Stereoscope-for someone special

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Project by JonJ posted 03-14-2011 07:56 PM 2430 views 6 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I know there are several stereoscopes on LJ’s that are far nicer than this, but what makes this one special is who it was made for…Mr. Paul Vance.
Last winter I found out about a gentleman who lives in a nearby town and has a collection of aviation memorbelia that he has collected in his probably 70+ years of flying. I called him to arrange a tour of his museum which is by appointment only, for of all reasons, because not enough people visit to keep it open all the time. I found that hard to believe when I found saw all the things on display. This man did not just meet, but was friends with people like Eddie Rickenbacker, Charles Lindbergh, Jimmy Doolittle, and many of the Appollo astronauts. I cannot even begin to sum up all the achievments in his lifetime and do him justice, but I guess one of the things that stood out the most to me, was his work with the Appollo program after the fire on Appollo 1, on flame retardant materials for the space program as well as general aviation. He was also a flight instructor during WWII, and several of his pilots became aces. Mr. Vance continued to fly until just a few years ago, and only stopped because an inland hurricane destroyed his plane. He is well in his 90’s now, but I seriously would have thought he was only in his 60’s, as for several hours he enthusiastcally showed off his collection. He is still very active in the community, and owns a factory that produces insulation and fire resistant material. I felt I should do Something for him to show my gratitude for taking time from his busy scedule , so I decided to make a stereoscope with some aerial 3d shots I took from my ultralight. I have never met anyone who had achieved so much, yet was so gracious…the perfect example of a gentleman and a hero from a bygone era. As we were leaving the museum, I was thanking him again for taking time to spend with me and my 3 young sons, as I knew he had some important real estate issues to work with. Without missing a beat, he gestured at my boys chasing each other on the sidewalk and said “This…this is what’s important.”

-- Jon

9 comments so far

View driftwoodhunter's profile


273 posts in 2681 days

#1 posted 03-14-2011 08:11 PM

That is a very cool story – what a joy, that you were able to meet such an interesting (and still active!) man…

View mafe's profile


11725 posts in 3084 days

#2 posted 03-14-2011 08:19 PM

What a story, what a man, what a wonderful gesture of you.
Send my love and gratitude.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3169 days

#3 posted 03-14-2011 08:21 PM

All I can do is say ”+1.”

Cindy and Mads said it all, as far as I’m concerned !

-- -- Neil

View Karson's profile


35120 posts in 4396 days

#4 posted 03-14-2011 09:56 PM

A great tribute to a great man. Someone who was active in the early airline industry and is still active today.

Glad you were able to make the tour.

Where is his museaum located? I get up to Missouri every couple of years or so.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View JonJ's profile


163 posts in 3835 days

#5 posted 03-14-2011 10:01 PM

The museum is located in Fredericktown, Mo in the old train depot.

-- Jon

View mcoyfrog's profile


4145 posts in 3589 days

#6 posted 03-14-2011 10:01 PM

WOW what a great tribute, and I love the stereo scopes, I’m a part time photogramitrist so these are special to me every time I see a pair…

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View cajunpen's profile


14575 posts in 4061 days

#7 posted 03-14-2011 10:57 PM

Thank you for sharing your interesting story. More people should search out our elders and learn about the past first hand. If we listen to them we will learn history the easy way.

My Dad was a New Orleans Policeman from 1921-1953. I can remember listening to him tell stories about the early days in New Orleans – in fact I actually heard every story at least 10 times :-)), What I wouldn’t give to have him here to tell me each and every one of them again. Cherish your elders.

Now I’m off the soap box and going back to the wood box.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 2883 days

#8 posted 03-15-2011 01:45 PM

Hi Jon.

Sounds like you met one of the “good ones” of early aviation. I’ve had the pleasure over my 50 years as a private pilot to meet several of the most famous aviators still living. Bob Hoover stands out in my memory as an extremely nice guy. Sadly, there are those who aren’t quite as nice in person. When I met Douglas Bader, the British legless ace from WW II, he turned out to be an alcoholic who had a serious chip on his shoulder and was still living in the 1940’s.

Folks like the gent you met are important to those of us who are flying now, and we can learn from them how we should act when we get to that stage of life and have opportunities to pass on our experiences. We owe it to him and those like him (and to those yet to come) to keep his stories alive and to add our own page to the book.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View Qjon's profile


6 posts in 2611 days

#9 posted 03-29-2011 04:59 PM

It is a good thing to preserve good things from the past, by using both the hands and the heart:)

Jon H.

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