not only did we have beer, we had *only* beer.

It was not exactly what we had planned, but we made do.

First thing Friday we rolled right into the show and tell, passing around broken airplane parts and discussing topics of interest. Although our digest time together stays pretty technical, we still find there to be great value in these discussions as a group, as well as the chance to see a broken part in person.

The afternoon event was at the airport, a short walk away. As usual the airplanes were in excellent condition and showed high levels of attention and care. There were many interesting variations on Cessna's original plans for the Cardinal.

The day ended with a Barbecue at the picnic shelter, overlooking the lake. There were sodas this time, but still plenty of cold beer.

Still suffering under the cautions against any form of public consumption, we held a little 'drinking briefing' where we covered the checklist for consumption, which included a nondescript paper cup. In hind site it all seems rather silly, but it was serious business in Grayson County!

As darkness fell we headed over to the fire pit and enjoyed an evening bonfire, complete with S'mores, just the ticket after a relaxing day at the airport.

Saturday dawned as another beautiful day and we spent much of it at the airport, reviewing several aircraft in depth. One had our attention for quite a while as one Flyer noticed it seemed to have a crack across the oil pan. After some discussion it was left as an item for the owner's A&P to check.

We heard later that it was indeed a crack, in a very unusual location.

The day seemed to slip by with relaxed airplane talk. A couple of Cardinals dropped in, seemingly surprised by our gathering, not to mention the number of experts swarming around their airplane and making comments. They seemed to recover, though, and we heard later that they enjoyed their visit.

Evening brought out banquet, with great food and excellent company. Perhaps because of the intimate group or the relaxing surroundings we flowed into an extended session of storytelling, with Flyers sharing tales of adventure and dismay well into the evening.

And as always, there was plenty of beer. It is ironic that it takes a visit to a dry county for this to rise to visibility at all in our events. Luckily the coolers had been borrowed from Alan Laslie's neighbor, who we came to understand really likes beer. So in the end we finally found a home for our excess libations.

It is always a little sad to see our new and renewed friends fly off in various directions, but as often happens there was just a bit more drama. One of our members found their battery completely dead. After checking connections and mechanicals, it was determined to be a simple 'old battery' problem, and we had jumper cables.

However, this member had flown from California to attend this event, and was very concerned about what would happen the next time they turned the airplane off. So we sent our cables on a long cross-country in support of this wounded bird.

As it turned out, we learned later that the very first airport they landed at happened to have a fresh battery on the shelf and ready to install. The cables were never needed but had a nice vacation of their own making the round trip, and were returned in the company of even more broken aircraft parts for show and tell. I suspect the view was not as good in the UPS box as it had been in that Cross Country Cardinal, but we were once again prepared for our own future old battery problems.

In summation, we spent a nice time with a great group of Flyers who had a lot of fun, ate a lot of great Kentucky food, saw the local sights, relaxed fully, learned and shared about Cardinals, and drank remarkably little beer. What more could you ask for?

Keith Peterson
December 2006

The following public comments about the flyin have been entered:

Thanks for a great time; and a special thanks to all the volunteers. Keith; Debbie; Paul.
A great convention; and a lot of new (old) friends. Good to have y'all in Kentucky! This was a small; but high-quality group and I really enjoyed myself. Bob Pitchford

Enter your public comments here: (Please include your name)

Enter any private comments to the flyin coordinators here:

The following aircraft were in attendance, as well as a few more: our photographers may not have caught them all. And it seems that multiple pictures were taken of the same aircraft, so there are probably duplicates in this set as well. Click on any image to load a larger one.

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The following people registered their plans to attend this CFO Convention:

Paul MillnerBerkeley, CA (OAK)1976 177 RGN177SDWill be a very good time!
Bruce & Betsy HutchingsLancaster, NM (HIE)1977 177 RGN52061
Wally JohnsonLIttle Rock, AR (1M1)1968 177N3435TLooking forward to my first CFO Convention.
Dean & Sue CookElkhart, IN (3C1)1971 177BN177XC
Bob PitchfordBowling Green, KY (KBWG)1975 177BThis is my stompin ground. Great airport and Lodge! So glad we've chosen Rough River!
John & Mary Anna OXFORD, ME (81B)1973 177 RGN1909Q
Charlie & Sandy CorbinHolly Lake Ranch, TX (F51)1970 177BN177SVAnxious to go to our first Convention
Mike GallantKBAK, IN (KBAK)1971 177 RGN8039G
Lowell Dexter, (F70)1976 177 RGN177R
Keith and Debbie PetersonHampshire, IL (68IS)1976 177 RGN33267Should be a great time; we're looking forward to trying out this new location!
Michel & Rosie DeGrootSan Diego, CA (KMYF)1971 177BN177CFLooking forward to it.
Mac & Sarah McKinleyLiberty, MO (0N0)1973 177BN34427
George HawkinsSugar Land, TX (KARM)1974 177 RGN2176QI am looking forward to my first CFO convention.
Richard & Michele GulettCovington, GA (9A1)1971 177 RGN468LE
Douglas RichardsonSpringfield, TN (M91)1970 177BN707DRI will only fly in one day.
Winn & Phil BrownHorn Lake, MS (AWM)1968 177N29563
Addison DavisWarren, MI (Y47)1978 177 RGN52854
Bill & Leanna PovilaitisAeroflex-Andover, NJ (12N)1971 177BN30900We're Sooooooo Excited! Should be a blast.
Garth GoddardToronto, Canada (CYTZ)1971 177BC-GPDW
Ed FarrarMansfield, OH (GQQ)1971 177 RGN8216G
David HillWesterville, OH (KDLZ)1976 177 RGN7623V
Darren CarrierDayton, OH (MGY)1968 177N3495TThis is a really nice park and I am sure we will have a great time.
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Al & Katherine Van LengenFayetteville, GA (FFC)1974 177 RG912GM
Alan LaslieElizabethtown, KY (EKX)1974 177BN2KGI look forward to meeting everyone. Welcome to Kentucky!
Marla LeeLouisville, KY (EKX)1974 177BN2KGI'm a student pilot; just starting my training in our Cardinal. I look forward to meeting everyone and learning as much as I can!
Jeff AddisonLafayette, LA (0R3)1978 177BN2169C
Bruce & Sally PostWest Bend, WI (KETB)1968 177N3405F
Jim TaylorOttawa Lake, MI (N/A)1974 177 RG

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