Wings & Wheels brings in a crowd

Despite the heat getting into the triple digits, it did not stop people from coming out to the Oregon Aviation History Center to see a wide variety of planes, cars and bikes for the 4th annual Wings & Wheels event put on by the Oregon Aviation Historic Center. This year nearly 400 people stopped by throughout the day which was up from 250 last year.

The stars of the show, as always, were the planes, cars and bikes. There were 20 different aircrafts, 30 vehicles, 10 motorcycles and a set of old-fashioned trail bikes. There was a vehicle for seemingly all preferences.

“They all have their own stories,” said James Beranek who owns six planes and was sitting beside a plane he owns from 1947. “They’re all a reflection of different owners and different tastes and different skill sets.”

Beranek, 66, flew the particular plane for the first time when he was 19 years old. He then sold the plane in 1983 but after missing both the plane and the youth that he associated with it, he reacquired the plane in 1983. For the next year and a half he worked on it about three times a week to get it in the pristine shape that it is in today. 

“I was mentored well and now a lot of my mentors are gone. This airplane pay homage to those before me that are not here with us anymore,” said Beranek. “And they taught me so much.” 

A few spaces down from Beranek sat Mary Corrington. As she rested in the shade of a tent, she was next to her 1949 Chevrolet Pickup Deluxe. This particular vehicle was a beat up farm truck until she restored it in 2009. Since then it has been featured in various publications and even made a trip down Route 66 to the Grand Canyon. 

“Like any of us older citizens, things wear out and you have to keep them up,” said Corrington about her seacrest green truck. “So there are little things you find out that you have to keep on top of. They didn’t built them the way they do now.”