Gone West Memorial

Work on rebuilding/expanding the “Gone West” Memorial here at Antique Airfield has started.

It is planned to complete this project in three phases:      
Phase 1           
1. Move the granite, carefully remove the memorial stones, and clean up the bed. Completed           
2. Cut down and remove all but one of the Pear trees, plus clean up, and brush cut behind the Memorial. Completed           
3. Knock the old well head off and fill in.           
4. Reset granite and prepare locations for phase #2        

Phase 2           
Expansion of the memorial by adding two raised “winged” beds for placement of all the memorial stones, as well as allowing expansion for more such memorials. The APM Board and several of our great volunteers have spent considerable time laying out, discussing placement, shape, size, and orientation of the “winged” additions. Enter AAA  member Jason Eygabroad, and the engineering firm he works for, Beck Engineering Inc. of Spirit Lake, IA. They have stepped up and volunteered their time and talents to help design, plan, and do a cost analysis on this important project. The winged beds, closely mimicking the wings in the AAA & APM emblems, are planned to be outlined by similar size/color granite blocks as per the current memorial, with all the named stones to be placed in those beds. The center raised granite slabs, between the main and winged beds, may be engraved with quotes, names, mottos, donors names etc. Between the wings will be an expansion of the paving bricks as was originally done, and recently uncovered. The current benches will be moved back per the drawing above. Surrounding the memorial on the back side (to the S) will be an area defined by paving stones that will be lined, mulched, and likely have some type of planting included (Phase 3) We will keep all the original memorial intact, including the current flagpoles while expanding and improving the design & look.        

Phase 3
1. Landscaping of the newly finished/expanded memorial, including adding a second Blue Spruce tree behind the memorial, to add symmetry to the design.           
2. Make the finished memorial as maintenance free as possible i.e.: easy to mow around, little or no weed eating necessary, attractive, yet hardy and low maintenance plantings. etc..     The interest already generated by this project, from the unsolicited donations of funds, to Jason Eygabroad and Beck Engineering Inc. volunteering their professional services, and our volunteers involvement, have proven how much the “Gone West” Memorial means to our members and donors. Enough so that with more such help, we hope, and plan, to have this project completed by the 2020 AAA/APM Invitational Fly-in.    We currently await the detail drawings of the final design (pictured), and a final cost analysis from Jason, but we believe we have a winning concept with the design. In fact we’ve already had comments such as; “Omg what a spectacular design!” & “The design is just beautiful!”.   

Now while all the above is great, there is even better news. AAA lifetime members Jere Calef & Heather Benes sent a substantial donation to the project. After communicating our “Thanks” to Jere & Heather, I received the following email….. 

Ever since our first trip to Antique Airfield, we have been made to feel welcome by you, your family, the staff and volunteers that make the Fly-in such a wonderful event.  Our first landing at Antique Airfield was just before dark and we followed a man on a Gator to our parking spot.  The man was Ben (Taylor), who we had obviously never met, and when we deplaned, he came over, extended his hand, and said “Welcome home”.  That was a magical moment that I’ll never forget.
In the past, we have made smaller contributions to the Pub re-roofing fund but wanted to do something of a more “personal” nature for the organization and membership.  When we learned of the effort to improve the Gone West Memorial, we recognized that as our opportunity to make a more significant contribution that would potentially have a positive emotional impact for the AAA membership.
You are very welcome.
Best Regards,

    Thanks to Jere & Heather’s generosity, we currently have raised over $17K of the total estimated cost of around $24K! As well the following people have generously donated to get this project funded and ready to rebuild/construct now that spring has arrived: Carol Crecelius Domeyer, Joe Fulton, Dave Miller, Joel Russell, Richard Palen, Jon Nace, Jim Hammond, Doug Conciata, Bette Fineman, Jeri Love-Mlakar, Cindy Grimm, Laura Lundberg, Sam Wheeler, Butch Leuthart, Hal Bryan, Dan Cullman, Jack Pelton, Jim Savage, Chuck McDonald, Jim Densmore, Doug Dreger, Ric Ryburn, Ron Hansen, Chad Hill, Sharon Tinkler, Dave Schober, Aaron Klugherz, Bob Mott, Ed Lachendro, Mike Araldi, Holly Taylor, Hemi Hunter, Marc Remhof, Jeff Cain, Holly Vanorny, Shane Vande Voort, Joe Norris, Jan Hill, Jeff Nelson, Rich Klugherz, Dave Lamb, Bob Edgington, Paul Berge, David Pitcairn, Don Stewart, Bob Armstrong, Randy Miller, Brad Donner, Pat Moriarity, Matt McVicker, Dave Kalwishky, Gus Marmaras, Dave Sirota, Bryan DeWitt, Dallas Grimm, Scott Shepard, Michael Tindall, Larry Nelson, Terry Bowden, Carl Morgan, Herrill Davenport, Travis Gregory & Brent Taylor.
    We’ve also received donations from the following AAA Chapters: Nebraska, Mid-Georgia, and Colorado AAA Chapters.
    So if you would care to donate to this important part of Antique Airfield, the AAA & the APM, those donations would be much appreciated.

Brent Taylor
President AAATreasurer APM