Turner Fleet in 1950 at Indianapolis           

Throughout this web site, you'll find pictures. Lots of them eventually. You can click on almost all the pictures for a larger version. Some of them may actually be for sale. A link will be provided so you can contact the photographer directly in those cases.

I wrote this web site to keep a promise made to my friends. Some of these friends have shared historic items from their collections or loaned them to me to photograph, scan and return. I am especially grateful to Tom Cooney who loaned me his negatives for a long period of time. His collection was so vast that I never had the money to reprint all of them.  That was before I had a scanner. Tom passed away not long after I returned his negatives to him. At top left is one of Tom's shots.

Right now the structure bounces around a little, but if you use the navigation buttons on top of each page, you'll follow the way I intend you to see the site. The buttons on the right always move forward through the site.

Along the way I became friends with Captain Frank Petee who in turn introduced me to the AM '49er's Club. I was invited as a historian/guest of the AM '49er's at their yearly reunions for a period of time spanning more than 15 years. I was a friend to them and considered all of them my friends.

Some of these guys were unique characters. Frank Petee never flew the Pick-up. He was Company Historian for many years and also the co-pilot on the first All American Airways passenger flight. I miss Frank and all the things he taught me about the history of our airline. Victor Yesulaites was the first flying mechanic to reel in a bag of mail in pick-up service. He also patented a method of pick-up that eliminated the big loop with his 'monkey fists'. Ray 'Red' Garcia was another of the flying mechanics I've known since about 1969 or 70 after Lake Central was absorbed into Allegheny Airlines. Ray went in to Customer Service and retired from that department. As I write this, Ray is one of only a handful of '49er's still living. Ray was a Director of the Company when he left. I always considered him a friend.

Toby West befriended me and we worked very hard together on a project that would have resulted in an actual pick-up demonstration with one of the original Stinson SR-10C's.  Toby; wherever you are, I'll never forget the first real 'Virginia Gentleman' I ever knew. This project is also for you. Jim Thompson who still works for the Company in Columbus is now heir apparent to the title of Company Historian as I write this piece in 2004. Nobody else in the Company that I ever knew has the knowledge or available information like Jim. Jim, Toby and I worked hard laying the groundwork for the Stinson tour. The Virginia Aviation Museum had a Stinson SR-10 that may have been available for our use had it happened.

Unfortunately, the Company didn't support our effort which would have celebrated the 50th anniversary of USAir and the project went away due to lack of that support. We estimated that we'd have to raise a minimum of $500,000.00 to support the preparation, spare parts, and fuel for the project. Without the Company on board, it was fruitless and we finally abandoned the idea altogether.

Enjoy your visit to shakylake.com. This is for you who lived it with me.

 

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Copyright 2004-2010  M C Pyles                                             

Copyright 2004-2010  M C Pyles