“Prepare your outside work, Make it fit for yourself in the field; And afterward build your house.” Proverbs 24:27 NKJV
My mother’s paternal great grandfather, Frederick Konrad Regetmeyer, immigrated from northern Germany in the mid 1860’s. How that came about is told in a series on circles. After he was naturalized as a US Citizen, through the network of German immigrants, he became aware of land grant opportunities in Kansas. In the midst of dreams, he no doubt knew from others that living in a hole in the ground, a dugout, was part of the journey.
The German Immigrant Network
Newlywed Life And A Dugout
This weekend I will be joining my mother, her brother and members of three of the seven branches of my maternal grandfather’s siblings for a family picnic near Boise Idaho. Sometime in the 40s or 50s three of my grandfather’s six siblings moved from Kansas to this area so I only knew them by name. A large reunion of the Rightmeier clan in Kansas in 2005 and the advent of Facebook reinstated relationships geography had eroded.
When my husband and I had an opportunity to visit Varenholtz in 1998, we found a landmark never mentioned in any of the family stories: Schloss (Castle) Varenholz. The castle location was the seat of a family of Knights , under Heinrich the Lion. Built to its current size in 1596 by Simon VI, the son of a staunch Catholic Count, who ruled the region and fiercely resisted the Protestant movements in the area.
When the elder Count died, the care of Simon VI, his son, was left to Phillip of Hessen. Although the Count gave strict orders that his son be educated in the Catholic faith, Phillip did not adhere to this request and Simon was educated as a Lutheran, and later studied “at a reformed school in Strasbourg” where he became a follower of John Calvin (1503 – 1564). It was in this way that Lippe became a mix of Lutheran and Calvinistic influence.
Regetmeir to Rightmeier
My maternal great great grand-father, Frederic Regetmeier, immigrated to the United States in 1864 at the age of 14. During this period, a long-term drought, along with political and religious unrest made living conditions in Lippe quite desperate. In other words the feudal system was breaking down.
The life they knew was disappearing. Word of the opportunities in America sparked by desperation, drove young Frederic and his brother August to make the voyage. In reality the brothers were stowaways on a ship to New York. It is said they jumped ship in New York harbor and swam ashore.
This will re-publish as I make a return trip to Mission Aviation Fellowship -MAF. This time I am staying for a few days to volunteer in the fabrication shop. I am excited. Following is the background for this trip from a previous post.
Get away and unplug. You’ll come back stronger than ever. – MICHAEL HYATT
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalms 91:1
Hospitality Is An Action
“In the evenings, if she saw us sitting outside, she’d pull out an unlabeled bottle of local white wine, pour us each a glass and leave the bottle or grill us up some octopus. A little pat on the shoulder for me in the afternoon, a fresh towel at night, a cup of Greek coffee in the morning. Everything Dina did seemed to be touched with a sense of grace and humor. She was as warm as the sun on our yet-to-be-burned shoulders. The words she spoke to me weren’t necessarily understood, but her meaning was always clear. “You are most welcome.”
The Greeks have a word for it, but don’t they seem to have a word for everything? In this case, the word is philoxenia. Philos= love, xeno= stranger. Essentially, the word means “hospitality” but that definition is too facile. One enters a Greek household and one is immediately offered a drink and something to eat. Taking care of a guest’s wants and needs is deeply ingrained into the culture. There is a sense of generosity that seems completely unstrained. As a guest of Dina’s, even though this was ultimately (and I do not mean this cynically) to be. a moneyed transaction, I found her kindness was not something that was paid for. My stay with her completely refreshing in every sense of the word. I felt restored. And I am most grateful.”
“If it could only be like this always – always summer, always alone, the fruit always ripe and Aloysius in a good temper…” ―Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited
When one is retired from working as an employee, you would think that the seasons, including summer, would all blend together. I have found that while my time is more flexible, it is not entirely disconnected from the rhythm of the of the seasons
We are not big vacation takers, but prefer to do mini-trips. Some of this has to do with the amount of travel I did with my work before retiring. It was great. But even then, we road warriors reluctantly tolerated the non-frequent flyers at the airports headed off for their summer adventure.
In addition, since I flew, literally, around the world for my vocation, a hop in the car for a couple of nights at a quiet Kansas B &B is so much less complicated. I have been blessed to see a lot of places, and although there are places I would still like to visit, a good book, my journal and quiet are my version of vacation for the moment.
I have one trip planned for August. To return to Mission Aviation Fellowship in Idaho. I get to volunteer at MAF headquarters for a few days. This is a desire I have had in my heart for many years. It happens to coincide with an extended family picnic on my mother’s side of the family. This trip touches several of the stones in my bridge.
Other than that, we are hitting the house renovation hard, another stone: foundations. Several projects are gaining traction with some summer help. Hallelujah!
What are your plans for the summer? Please share how you enjoy this season of the year in the comments below.
Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure. Jane Austen
We just celebrated Memorial Day in the United States. This day of remembrance was
started after the civil war by decorating the graves of fallen soldiers. In fact it was called Decoration Day even by my parents.
Memorials are important
- Be Mindful
- Recount, Repeat and Rehearse
- Recall the past.
- Recount to those in the Present
- Respond to the future
Remembrance Of A Historic Home’s Namesakes
at is always the case, when we know more, it means more.
“Hold fast to dreams, For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird, That cannot fly.” – Langston Hughes
This is the last of three installments of a short story about vision, an airport and flying.
I soloed January 10, 1992 and received my single engine land private pilot license in June.
On July 4, 1992, I flew the Aircoupe to the national Ercoupe convention being held in Newton, KS, just north of Wichita. My family was also there, and I flew Daddy as my first passenger, in the Aircoupe, and as a licensed pilot that day.
Daddy ‘s piloting days may have been over but his vision for an all-weather airport lingered. During the years I worked at Wichita, Daddy and I had several conversations about the FAA airport trust fund that was available for communities to develop local airports as a part of the national transportation system.
In 1995, My FAA career took me to Brussels Belgium during which time the coupe was tucked safely away, looked after by friends and family. Mom and Dad moved to Wichita where they cared for our home during our stay overseas and to help with their transition to retirement. I flew each time I was back for a visit. In 1999 I returned to the states. I was assigned to the air traffic safety office in Fort Worth Texas. Daddy’s health was failing.
I found a living situation at an airport near Fort Worth where I was able to acquire a hanger with an apartment. In this space I could keep the coupe, my car and have a home away from home for this last season of my career. I looked forward to having Daddy visit our hangar home, but that was not to be. In March of 2000, Daddy died from multiple melanoma cancer having only seen pictures of the Coupe in her newest home. As far as I know, He was not aware of the new plans underway for the airport he had envisioned. Yet the seeds of the vision and dream were growing. Continue reading Daddy – An Airport Story in Three Parts
“Worse than not realizing the dreams of your youth would be to have been young and never dreamed at all.” Jean Genet
This is a continuation of a previous post. Enjoy!
“The day arrived and on September 14, 1969, Daddy became a certified private pilot. He logged 1114.45 hours of flying time over the span of 19 years and one month, almost to the day. His first lesson was at the Phillipsburg, KS airport in a J-3 Cub on October 14, 1962 and his last logged flight was from the Plainville airpark on September 21, 1981. Most of the hours flown were in Aircoupe N3052G. In high school, I was a frequent flyer passengers.
The coupe became Daddy’s transport, companion and therapy; his place to dream and escape. It would be years before I understood the relationship he had with that little plane. The coupe remained at the Plainville Airpark until 1991.
In the late 1960s and into the early 70s, in addition to running his auto parts business, Dad became involved in local government, both as councilman and later as mayor. So as time progressed, the coupe’s time in the air began to dwindle. In the mid to late 70s, economic downturns and health issues, infringed further on Daddy’s ability to spend time in the air. There were rumors that Dad had offers to sell the plane, but he needed to keep her close, even if she had to sit quietly on the ground looking south from her open hangar.
Activity at the airpark came and went. The one major issue: water. The field was well drained and a perfectly fine grass strip but rain, snow, ice and other kinds of moisture hampered consistant use. In fact, there were no all weather airports in all of Rooks County. In 1978 he and several others began to work on a plan to correct this. The vision was modest: simply black top the airpark runway. Plans and proposals were made with rationale far beyond just a few guys with a hobby. As mayor, he could see it as an extension of main street for business, as well as providing access to medical flights, and other emergency needs. Perceptions, costs, and local politics got in the way and plans ended up on the shelf. The time was not yet.
In the meantime, I had left home, married and began a career with the FAA as an air traffic controller. When that career brought me to Wichita, KS in 1988, I decided to finally get my private pilot’s license. I had wanted to do this since I first flew with Daddy, and had even begun training at one point, but the right time had finally arrived.
In a phone conversation with Dad, I asked if the Coupe was flyable. His answer was evasive: “it was flying when I last parked her in the hangar”. I asked how long it had been. “A couple of years”. I asked if I could use it to build the hours I needed to get my license, his response after thinking it over, was “if you can fix it, you can fly it”. I had no idea what was involved. I later discovered it had been 11 years since her last airworthiness check. It was going to be work.
My flight instructor and I flew his plane to Plainville to assess the situation in the fall of 1991. She was in sad shape. It took two more trips with different assortments of mechanics before, on a cold March day in 1992 she departed Plainville Airpark on a ferry permit for her new home in Wichita.
In the meantime, I had continued my flight training and realized the Coupe would not be the plane I would build my flight hours in. The plan had shifted. Daddy was ready to share her with me, and so we took joint ownership. When I was not supervising a shift at the Wichita air traffic tower/TRACON or working on some aspect of my pilot training, I was assisting the team of mechanics bringing N3052G back to an airworthy condition.”
I know, this was more about an airplane than an airport, but one exists for the other! The final installment of this airport story and vision next time.