By Mike Davenport, EAA 89102, Langley, British Columbia
For those of you old enough to still remember the ‘70s and ‘80s, here’s a touch of nostalgia for you.
In the back of a closet I recently found my weenie jacket. For those who weren’t around back then, a weenie jacket was a blue EAA jacket that started out innocently enough with one ‘patch,’ the official EAA crest on the front. Those of us, and there were many, perhaps dealing with some sort of identity issues, continued to add the patches of all the events that they had attended.
There was a hierarchy and for those in the know — there was a weenie, a super weenie, and highest of all, the mega weenie. Me, I fit in somewhere between the last two graded by the sheer number of patches.
Today as memory fades to the point where I can’t recall why I just went into the kitchen, the discovery of that jacket brought back long forgotten memories of fly-ins, air shows, and many other fun associations.
For example, mine has crests from coast to coast with Chino, California, in 1980 to SUN ‘n FUN in Florida in ‘89. There was OSH in ‘86 and the Arlington, Washington, fly-ins from ‘81 thru ‘91. In there somewhere was Medicine Hat, Alberta, in ‘85 and ‘86. Others named are Quickie Aircraft, LegAir Aviation, EAA Chapter 85, EAAC, Young Eagles, and so it goes. Where is your jacket? I know that you had one because it was almost illegal to attend a fly-in without it?
At a subsequent airport lunch one Friday where I mentioned the above, the guys all acknowledged the fact and as it turns out, many other groups from bikers to bowlers all had “weenie jackets.”
By the way, I also have the hat complete with what seems like a couple of pounds of pins and some gold braid.