Episodes of The Sport Clips Haircuts Hall of Fame Podcast - Haircuts with Heart featuring Darryl Fisher from Ageless Aviation Dream Flights

Red Banner with HOF Episode

In this episode recorded in September of 2018, we begin our "Haircuts with Heart" series, where we look at a few of the causes and charities that Sport Clips supports. This episode is with Darryl Fisher - Founder and President of Ageless Aviation Dream Flights. The Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation is a non-profit organization established and dedicated to honoring seniors and United States military veterans. The primary focus is on individuals living in long-term care communities. Their mission is to “Give Back To Those Who Have Given”. Through Sport Clips and other donors, the Foundation provides Dream Flights in a Boeing Stearman biplane, the same aircraft used to train many military aviators in the 1940’s. For more information, click here.

Chad with Darryl from Ageless Aviation holding a microphone

Episode Air Date Guest Name Guest Title Topic(s)
September 5, 2018 Darryl Fisher Founder and President Background on Ageless Aviation Dream Flights and the Foundation's impact.

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Transcription:

Chad Jordan:                Hey, everybody. This is Chad Jordan. I'm the director of marketing for digital services here at Sport Clips. This is another Hall of Fame podcast. This will be a special edition as we focus on one of our charitable partners that we're pleased to work with here at Sport Clips. Before I get any further I'm going to have him go ahead and introduce himself.

Darryl Fisher:                Hi, everybody. I'm Darryl Fisher. I am the founder and president of Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation. Sport Clips has been an amazing partner of ours for five years now. We give flights in World War II biplanes planes to veteran all over the country.

Chad Jordan:                The part that Darryl left out is he gives fear-inducing barrel rolling flights, especially to unsuspecting directors of marketing who thought they were just going up for a casual stroll on a Saturday morning. It wasn't ... I guess it wasn't that bad, but I did get made fun of when I landed afterwards and kissed the ground. Everybody was giving me a hard time. As we posted on our social media account, imagine being 95-year-old.

Darryl Fisher:                Right.

Chad Jordan:                World War II veteran and getting to go up in that plane and experience that. What started this idea of giving veterans this kind of dream flight experience?

Darryl Fisher:                Well, it's, like a lot of things, it sort of happened. It wasn't something I set out to do, but I'll take you back a little bit.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah, please.

Darryl Fisher:                My grandmother and grandfather were both pilots.

Chad Jordan:                Okay.

Darryl Fisher:                I grew up. I cannot remember my first airplane flight. My grandfather had his own airport right there at his farm.

Chad Jordan:                Oh, okay. All right.

Darryl Fisher:                Matter of fact, the airplane I'm flying today here in Darlington, he bought that airplane in 1946.

Chad Jordan:                Oh my gosh.

Darryl Fisher:                Four generations of my family have flown that airplane.

Chad Jordan:                Had he flown in World War II or anything like that or ...

Darryl Fisher:                No. He did not serve in World War II because if you ... You won't remember back, but back then they ... he had a farm deferment.

Chad Jordan:                Oh, yeah.

Darryl Fisher:                Because they needed food.

Chad Jordan:                Right.

Darryl Fisher:                He was up producing what in eastern Washington while the war was going on. My great-uncle was an instructor in [inaudible 00:02:23] in World War II.

Chad Jordan:                Okay.

Darryl Fisher:                That's why he didn't serve.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah.

Darryl Fisher:                Anyway, so they went on to make an investment in a senior living community in 1965.

Chad Jordan:                Where is this?

Darryl Fisher:                That was in Oregon.

Chad Jordan:                Oregon? Okay.

Darryl Fisher:                If you want to know how old I am, I was two years old in 1965.

Chad Jordan:                Okay. [crosstalk 00:02:43] there would be no math on this podcast, so ...

Darryl Fisher:                I grew up very unusual. I grew up around aviation and airplanes, and then I grew up around seniors.

Chad Jordan:                Wow.

Darryl Fisher:                And developed a passion for both.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah.

Darryl Fisher:                That's my profession. I have a senior living company. We provide care and service to about 500 seniors in the West Coast.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah.

Darryl Fisher:                That's what I do for my real job, but in 2011 I kind of got a little crazy idea to ... My dad was a pilot as well. He had a biplane. He had his biplane in Mississippi and he had to get it to Oregon. There's a lot of gas stops, like 15 gas stops. I kind of ... He wanted me ...

Chad Jordan:                How far can you go?

Darryl Fisher:                About 160 miles.

Chad Jordan:                Okay.

Darryl Fisher:                He asked me if I'd go with him. I said, "Sure, I'll go with you." Father son barnstorming the country.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah, right.

Darryl Fisher:                Sounded like a great plan. Well, I got to thinking about it on all these gas stops. I said, "Why don't I call some senior living communities and ask if they have a veteran or two that at our gas stop wants to go for a flight?"

Chad Jordan:                Wow.

Darryl Fisher:                I kind of called a few of them and lined them up. Then, I went to my dad, because he was paying the bills. I said, "Hey, what do you think of this plan?" He goes, "I'm in."

Chad Jordan:                Wow.

Darryl Fisher:                He was willing to let me use his airplane.

Chad Jordan:                [crosstalk 00:04:12] no liability forms on you at this time.

Darryl Fisher:                Nothing. No.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah. You're just doing it.

Darryl Fisher:                I don't even know how I'm going to get a 90-year-old person in a biplane.

Chad Jordan:                [crosstalk 00:04:21]. Right. Yeah. You got to have a crane that's going to just lift them up and drop them in? How are they going to hoist themselves in there?

Darryl Fisher:                I figured when I told him what I was going to do he'd think I was crazy, but he actually loved the idea. Again, I had no idea what to expect. We show up. Our first flight's in Oxford, Mississippi.

Chad Jordan:                Oh, wow. What part? What time of the year is this?

Darryl Fisher:                This was in March 29, 2011.

Chad Jordan:                Okay. Okay.

Darryl Fisher:                We show up. I was a little bit late. I fly over the runway and I look down. I see the facility bus parked out on the tarmac. There's about 30 people milling around.

Chad Jordan:                Oh my.

Darryl Fisher:                I come in, I turn the airplane off, and I get out. They start clapping. It's like, hey, man. I'm just glad to be here. It's like, this is nothing special.

Chad Jordan:                It's an air show.

Darryl Fisher:                Right, and I'm scared to death about getting my World War II veteran in the airplane.

Chad Jordan:                Right, right.

Darryl Fisher:                They introduced me to [Hugh Newton 00:05:17], who was in World War II.

Chad Jordan:                Okay. Okay.

Darryl Fisher:                Hugh was a just as excited as could be.

Chad Jordan:                Oh, I bet.

Darryl Fisher:                His wife was there. We give him a flight. He comes back. The newspaper's there. He's just all smiles.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah.

Darryl Fisher:                His wife kind of pulled me aside afterwards and said, "Darryl, you just don't really know what you've just done for my husband." It sent chills up my back.

Chad Jordan:                Right.

Darryl Fisher:                Dad and I go to the hotel that night. We look at each other and we say, "That was magic."

Chad Jordan:                Yeah.

Darryl Fisher:                Get up the next morning and they ... You know how they deliver newspapers sometimes to your ...

Chad Jordan:                Oh, yeah, hotel room. Yeah.

Darryl Fisher:                Yeah, right. We walk out, we're on the front page of the newspaper.

Chad Jordan:                The Oxford Times.

Darryl Fisher:                [Hugh 00:06:02]. Right, Hugh, there he is. Right there with us.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah.

Darryl Fisher:                It was such a profound experience, so we thought, "Well, that was nice. I wonder what ... It was probably just unusual, right? We just got lucky."

Chad Jordan:                Yeah.

Darryl Fisher:                We go to Jasper, Alabama and I gave [Lloyd Laytham 00:06:23] ... He lived at a facility in Jasper. Another World War II veteran. Lloyd's entire living family came out to witness his flight.

Chad Jordan:                Oh my gosh. Yeah.

Darryl Fisher:                Again, the newspaper was there.

Chad Jordan:                Right. This was a spur of the moment kind of thing that ...

Darryl Fisher:                [crosstalk 00:06:42].

Chad Jordan:                Yeah.

Darryl Fisher:                This is in the moment. I didn't have any plans for any of this other than just that trip. We took Lloyd, his flight. We wound up giving 25 dream flights on the way back to Oregon in over about a two week period of time. I would send pictures to my wife at night. I'd email them to her. She'd Google and get the newspaper and television articles.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah.

Darryl Fisher:                We got home and she said, "You know." She goes, "You got to keep doing this."

Chad Jordan:                Yeah.

Darryl Fisher:                It's too special. She agreed to form the nonprofit foundation, and I agreed to do the flying and organizing it.

Chad Jordan:                You're the wings behind it, she's the brains behind it.

Darryl Fisher:                Exactly.

Chad Jordan:                [crosstalk 00:07:29].

Darryl Fisher:                She writes the checks and she keeps track of the paperwork.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah.

Darryl Fisher:                And makes sure where I'm going. Now we have 30 volunteers, so it's gotten a lot bigger, but ... We have 50 flights the first year. A year afterwards the administrator from Jasper called me, Chad. [Anita White 00:07:50] is her name. She said, "Darryl," she goes, "I wanted you to know that Lloyd passed away." I said, "Man," I said, "That makes me really sad, Anita."

                                    She goes, "No." She goes, "It's okay. Here's what I really wanted you to know." We send photos to each veteran that we fly."

Chad Jordan:                Okay.

Darryl Fisher:                A flight certificate. It's a photo of their flight and whoever the pilot is.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah.

Darryl Fisher:                She said, "There was one photo on his casket, and it was the flight."

Chad Jordan:                Oh, how awesome. Wow.

Darryl Fisher:                That's when it started to sink in how meaningful.

Chad Jordan:                [crosstalk 00:08:26].

Darryl Fisher:                Yeah, how rich of an experience it is for somebody in their 90s who think their flying days are over. They come out to the airport, the camera's in their face.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah.

Darryl Fisher:                They're going flying.

Chad Jordan:                They're 20 again.

Darryl Fisher:                Exactly. One of my crew chief said, "It's a time machine."

Chad Jordan:                Yeah. Yeah.

Darryl Fisher:                He said, "They go in at 80 or 90 and they come out a teenager." It really lifts veterans' and seniors' spirits frankly at a time when they need it most.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah.

Darryl Fisher:                Because they're ... Yesterday we flew in [Sumpter 00:09:00]. An 86-year-old gentleman, his wife passed away a month ago. His daughter and son-in-law came out. They said, "He's just been down in the dumps. This got him excited again."

Chad Jordan:                Wow. Yeah.

Darryl Fisher:                He got off the airplane and he was giddy.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah.

Darryl Fisher:                It gave him a lift, and here's a guy that's fought in Korea, defended our country.

Chad Jordan:                Right.

Darryl Fisher:                Been an amazing citizen, and now we get to give him a gift that honestly will change his attitude and his life experience for the rest of his life.

Chad Jordan:                So cool. Well, he's got some more stories to tell now. Everyone that got tired of him, all the stories that he would tell in his whole life, now he's got a couple more to add to it.

Darryl Fisher:                Yeah. Well, even more than that, I was talking to some of the staff members from that community. They said, "Now instead of," because we flew them last year, "instead of everybody talking about their aches and pains and everything else, they're talking about flying and what they felt and how cool it was."

Chad Jordan:                Yeah. Right. Right.

Darryl Fisher:                We'd go in their apartments and their certificates are on the wall and pictures are there.

Chad Jordan:                You see the calendar with the x marking down the days till the next dream flight.

Darryl Fisher:                Exactly. Exactly.

Chad Jordan:                How many total flights to date are ... This started in 2011. You had 50 that first year.

Darryl Fisher:                Right.

Chad Jordan:                Where are you at count-wise now do you think?

Darryl Fisher:                Well, we're ... No, we're over ... We passed ... We must be around 3,450.

Chad Jordan:                Okay.

Darryl Fisher:                Keep in mind, this kind of grew very slowly. The first year we gave 50, the second year 102, the third year, like, it was 275. Last year we gave 736 in 31 states.

Chad Jordan:                Wow.

Darryl Fisher:                Next year we'll pass 4,000 flights.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah. Did it ramp up? When did Sport Clips ... When did we get involved? [crosstalk 00:10:58].

Darryl Fisher:                Well, we were at about 600 flights.

Chad Jordan:                Okay.

Darryl Fisher:                When Sport Clips got involved, so literally you've helped us give 2,800 more flights.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah.

Darryl Fisher:                We've gone from one airplane to three airplanes. Next year we'll have four airplanes. The following year we'll have six airplanes.

Chad Jordan:                Well, it doesn't hurt that [Gordon Logan 00:11:17], who actually was here this morning mocking me while I was trembling getting off the plane ...

Darryl Fisher:                I would say he appropriately was [crosstalk 00:11:26] making fun of you.

Chad Jordan:                Reacting. It doesn't hurt that, A, he's a veteran himself, and B, he was a pilot. He gets the thrill, he gets the energy this provides, that this rich experience ...

Darryl Fisher:                Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                How did that come about? Did you guys approach Gordon? Did he see it? What exactly? Do you remember?

Darryl Fisher:                It's a ... Yes, I absolutely remember. In fact, I'll never forget that day. It was the day after Memorial Day.

Chad Jordan:                Okay.

Darryl Fisher:                I had flown in Rantoul, Illinois. I'm in the Chicago airport. I'd left the airplane, I'd gone to Chicago. I was waiting to go home. I was tired, been on tour. I get an email from Matt [Deputy 00:12:15] at Sport Clips. Matt was the veteran's affairs person at that point in time.

Chad Jordan:                The liaison, yeah.

Darryl Fisher:                Essentially here's what the email said is "We've become aware of what you're doing. We love it. How can we help?"

Chad Jordan:                Oh, wow.

Darryl Fisher:                I've been doing this a long time. Here you have an organization that reached out to us.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah. Yeah. You didn't have to go knocking on doors. Right.

Darryl Fisher:                That's unheard of. No.

Chad Jordan:                Right, right.

Darryl Fisher:                No, now, as it turns out, how they found out about it, they had a franchise, franchisee, in California that had become exposed to the flights.

Chad Jordan:                Okay.

Darryl Fisher:                He had let Gordon know about it.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah.

Darryl Fisher:                Okay?

Chad Jordan:                Yeah.

Darryl Fisher:                Somebody else had made Sport Clips aware of it, but they took it and they researched it and saw it, and took the effort and time to contact me.

Chad Jordan:                [crosstalk 00:13:10]. Yeah.

Darryl Fisher:                I tell that story. I've told that story 500 times.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah.

Darryl Fisher:                Because it's so unique.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah. Yeah. For you not to have to chase somebody down to tell your story to.

Darryl Fisher:                Right, and try to talk them into it.

Chad Jordan:                [crosstalk 00:13:25] with a handout kind of thing, but for ...

Darryl Fisher:                Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                You can imagine how many times Gordon's probably approached with opportunities, and accepting a good number of them. In fact, we'll cover a lot of them in future podcasts, but this one he probably didn't even have to think very hard. It was right up his alley.

Darryl Fisher:                Well, it certainly obviously makes sense to me, but it speaks incredibly-highly of the culture, the leadership, and what Sport Clips' sort of DNA is all about.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah. I help run a lot of our social media activities, especially at the store level. I love it when managers, stylists when they get involved at some of these events and come out they hit a high.

Darryl Fisher:                Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                They are so excited. They share it on their Facebook and Instagram.

Darryl Fisher:                Well, let me just tell you a story.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah, please.

Darryl Fisher:                This just happened up in Minneapolis.

Chad Jordan:                Okay.

Darryl Fisher:                I was flying in Minneapolis out of Saint ... Or out of Flying Cloud Airport. Sport Clips came out, two stylists, folks. They were helping. By the way, that's amazing to have them out there.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah.

Darryl Fisher:                It helps us so much, and the guys love them.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah. Oh, yeah.

Darryl Fisher:                It's just a rich experience. She worked all day. It was hot and it was humid. At the end of the day if I have time I always try to give a thank you flight to Sport Clips.

Chad Jordan:                Okay.

Darryl Fisher:                There was two of them. I only had time-

Chad Jordan:                Oh, is that what you called that flight this morning?

Darryl Fisher:                Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                That was a thank you flight.

Darryl Fisher:                That was a thank you flight.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah. I'll be thanking you later. Okay.

Darryl Fisher:                [crosstalk 00:15:01].

Chad Jordan:                Okay.

Darryl Fisher:                I doctored yours up a little bit. It was amazing because I said, "I only got time for one flight," and there was two of them. I said, "So, you guys ... I'll do the flight, you guys decide who's going."

Chad Jordan:                Right. [crosstalk 00:15:15].

Darryl Fisher:                Almost instantaneously ... I wish I could remember the lady's name. They both said, "She's the one that's got to go."

Chad Jordan:                Okay.

Darryl Fisher:                [inaudible 00:15:25] let's go. We went on a flight, had a really good flight. We get out and she's in tears. She says, "I didn't tell you this before we flew." I'm going, "Oh, great."

Chad Jordan:                I'm scared to fly, I'm scared of heights.

Darryl Fisher:                No. She goes, "This flight was incredibly profound for me." She says, "I've waited almost 40 years for this flight."

Chad Jordan:                Whoa.

Darryl Fisher:                She said, "My father in 1979 was killed in an airplane accident."

Chad Jordan:                Oh my gosh.

Darryl Fisher:                She says, "I've been deathly afraid to fly ever since."

Chad Jordan:                Oh, wow.

Darryl Fisher:                She said, "You got me over it."

Chad Jordan:                Wow.

Darryl Fisher:                Then she turned to ... This was very interesting to me.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah.

Darryl Fisher:                She said, "Sport Clips has done for me in the two years that I've been involved with Sport Clips than you can imagine."

Chad Jordan:                Wow. I love that.

Darryl Fisher:                Yeah. It sends chills up my back right now. Now, that's not our primary mission.

Chad Jordan:                Right. Yeah.

Darryl Fisher:                When we're out doing good, when we're saying thank you, when we're connecting with people it allows those kind of things to happen. It was just beautiful.

Chad Jordan:                We have three core values that we live by at Sport Clips, do what's right, do your best, and treat others the way they want to be treated.

Darryl Fisher:                Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                To hear that kind of come full circle, even with one of our charitable partners.

Darryl Fisher:                Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                That's amazing.

Darryl Fisher:                Well, certainly when we developed and we started out partnership five years ago I wasn't even thinking about that.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah.

Darryl Fisher:                It's just one of those unintended things that ...

Chad Jordan:                Right.

Darryl Fisher:                I just tell people, "Look, everything we do with our foundation, every person we touch, we're changing lives."

Chad Jordan:                This is a perfect segue. I know we want to wrap this up soon. I have two questions. The first is kind of along those lines. How can volunteers get involved? How can people sign up to help?

Darryl Fisher:                The best way, the best way they can help us, is by watching our calendar, responding to [Amanda Palm 00:17:45] when she sends out requests for people to come out to the airport.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah.

Darryl Fisher:                Because we ... Sending two people out to volunteer helps us immensely.

Chad Jordan:                Okay, so for Sport Clips' side of things, if we could get you at each venue a couple volunteers.

Darryl Fisher:                Yes. It's huge.

Chad Jordan:                Maybe some stylists or something. If they're young ladies that can kind of give a pep in the step to the guys as they're about to fly, okay.

Darryl Fisher:                We have had some almost proposals made.

Chad Jordan:                Yes. Anybody except. That's the question [crosstalk 00:18:16].

Darryl Fisher:                [crosstalk 00:18:16]. There's been lots of laughs and lots of good times, but that's ... People don't realize how important that is to us because we're traveling all over the country, we have lots of people there. It's busy. When Sport Clips volunteers come out and help us it's huge, so that's the first [crosstalk 00:18:36].

Chad Jordan:                [crosstalk 00:18:36]. Okay. That's my challenge then to anybody listening to the podcast that's affiliated with Sport Clips, pay ... How do they find the calendar?

Darryl Fisher:                Amanda [Palm 00:18:45] has a calendar.

Chad Jordan:                Okay.

Darryl Fisher:                They can go on our website. We post our days.

Chad Jordan:                Okay. I will link that with this podcast on our company website.

Darryl Fisher:                Great.

Chad Jordan:                So that the calendar is ... We try to, yeah, make every market aware when the dream flights are coming in.

Darryl Fisher:                Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                If we could get ... Is two the minimum or the maximum that you're looking for? Could you handle more if more wanted to come out or ...

Darryl Fisher:                Two is perfect.

Chad Jordan:                Okay. All right, so two, so ...

Darryl Fisher:                If we get more we don't have a lot more for people to do, and resources are scarce.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah.

Darryl Fisher:                It's hard for franchisees.

Chad Jordan:                What's the time commitment? How many hours are they usually out there?

Darryl Fisher:                We generally fly between 9:00 in the morning and 2:00 or 3:00 in the afternoon.

Chad Jordan:                Okay. If they wanted-

Darryl Fisher:                Even a half a day.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah.

Darryl Fisher:                Even a half a day.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah, that's what I'm saying. If they wanted they could come out for a couple hours and then go into work [crosstalk 00:19:34] and still be fine.

Darryl Fisher:                Absolutely.

Chad Jordan:                Okay. Then, my last question and then I'll let you go so we can ... We do have a NASCAR race that we need to get over to. How can people get signed up or have loved ones get signed up? Is there a process that they need to go through? Is it through a facility?

Darryl Fisher:                Our website.

Chad Jordan:                Okay, through your website.

Darryl Fisher:                Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                Which is ... Give me that address.

Darryl Fisher:                It's AgelessAviationDreams.org.

Chad Jordan:                Okay.

Darryl Fisher:                There's really two ways, two things we do. We primarily focus on retirement center residents, assisted living and nursing homes. If people are living in their own home and they're World War II veterans they can sign up as well. We try to fit them in on our stops.

Chad Jordan:                Okay.

Darryl Fisher:                When we're coming through the country, so that's the best way to contact us.

Chad Jordan:                Okay. I will also link to that.

Darryl Fisher:                Great.

Chad Jordan:                What a wonderful organization. I've had a blast myself. I'm a 40-some-year-old Air Force brat. I did not serve, but I did have to move around for 20-some years while my dad got deployed all over the place. I can only imagine what this does for veterans.

Darryl Fisher:                Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                And how it lifts their spirits, both physically and spiritually.

Darryl Fisher:                Well, we're honored to be able to fulfill our mission. It's just we're very grateful to the entire Sport clips family and team for the help that you guys provide us.

Chad Jordan:                Darryl, I want to thank you I think again for the flight this morning, for the time today, and for everything you're doing. I love the story and we are committed. We're going to continue to support you guys. Thanks so much.

Darryl Fisher:                Awesome. Thanks, Chad.

Chad Jordan:                All right. Thanks, everybody, for tuning in. I'm going got try to also have some interviews with some people as they get finished with their dream flights, so stay tuned for that. That'll be coming up.

                                    Hey, everybody. This is Chad. I'm continuing our podcast on Ageless Aviation. Just had an interview with Darryl, who did the flights and runs the organization. I am pleased to be joined today. I have one of the veterans who just went up for his dream flight. I'll have him introduce himself, and your name, sir?

James Stone:                My name is Jim Stone.

Chad Jordan:                Jim Stone. Where are you from, Jim?

James Stone:                I was born and raised right there in Darlington.

Chad Jordan:                Right in Darlington, South Carolina.

James Stone:                [crosstalk 00:22:02].

Chad Jordan:                I can tell by the way you talk that you were born and raised here.

James Stone:                Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                Yes, sir. Okay. Quickly, where ... What branch of service [crosstalk 00:22:11]?

James Stone:                I was in the Air Force, and I joined the Air National Guard when I was in college.

Chad Jordan:                Okay.

James Stone:                First thing they did was [inaudible 00:22:18] Berlin Wall [crosstalk 00:22:20].

Chad Jordan:                They were waiting for you. They were looking [crosstalk 00:22:22].

James Stone:                Waiting for me.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah, that's what it was all hanging on, whether this guy, Jim, going to ... Okay, he signed up. Now we can go.

James Stone:                Yep. We shipped out. Some went to France, some went to Spain.

Chad Jordan:                Wow.

James Stone:                [inaudible 00:22:35], but they got us back in about nine months [inaudible 00:22:38]. I finished out the year [inaudible 00:22:42].

Chad Jordan:                You literally hit the ground running right away.

James Stone:                Yep.

Chad Jordan:                Air National Guard.

James Stone:                Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                That's what it was?

James Stone:                Yep.

Chad Jordan:                Then, did you ... When you finished your ... That tour, that term, did you end up doing re-upping or doing anything with the Air Force?

James Stone:                No. No, once I did my time I done ... I transferred in Air Reserve to [inaudible 00:23:03].

Chad Jordan:                Okay. Okay.

James Stone:                [inaudible 00:23:05] was just moved over there and finished up over there, and went to work at Darlington.

Chad Jordan:                Oh, that's what I was going to say. What did you do once you were out? What did you do for a living?

James Stone:                I was a fireman.

Chad Jordan:                Fireman? All right.

James Stone:                Yeah. Started at the very bottom, went to the very top.

Chad Jordan:                Right on.

James Stone:                Yep.

Chad Jordan:                You retired about a couple weeks ago?

James Stone:                No. No. I started in '62 and I retired in '12.

Chad Jordan:                Wow.

James Stone:                50 years, four months, 29 days.

Chad Jordan:                Wow. No kidding. Oh my gosh. Oh, the stories you could tell. Good thing this is a timed podcast.

James Stone:                Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                Or we might be here all day. What I really want to ask you is about ... So, you went on this dream flight in this biplane. I don't know about you. I screamed like a little girl when I went up there. I'm sure you were more manly being a firefighter [crosstalk 00:23:48].

James Stone:                No, I loved it. I loved it. I loved it.

Chad Jordan:                Tell me about it.

James Stone:                Yeah. Wonderful. I know Darlington like the back of my hand, yeah.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah. Oh, yeah. I guess so. [crosstalk 00:23:59].

James Stone:                I didn't know it from the air. I had to figure out where I was, what that is. I said, "Ah, I know what that is." It was great.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah. Did they take you over the track, too?

James Stone:                Oh, yeah. [inaudible 00:24:08]. Yeah. Got a daughter that's over [inaudible 00:24:13].

Chad Jordan:                Okay.

James Stone:                [inaudible 00:24:16]. He's a fire chief out there. My son-in-law that's helping me in here, he's fire chief [crosstalk 00:24:22].

Chad Jordan:                Okay.

James Stone:                We're keeping it in family.

Chad Jordan:                Did they let you ... Did the pilot let you buzz anybody, go low, or [crosstalk 00:24:28]?

James Stone:                [crosstalk 00:24:29]. You better not buzz that racetrack. That's all I can tell you.

Chad Jordan:                Oh, no kidding. No kidding on that. Well, hey. I just wanted to have you in here real quick to thank you for your service.

James Stone:                Yeah. Yeah. You had to have homeland security if you wanted ... If you did that.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah. No. We're not going to ... Yeah. Public service announcement, if you're in one of these Ageless Aviation flights don't buzz any public place.

James Stone:                Yeah. Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                No, thank you so much for your service, for being here.

James Stone:                My daughter works [crosstalk 00:24:57]. She's a paramedic on the helicopter [inaudible 00:25:00].

Chad Jordan:                Okay.

James Stone:                She flies all the time. Yeah, so ...

Chad Jordan:                You actually got to see your hometown in a way you never saw it before.

James Stone:                Oh, yeah, from the air. Yeah, yeah.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah.

James Stone:                Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                I did it. I didn't recognize of course. This was my first time to Darlington, so it was all ...

James Stone:                Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                I was just taking it all in.

James Stone:                You didn't know what you were looking at.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah, I didn't know what I was missing or seeing.

James Stone:                You said, "Oh." I said, "Oh, that's [inaudible 00:25:22]."

Chad Jordan:                Yeah.

James Stone:                There's the steel ... The lumber yards. Yeah, I recognized it.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah. Now, are you hanging out here all day?

James Stone:                No, man.

Chad Jordan:                [crosstalk 00:25:33]. Yeah, it's too hot.

James Stone:                [crosstalk 00:25:34] too hot for me. I'm going home and chill out and rest up and get ready to go to the race.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah. No, we're looking forward to that.

James Stone:                Yeah. Yeah, got driver introduction at 3:00, race at 3:30

Chad Jordan:                Yes, sir. We'll be there. Well, hey, thank you for your service. I appreciate it.

James Stone:                I'll be moving out from the house about ten minutes to three.

Chad Jordan:                Okay. Sounds good.

James Stone:                Take me about ten minutes to get into track.

Chad Jordan:                Oh, that's it?

James Stone:                That's it.

Chad Jordan:                No, you're good.

James Stone:                I live about a mile and a half.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah. That's really good. All right, man.

James Stone:                All right. Where are you from?

Chad Jordan:                That's all ... I'm from California.

James Stone:                Oh, yeah.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah.

James Stone:                How'd you get way over here? Circus come to town and leave you or something?

Chad Jordan:                This is all [crosstalk 00:26:07]. No, well, first of all, I was born ... My family's all from North Carolina.

James Stone:                Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                My dad was in the Air Force, so ended up in California because that's where he got stationed.

James Stone:                Yeah. Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                I work for Sport Clips, so I came out for all the [crosstalk 00:26:22] and Ageless Aviation and all [crosstalk 00:26:26].

James Stone:                [crosstalk 00:26:22]. They're doing a good job. They lined up to get it done.

Chad Jordan:                Yeah. No, they're doing ... This great organization and the volunteers that are helping.

James Stone:                Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                It's amazing to see them and it's [crosstalk 00:26:37].

James Stone:                All these people [crosstalk 00:26:38] they work for them or they the volunteers?

Chad Jordan:                They're the volunteers. They work for the organization, Ageless Aviation.

James Stone:                Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                The ones in the real long-sleeved hot shirts.

James Stone:                Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                They're out here doing great work.

James Stone:                Yeah.

Chad Jordan:                All right. Well, thanks for joining us today.

James Stone:                Okay, bud.

Chad Jordan:                All right, man. Thanks, everybody.

James Stone:                All right.