Saturday, September 18, 2010

Wings and Wheels at the 1940 Air Terminal Museum

Well, as parties go, they must have been pretty lame back in 1940. To mark the 70th anniversary, the 1940 Air Terminal Museum said they were going to throw a party that would rival the one thrown when the Terminal opened in September 1940. Now I will admit I did not get there until after lunch and there might have been a knee slapping good time earlier but it had pretty much petered out before I got there.

I had envisioned a twenty piece dance band, maybe not Dorsey but something with a crooner in period dress and a female vocalist that could belt it out like Sophie Tucker, maybe a couple of hanger-on flappers. Actually there were more volunteers than there were party goers. Somehow a couple dozen people running around in khakis with orange safety vests doesn’t ring 1940. If the term had not been coined I am positive it would have been – because they would have been considered whimps of the first order to require safety vests in 1940. Of course, fewer people meant better photo ops.

I was in hopes that it was going to rain but it didn’t. The sky was heavily overcast which was good from the standpoint of sensor latitude but it was pretty dull for photographs. I just thought that rain would add a more exciting note to the photographs. I was also in hopes that they would open the roof top observation deck for the occasion but they didn’t.

Again the “wheels” were almost nonexistent. As I pulled into the parking area there was a late 20’s or early 30’s touring sedan entering the parking lot. I grabbed the camera and jumped out of the car hoping that they would stop at the entrance to the museum and possibly unload the passengers who I hoped would be in period dress. They didn’t even slow down, just made a circle through the lot and I never saw them again.

There was no one at the counter to take my money when I arrived. I figured I could do that later, which I did, and went straight out to the planes on display. That allowed me to arrive on the tarmac in time to grab a very, very quick snapshot of two DeLoreans parked in front of the Museum’s Locheed Lodestar. It is rare to see a single DeLorean, but seeing two of them together is pretty special. Unfortunately they were in the process of removing them just as I arrived. I just wish I had gotten there in time to do a shot from in front of one or both of the cars. With their gull wing doors I am sure it would have been specular to have the 1940's plane and the Terminal building for background.

I did not stay long and concentrated mostly on photographing the Lockheed Loadstar against the backdrop of the terminal building. It was a long way to go for so few photographs but that is okay. I’m not giving up on the Air Terminal. There are three more Wings and Wheels scheduled this year and as of now all three are still on my calendar. Hopefully next time I won’t have to wait until after noon to arrive.

Not far down the tarmac from the Lodestar was a Douglas DC3 named Spooky dressed in WWII camouflage. Behind Spooky an American Eagles Airline Embraser comes in for a landing at Hobby Airport.

Well, that is one shoot for the weekend down. Now I have to prepare for the Houston Photographers and Models shoot in Tranquility Park tomorrow afternoon. I was a little disappointed to hear that they were planning on staying in the park. I was in hopes that we would move through downtown. Not that the park doesn't have a lot of possibilities, just not nearly as many.

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