April 2011

Come join me in California for my

Final Flight

book tour.

Read more about FINAL FLIGHT here.

I am profiled HERE in the Spring, 2011 issue of UC Davis Magazine. I attended UCD from 1973-1975 where I got my BA in botany.

April 1, 2011 {Friday} - A-16 Outdoor and Travel Outfitters [retail store], 4620 Alvarado Canyon Rd. San Diego, CA 92120 [7 - 8:30 PM] (619) 283-2374. Get Directions and Get Directions

I'm standing beside Mark Pian at the A-16 store in San Diego where 24 people came to hear me speak and buy 10 books. Mark is an old friend of mine from my boy scout days when I belonged to Explorer Post 90 of Pacific Palisades. Post 90 specialized in hiking, backpacking, climbing, and mountaineering. We had a lot of fun together in those days and it was a real treat to see Mark again after 30+ years. And, like I've discovered when renewing old friendships, it didn't feel like it had been more than a month of so since we'd seen each other - there was an instant connection.

April 2, 2011 {Saturday} - Planes of Fame Air Museum, 7000 Merrill Ave., #17, Chino, CA 91710. [10 AM - Noon] (909) 597-3722. Get Directions

Over 300 people attended and bought over 20 books!

Here I am with Fred Hagen, my co-presenter at Planes of Fame. Fred was instrumental in salvaging the B-17 41-2446 known as the Swamp Ghost. Photo by Steve Wallace at Planes of Fame Museum.

April 6, 2011 {Wednesday} - Sun City Roseville Veteran's Club. 7050 Del Webb Blvd. Roseville, CA 95747. [10:30 - noon]. 916.774.3880. Get Directions.


There were 150 people here today with 11 books sold.


There were about 150 people attending my presentation at the Roseville-Sun City Veteran's Club. My friend, Leonard Spivey, provided an introduction. Afterwards, Mel Nosal, from the Club, presented me with a plaque to show their appreciation. Photos by Mel Nosal.

April 7, 2011 {Thursday} - Newport Beach Public Library, sponsored by the Newport Beach Public Library Foundation, 1000 Avocado Avenue, Newport Beach, CA 92660 [7 - 8:30 PM] (949) 717-3890. Get Directions or Get Directions. Event featured in the Newport Beach Pilot HERE.

This was an excellent venue and the library staff were very nice people to work with. Margie Buckingham, board member of the Library Foundation did my introduction and there were 75 people in attendance with 24 books sold. The Q&A session went on for over 20 minutes and the questions were deep and insightful.

April 9, 2011 {Saturday} - Society for Aviation History. Presentation will occur at Moffett Field Museum, located on the former NAS Moffett Field in Mountain View, CA. P.O. Box 16, Moffett Field, CA 94035-0016 650/964-4024.  [11:30-4PM]. Get Directions. An excellent crowd of 71 who asked loads of thoughtful questions. I'm still getting some great comments and contributions from several SAH members via email..

I'm sitting here with Perry Adams. His wife, Barbara Adams, was the cousin of Lt. William Gamber, pilot of the AT-7 Navigator I write about in Final Flight. Barbara was a very important contributor to Final Flight, not only in sharing her memories of Bill Gamber but in helping to provide me with a context for what it was like for kids growing up in small town America during the 1930s.

April 10, 2011 {Sunday} - California State Military Museum. 1119 Second Street, Sacramento, CA 95814 [noon - 2PM]. (916) 854-1900. Get Directions or Get Directions

A small and enthusiastic turn-out on the first sunny day Sacramento has seen in weeks! Martha Gilmore, another old friend of mine from my days of hiking with Post 90 [see entry above for April 1] was there as well. It was great spending time with her discussing this and that and remembering old friends and good times from a long time ago. I've mentioned this before but want to say again how much old friends mean to me and being able to see them after so long a time. It's as if we just seen each other a week ago!

April 12, 2011 {Tuesday} - Crescenta Chapter, Sierra Club. County of Los Angeles Public Library, 2809 Foothill Blvd., La Crescenta, CA 91214. [7:30 - 9:00 PM] Located at the corner of Foothill and La Crescenta Ave. 818-248-5313. Get Directions

A nice turnout with 23 Sierra Clubbers and these two old friends of mine from 1983 when I worked at the Clear Creek Environmental Education program in the San Gabriel Mountains [Angeles National Forest], operated by Los Angeles Unified School District.


L-R: Kevin Wilby, Peter Stekel, Hill Penfold

Photos by Steven Kutcher

April 13, 2011 {Wednesday} - Historical Society of the Upper Mojave Desert, 230 Ridgecrest Boulevard, Ridgecrest, CA [7-8:30 PM]. 760.375.8456. Get Directions.

A very interesting an exciting group of 56 showed up this evening and bought 28 books. In the crowd was a fellow named Lance who is acquainted with the pilot of the OV-10 Bronco that crashed in Darwin Canyon in what may have been similar circumstances experienced by Lt. Gamber in 1942. I'm hoping the pilot will now hear about Final Flight and will be interested in contacting me so I can hear his story.

April 16, 2011  {Saturday} Western Museum of Flight, Torrance Airport, 3315 Airport Drive, Red Baron #3, Torrance, CA  90505  [10-11:30 AM]. 310-326-9544 Get Directions.

An excellent showing with about 60 people and 16 books sold. Also met up with some more old friends: Doug Drenkow and his lovely wife, Frances; Tom and Penny James, photographer Paul Sumi, David Meadows, and Erin Stern Komisky and her son Maxx.

Here I am beside a Beech 18 C-45.


Photos by Paul Sumi

April 18, 2011 {Monday} - Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, Three Rivers, CA 93271. [12-1 PM]. A special presentation to the rangers and staff at the Ash Mountain Park Headquarters in Three Rivers.

About 40 people showed up for my presentation which began with an introduction by plant ecologist and Humboldt State University and UC Davis alum, Sylvia Haultain. It was an honor to speak for the rangers of Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park and recognize them for the great work they do with "America's Best Idea."

April 20, 2011 {Wednesday} - Pacific Coast Air Museum, Mesa Beverage Company, Inc. 3200 N. Laughlin Road. Santa Rosa, CA 95403 [7-9 PM]. 707-575-7900.

A delightfully drizzly day in Santa Rosa. After so much sun and heat the past few weeks the cooler and moister weather was a nice break. I counted 50 people in the audience and 11 books were sold. This small museum in run by a dedicated cadre of airplane enthusiasts and it was a pleasure to meet with them.

April 21, 2011 {Thursday} - Trilogy Retirement Community, Rio Vista. 1201 Clubhouse Dr. Rio Vista CA 94571 [6:00 - 8:30 PM]. 707.374.1055 Get Directions

Not only did I have the opportunity to speak before members of this retirement community, I was also able to spend most of the day with my friend, Leonard Spivey. We met during my research for Final Flight. He had a copy of a journal kept by William Bechter during 1943 where the missing plane is mentioned. Leonard and I have become good friends and I always enjoy spending time with him.

April 22, 2011 {Friday} - Books Inc. 1760 Fourth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710 [7:00 - 8:30 PM]. Event description HERE [TBA]. 510.525.7777 Get Directions.

A small group but everyone bought a book. Books Inc. is one of the best kinds of independent bookstores. It is located in a small business district in Berkeley, adjacent to a neighborhood of single family homes. This helps make it accessible to a wide variety of people. The staff there, including event's manager, Ben Gaunt, are a super group of folks.

Here I am with Marizta Acosta, one of the people attending my presentation.

April 23, 2011 {Saturday} - Oakland Aviation Museum, 8252 Earhart Rd. Oakland, CA  94621 [1:00 - 2:30 PM]. Event description HERE. 510.638.7100 Get Directions

A very pleasant group of 20 people. I think the total number of people I've spoken to this month is around 800+ - maybe even as high as 900.

This is my last presentation for this trip. After 3.5 weeks away from home, I'm ready to sleep in my own bed again and not have to do any driving - urban or otherwise. Since leaving home in late March I've put over 4500 miles on my car. Enough!



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copyright 2010 Peter Stekel all rights reserved



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