General Fall Happenings 2011

All three girls are playing soccer this fall, and Mom is coaching. They sometimes have weekend tournaments in Gulf Shores, so they are getting some traveling in as well. The picture was taken early September.

On Oct 7 Rod went down to Mark's shop to use his MIG welder to weld up a lumber rack for between the sheds in the back yard. Above are the vertical members with the lumber supports welded together out of 1" square tube steel. At right is Mark's steel table and on it we lay things out on a sheet of chipboard, holding the steel in place with small wooden blocks screwed to the wooden sheet. The assembly of one side of the shelf supports is shown on the table. Mark's steel stock rack is in background, and above it hangs the impressive-looking thick door he made for the Revenge of the Nerds III movie that got scratched in midstream. At right in that photo is Mark's lockup cage where he locks his major pieces of equipment.

Above is one side of the rack welded together using Mark's blocking technique on the table. Behind the rack is a set of steel frames for a shelving set that Mark was doing for shelves in a work trailer.

This is the finished lumber rack on the floor of the shop. It was pretty well a day's work for Rod while Mark was off on the movie set of "Flight", whereas Mark could probably have done it in a couple of hours.

Mark is on the construction crew for the movie "Flight". He sent this to us with the comment "I have to put this back together." Our understanding is that it and some other planes have been shipped from the great aircraft museum in the Arizona desert. So they are being shipped in pieces. October 11.

One of the tales that came out of this phase of the movie production was the sticking of a lowboy truck on a hump while bringing one of the airplane fuselages into Screen Gems studios. To hold the large segment of the plane, a lowboy truck with very little ground clearance was necessary. The road in to the location where it was to be used had a hump which would have been cleared by most vehicles, but not the long lowboy trailer. When Mark got wind of it he found a crowd of people gathered around the stuck trailer. He went and got one of the large lifts, maybe like that he used later at Charlie Brown below, and drove it out to the stuck trailer. He put the fork under the trailer and told the driver to release his brakes. Then he gently lifted the trailer and moved it off the hump and it was able to move on to its intended destination. Mark has had experience driving all kinds of lifts. The next stage involved putting the plane sections together.

Preparing for the steel rack involved pouring concrete footings and replacing the old fiberglass roof with a galvanized roof. I hope it lasts longer.

Mark is on site with "Flight" at Screen Gems Studio at Lakewood. They are going to set the plane up as if it had crashed there, and then move it to Social Circle for another shot. October 14.

Brenda recalls going to Lakewood Fairgrounds in the 50's when she was in high school, and we went in the 60's to the fair.

An end section of our gutter guard had blown up, much to the delight of the squirrels, who were ripping up and down the gutters like they were a racetrack, and probably storing nuts. Terry Robinson fixed it and several other roof spots, much to the dismay of this particular squirrel. October 18.

We had noticed the end of the gutter guards blown up and heard the racing of the squirrels up and down the gutters. More seriously, we had a couple of spots on the ceiling that alerted us to leaks above. We called Don Skinner and he sent out Terry Robinson who found about five spots with nails backed out as well as leaks around the big exhaust fan over the kitchen and raised shingles in the valley over the dining room. On Monday we had gone to Bent Tree to visit with Ron and Linda Jones and Dave and Joyce Farr, and found a phone message when we returned asking us to call to authorize the repair. When I got to Don, he said "Too late, we've already fixed it!" That was about the time the downpour hit. He was trying hard to get it fixed before the rain moved in. That's one of the advantages of doing business with a long-time friend and Christian brother. He could be trusted to act in my behalf, knowing me well enough to know I would approve.

Mark continues on the process of handling the aircraft for the movie set.

The plane crash that the movie is about. This location was described by someone as Social Circle, but the imdb site describing the shoot locations called it Hampton.

They used two planes which had been transported from Roswell, NM for the movie. They filmed part at Lakewood Studios, part in Social Circle and part in a hangar at Charlie Brown Airport.

Putting the tail on the plane was a tricky business. I believe Mark said it weighed about 6000 pounds and was so extended that you had a lot of torque to balance.

Putting the nose section into place at Charlie Brown Airport for the crash investigation part of the movie. This is part of what we saw on Nov 21.

The airplane movie process continued through Thanksgiving and Mark's project during that week was to produce a jetway using a truck trailer body to serve as the passenger walkway.

Mark and his crew had welded heavy steel legs attached to wheels to support the jetway, and this was the process of attaching those legs on about November 26. They were lifting up the container body with a mobile lift to allow them to attach the legs. Note that the back wheels of the lift are off the ground! It was right at the limit of what they could lift. Note also that they are torch-welding the legs to the body, which they had to do quickly because they were in an active flight zone where there was jet fuel. The pieces they were putting together were what we saw during Jeff and family's Thanksgiving visit when we went down to visit Mark.

This appears to be part of the steel support structure they had to build under the jetway.

They are getting close to the final setting for the shoot, which was scheduled to start on Wednesday, November 30.

Camera equipment being put in place, lots of painting and decorating to put the final touches on the jetway assembly. It was interesting to know part of the back story - the pressures of the technical difficulty of construction, the short timeline, and even challenges from the weather. But here it is, about ready to shoot. The section of the jetway closest to the plane is made out of the freight trailer, the steel legs Mark and his crew had constructed. I even found the ladders and structure made out of the white steel railings interesting, because we had been seeing all that stuff lying around the construction area when we had visited Mark, and it was neat to see how it had been used.

Visit with Farrs and Jones at Bent Tree

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