Sue Spitulnik

Writing, Sewing, Travel, and Thoughts



Space Travel

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon’s surface and collected dirt and rocks to bring back to earth while Michael Collins remained in orbit in the mother ship. If you weren’t alive at the time, think about that for a minute. The event is called,  “…the single greatest technological achievement of all time.” Continue reading “Space Travel”

National Ride With Wind Day

This day was set aside to recognize the first human powered flight, a cyclist in the basket of a glider.

The town of Dansville in western New York state is located in the basin of a large natural valley.  It’s location makes it an ideal spot for gliders, which to the locals, are so common we barely notice.  Labor Day weekend is another story.  That’s when the New York State Festival of  Balloons takes place.  It is a sight to behold; one of those things you could read about all day, but when you see it, it’s awesome.  Check out their web site for details.

balloon festival

When my husband and I were first married, we got up at 4 am to drive the hour south so we could watch the daybreak balloon launch.  Unfortunately when we got there, it was too windy to fly.  We had breakfast at a local restaurant, drove  home and went back to bed!  Years since we have purposely  driven down Rt. 390  so we could see the colorful balloons in the sky in the early evening.  There are many balloon festivals all over the country if you haven’t seen one, I recommend it as an event for the family.

The page describing this day suggested if all else fails, flying a kite would be a good way to commemorate the date.  The best success I ever had with a kite was on the beach in Biloxi, Mississippi.  Another good spot was in Rantoul, Illinois,  in a big flat field.  Oh how many years ago those experiences were.


National Aviation Day

National Aviation Day was established in 1939 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to honor the originators of general aviation.  This date was picked because it was Orville Wright’s birthday.


A couple of years ago my husband and I spent some time in Oregon.  A few nights in an ocean front hotel so I could hear the crash of the waves from my room was on my bucket list.  I had no idea that crash meant just that.  The waves were so noisy I had to shut our sliding glass door so I could sleep.

We stayed just north of the town of Tillimook.  One day we visited the cheese factory, which also has excellent ice cream.  Watching the modern cheese packing factory in operation was informational and fascinating.  We didn’t need to stop for lunch before we went into town to the Latimer Quilt and Textile Center.  This relatively small old school house is packed with a visual feast for anyone interested in any sort of textile.  One room was full of weaving looms, another had a display of quilts like I had never seen (they were two sided), and the third was a classroom where ladies were doing hand embroidery.  I could have stayed much longer than we did.

Once back in the car we drove south on Rt. 101.  Long before we got to it, we could see a huge building that said AIR MUSEUM on its curved structure.  It was a blimp hanger, that housed seven blimps, during World War II.  It is the largest clear-span wooden structure in the world.  My husband works in the construction field so he was fascinated with how the structure was built and the fact the cement floor didn’t have any cracks in it.  We walked in the doors that were three stories tall, in awe of the building’s size.  We didn’t have to just tilt our heads back, we had to stretch them back as far as they would go in order to look up at the center of the ceiling.  In one corner of the hanger, there is an area turned into rooms with lots of pictures of  blimps, their makers, and pilots; in the vast inner building there are antique WWII airplanes.  The building is so big, that the far end was being used as storage for RV’s, boats, and other things.  We talked quietly as our voices carried like over a lake in the still of night.

The next time you watch a sports event that has a blimp being used so camera shots from above can give you an aerial view, think about the originators of aviation, and the size of seven blimps (all in one structure)!


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