The Wings and Wheels event, reminiscent of the WWII airshows, has been around for the last several years on the East Coast. To many locals, the event is a chance to witness planes and cars face-to-face and closer than ever. Free helicopter rides drew in the thrill seekers and the old Fords that shined swayed the hearts of all.
At the Salisbury Regional Airport, cars drove madly through the small gates. Ahead, a tantalizing display of military aircraft beckoned the family and I against the wind. We’d just missed the free pancake breakfast that the airport had hosted, but arrived in time to witness the oncoming state trooper helicopter take its landing.
Walking around the planes was, if nothing else, humbling. Many people (and especially in the small state of Delaware) do not have the chance to see such crafts and machinery in person. It was as though I had been living a childhood dream. The pilots and the attendants were also very sociable with the onlookers, ready to answer any question.
The air force pilots exchanged reminiscent conversations with veterans near a military-grade Skilorsky. Children pinched their eyes in the light of the sun with upright heads, attentive to the soldiers.
Only a brief walk ahead of the wings was a long line of cars and people.
People were very ready to present their car. Parked in a line, I strolled with the others as we tilted our heads at the whites and the blues, the reflections and the glares. Though not an exhausting line-up, there were enough vehicles to have made one point a finger or two. A swarm of people were obscuring the view of several old Fords.
Continuing my walk, I followed the straying people towards the center of the airport. Here, model planes, food trucks, and vendor booths were scattered on the runway. The Appalachian Band played the day away, carrying the music through the wind. A group of people sat down to enjoy the music.
Not a frown was seen nor a cry heard on this day, only the beating of the planes and the laughter of the crowds.