Now that a month has elapsed since EAA “Airventure” at Oshkosh, WI concluded, I’ve had a chance to reflect what happened for me at that event.
A good way to characterize the significance of winning Grand Champion Warbird at the biggest air show in the world would be to say it was a validation for me and also for you! For me, it was focus and perseverance and prayer. For you it validated and confirms your judgment as a banker who can see beyond the beaten path and can tell when something will work. When I went to you at the bank, where you were the senior loan officer, I was prepared for rejection. I made my best pitch and I’m sure my passion for this airplane (project) and restoration came across. However, what I was trying to do was get restoration money for a 60 year old deteriorated WWII airplane!
Also, that the loan would be collateralized by the plane and paid for out of my airline retirement account.
You not only set up terms that were reasonable to me but I can tell that you were enthusiastic about all that I was trying to do. You came to the airport frequently to check on the project. As the project progressed, you reassessed the value of the aircraft to verify additional funding. Your substantial support and interest allowed the plane to reach completion.
The plane was finished and flown to Oshkosh WI and now has a new owner. The owner will operate the airplane at air shows around the country.
I have the satisfaction of knowing that my efforts brought the plane out of El Salvador C.A. where it had one wing in the grave and now it is out in front of the public as a Grand Champion. All loans were paid and my retirement was significantly restored.
Your professional perceptiveness and confidence in the loans you design is what put this Corsair back in the air 65 years after it first flew!
My sincere thanks and wish for your continued success.