Christmas thoughts from the President

2021 is coming to a close, finally:

I find myself sitting here as a pretty exhausted dude after the end of year marathon of 17 straight weeks of travel and 60+ hour work weeks. Its finally coming to an end after what has been another crazy year. The pandemic obiously continues to be a challenge for everyone and it doesn’t seem to be letting up. It’s impacted us all greatly, some more than others. I’m looking forward to what 2022 has to offer everyone.

2021 Spirits Accomplishments and the year in review:

I spent the last hour or so going back and looking at some of the things that we did this year that we can be proud of. I also listed some of the things that define us to be what I believe in my heart is the best damn flying club in St. Louis with the Greatest Members a board could ask for! I for one think of you as not just Members, but my friends. I cannot tell you how much I enjoy your fellowship at the field. I contine to be amazed at how I see us transform into a club made up of skilled builders, flyers, and friends from all walks of life, all based on what is becoming a foundation of friendship and kindness. Every time I come to the field I see people helping each other, big smiles, and loads of kidding around and it makes me happy.

Think about this for a heck of a 2021:

  • We have new people stepping forward to help and others continuing to: The club elected a New Treasurer in Wayne Nenninger and a New Secretary in Robert Wilson. Stephen Adams helped out with the website to make it faster and provided some video content. Brian Gilmer has begun building some flight tables. Steve Pokorny donated his house as a venue for the December meeting and fun was had by all. Dave Brown fried fish for us. Dave Harrington provided chili and dogs several times. Dan Morrison worked to schedule a winter fly in at Francis howell. Greg Tesson was busy training new pilots. Andy Sostman was busy re-kitting 4-star 40’s 🙂 ! Dozens of people have been helping at the work-parties and donating their time. When you see them at the field, thank them for getting involved. Think about how you can help in 2022!
  • We have had RECORD attendance at several of our Monthly Club Meetings this year. People are coming out, providing constructive recommendations, showing us what they are building, and we are getting decisions made.
  • We have had RECORD attendance at several of our events. The old timers will talk of the massive events of days gone by but for the recent past, we have had events that required you to find a parking space. Thats new.
  • We built a trailer parking lot. The additional attendance and more members loading up the big birds and coming out with their trailers allowed us to justify the new parking lot on the East end of the field.
  • We took care of the tree’s. Shade is important and several visiting flyers have talked about how great they are. We trimmed them up this year and replaced two of them with a work party of about a dozen people. We also spuced up the place with additional lighting, some pampas grass to keep people from going around the fence, and about a dozen other improvements led by Dave Brown.
  • New members were racing. The addition of the Uproar class and additional 4-Star racers made the Pylon racing as fun as ever and next year will be a bigger class. I’ve even had 2 or 3 people stepping forward to run new events never seen before in 2022. Stay tuned!
  • We were published twice! The AMA published two short blurbs about what we have been up to TWICE in Model Aviation magazine. Thanks to Ralph Doyle for keeping up with the AMA and sending them the content.
  • People are providing website content. Ralph Doyle, Wayne Nenninger, “The Babe”, Stephen Adams, and Robert Wilson provided content for the website. Remember its the Spirits site, not Ralphs!!!
  • We ate well: At least 5 dozen donuts, 5 gallons of Chili, 200 Hot Dogs, and over 150 hamburgers were consumed at Gizzie Field.
  • The Jet Age has arrived. Turbine powered aircraft are starting to be the norm at Gizzie Field! I’m also seeing more balsa birds and glow/gas engines again. It seems many members have started to return to our roots and are building and flying things that make noise and have smoke!
  • We introduced the “Dual Membership” and have had a few folks take advantage of that when they want to fly at other fields and visit us on ocassion without needing to be a guest.
  • We remembered the fallen. Unfortunately this year we lost several long-time members and had to say goodbye to John Bruno, Russ Watts, and Ken Brock. Godspeed to those pilots.

I’m sure I missed a few things. Thats what I could think of off the top of my head. If you can think of others, put them in the comments below!!!

Now, I have a bunch of modeling to get caught up on!!!!

Merry Christmas to you all. I hope Santa brings you good health in 2022 and a couple goodies to fly!

Ralph Grant – Spirits President


  • Been flying R/C since 1993. Building balsa airplanes since I was a kid. I love warbirds, aerobats, and just about anything that will fly.

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