Stormville Airport : Stories : Glenn Kane
Glenn Kane writes from Garrison, NY about learning to fly at Stormville:
"It is with great dismay that N69 has been allowed to fade away. I started flying at N69 in 1968. I can remember Rose O'Brien running the office with a young girl working at the desk (may have been Rose's grandaughter) and using the radio (unicom). Dave Perunko was my instructor and Mac MacAdams also instructed me.
"What wonderful times going up to Stormville airport, not just to fly, but to bring the family up and watch the sky divers, eat hot dogs and hamburgers, and watch the different people and their planes. Weekends were booming as people sat in their folding chairs along the split rail wood fence, watching the line person fuel up the assorted aircraft. The old house, which was the office, had a pay phone which you would use to contact Poughkeepsie FSS for weather and to file your flight plans. I believe the O'Briens lived upstairs since it sure did look like someone's home.
"Another instructor I remember was a man named Walt. He always wore the large aviator sunglasses and a leather jacket. Nice guy but not very talkative. I flew the cessna 150 which was $17.00 dual and $13.00 solo. Mac checked me out for my private license and I then upgraded to the Cessna 172. I took a lot of my family and friends for rides around our home town of Ossining, New York as well as various airports with restaurants.
"I discontinued flying at N69 around 1973 however I have frequented the field on numerous occasions. Within the last 10 or so years, I can remember taking my father back up to N69 to show him how the flee market took over. While walking around and reminiscing, several older men were sitting at a picnic table talking flying. I walked over and listen in and told them that I flew there back in the late 60's and inquired if the O'Briens were still alive. This one older gentleman stated that they were and that he was Pete and one of the other men was Walt.
"I introduced myself to Pete and he recalled who I was! He told me that he remembered something to the fact that my father was an undertaker and that I went off to college to fly. Amazing how he remembered that and I was so glad to have participated in some of their hanger flying. I believe Rose passed away however I don't know about Pete. The had moved years ago to Florida and that their daughter took over the business.
"I have not done any flying for about 6 years but someday I will get back into it. I have attached some photos of my flying lessons at N69 during the summer of 1968 and 1969."
Glenn, we're happy to report that as of December, 2007, Pete O'Brien is still with us! He's seen a whole century!