Our Community Members on Cloud Nine
Seeing our community members thrive makes our hearts soar. So we thought it only fitting to return the favor. Rowntree Gardens is proud to partner with the Ageless Aviation Dream Foundation, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization that invites WWII and Korean War veterans, their spouses, as well as other seniors who had an aviation connection in their youth, to spread their wings flying in restored vintage airplanes. Through our partnership with Ageless Aviation, we’ve brought the first Dream Flights to Orange County.
To date, 34 of our community members — including several veterans — have flown out of Fullerton Airport in WWII-era biplanes. They’ve described the experience as unforgettable and exhilarating. Seeing the smiles on their faces and the sense of adventure in their eyes has been pretty unforgettable for us as well. Now we’d like to share their experience with you.
Here are videos of our community members soaring above the clouds and loving every minute of it!
Soula competed as a racewalker all over California, Europe, and Australia. In her 70s, she competed against 6,000 other racers at the World Championship and won Bronze. Always ready to challenge herself, she raced full speed ahead at the chance to defy gravity in a vintage biplane.
With only $675 in her budget, Shirley managed to fly to Mexico City, Cancun, New Orleans, New York, Boston, Iowa, and Niagara Falls. But this was her first excursion in a vintage biplane. She’s excited to share her Dream Flights adventure with her three adult children and five grandkids.
Lucy served as a PFC in the WACs during WWII. Serving on a base in Italy and sleeping in tents, Lucy got her exercise by swimming in the Mediterranean to avoid land mines. Her adventurous spirit leaped at the opportunity to fly over the Pacific in a vintage biplane.
While serving in the Navy during the Korean War, Joe was stationed off the coast of Korea in the General Quarters. During his service, he traveled across three-quarters of the planet with his shipmates and flew in helicopters. After exploring the globe by water, he was excited to explore the skies with Dream Flights.
A successful accountant who ran her own business, Fay married a pilot. Together, they flew their private plane, housed at the Torrance Airport, on local jaunts around the Southwest. Fay thought her flying days were behind her, so she was thrilled to get back into the cockpit and relive some of her favorite memories.
The wife of a Marine, Bonnie fondly remembers being surprised by her dad with a flight on a biplane when she was in third grade. When her mother found out her daughter had flown on the plane, she was furious. But Bonnie had the time of her life, and was excited to experience the joy of flying again.
Born in Germany, Eva learned English as a young student. Over the course of her adventurous life, she’s flown in many planes — big and small. But this was the first time she had climbed aboard a WWII vintage biplane. She found the experience thrilling, and hopes to be able to do it again.
The last time Diane flew in a biplane, she was just two years old. Still, she remembers that experience like it was yesterday. This time, Diane is a little bit older but was still filled with wonder at the sights of Newport Beach and the blue Pacific below her. She won’t forget this biplane adventure either.