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Destination: The One and Only Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome

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June 2012


I perked up last October when Audrey said she was headed to Rhinebeck, N.Y. Rhinebeck! That’s the only place I know of where World War I-vintage airplanes as well as airplanes from the Pioneer and the Lindbergh eras are flown during summer weekends. When I learned that the last show of the year at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome (ORA) was taking place on the same weekend that Audrey was going to Rhinebeck, I joined her. It was our first Hudson River Valley adventure.

The historic village of Rhinebeck is located 90 nm north of New York City’s Times Square and is just a mile inland from the eastern shore of the Hudson River. After arriving and settling in on Friday, I called ORA and been told that the air was bad—too many breezes—to fly on Saturday, so I wisely chose to accompany my wife instead. I crossed my fingers for good air on Sunday.

We set out on a brisk and blustery Saturday morning for the five-minute drive to the Dutchess County Fairgrounds. There we joined a well-bundled and orderly line at the gate. We were minutes away from opening day of the 39th Annual Sheep and Wool Festival.

Audrey worked with Shannon Okey of Cooperative Press to shoot photos for her book (titled “Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues”), while I set out to explore the world of fabric arts. I took the bad air as a sign that this day was expressly for maintaining the family reputation for expertise in pretzel-tasting and kettle corn-eating.

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