She got caught trying to get things hauled off to the junk yard but instead managed to stir up a whole lot of people in her neighborhood. After all, she did what any normal person would do by placing her items out by the curb then promptly called the city to see if it could be taken away. Nothing unusual about that until Liz Garner placed three large, distinctive airplanes out by the curb with the other stuff.
All of a sudden pictures were taken, e-mails flew and history buffs were contacted while others tried to find a way to keep the planes intact and hauled to a safe place before they became part of the dump site.
Unique in size with total wing spans up to 8-feet-wide and a fuselage big enough for one or two kids to ride in, the planes were made to depict German, American and Japanese-style aircraft. The propeller turned with the use of a motor, and the landing gear was intact, but something was needed to pull each plane.
The German plan was quickly snatched up by an unknown person before it could be moved away from the curb and the other two planes were rescued by Jonny and Koleta Ferguson.
Now the proud owner of the other man’s treasures, Jonny said, “I really don’t know what I am going to do with them after the planes are refurbished. I didn’t want them to go to the dump. But, my neighbor Jimmy Kimberley teaches aviation at LeTourneau, and learning to fly a Stearman for the CAF, so maybe I can at least convince him to help restore this one,” he laughed.
William Lohr knows exactly who built the planes.
“I did. Jimmy Rogers of Jim’s Rental Service bought those three planes from me and he later gave them to Joe Garner. The planes were built in the early '80s,” he said. “Both Jimmy and Joe was my friends."
William’s father Hubert Lohr used to buy and sell airplanes which gave him the opportunity to get plenty of rides while growing up. He was always fascinated with the WWII-era aircraft and took that fascination a step beyond model airplanes to larger ones. His designs came from photos of the actual aircraft never using kits or plans.
“William made his first plane in 1975-76,” said his wife, Georgia. “Our son Scott rode 'Snoopy' in the Christmas parade and his photo was featured in the Kilgore paper. Every plane he built after that he said he was going to keep, but someone would always talk him into selling them. Mickey Smith’s brother was another that ended up with a plane he did not plan on selling.”
Grandkids also rode in the Lohr planes in other parades. The planes were pulled by four-wheelers and the hobby grew. At one point, he even sold a helicopter he had made.
“About that propeller motor,” laughed William. “They were made from ceiling fans. Only a Lohr would think of that.”
William, now 85 years-old, no longer builds the planes. He still has the crosscut saw he used in the designing of the aircraft along with photos hanging in his garage. When told the planes had been rescued from going to the dumpsite he was relieved to know it.
“Tell those guys if they need any pointers in restoring those planes, just give me a call."
BJ AND MARTHA CLARK have returned from a 10-day trip to the cool country in Colorado’s mountains. They were accompanied by relatives from Arkansas who have a time share condo in Avon, Colorado, and since they agreed to do the driving, it was not a trip to pass up, according to Martha.
“We saw some beautiful sights, but glad to get back to the humidity of East Texas,” she commented.
GRANPARENTS SPOT – During the summer the grandparents go to work. For instance, Larry Perkins is going to KC football camp this week with his grandson, 10-year-old Joshua Perkins.
“He called and asked me if he could come,” said Larry. “And I said, yes. The next day I got another call from him and he informed me he had invited his friend, Ethan. Now, I have two 10-year-old boys taking over the house. I raised girls, don’t know what to do with these nasty boys,” he laughed.
IF you will step into KILGORE PRINT CENTRE you will be met by a pretty young lady by the name of Lexie Hudson. Now, Lexie is a summer apprentice for the print shop. She is the granddaughter of Lorie Fertitta and lives in New Boston. She is also in town to attend Mr. D’s Driving School.
“We are hoping one day we will have a grandchild take over the shop completely so we can go play,” said Lorie.
NOT TO BE OUT DONE in the grandparent role is Sherron and Lloyd Hill.
Visiting with them recently was their 19-year-old granddaughter Lauren Goodroe from Bixby, Oklahoma and grandson Cash from Tyler, Texas.
“Oh, Cash was all about swimming and riding bikes when he visited,” said Sherron. “That made him the happiest and with Lauren it was shopping and lunch out. She had always wanted to go to an estate sale with me and the timing was never right. This time we managed to go to several in Tyler. Vickie Hampton went with us and we had such fun. We don’t nap in Texas, I have told my grandchildren. We stay busy; actually did too much playing to do any work,” she admitted. Lauren has gone back to Oklahoma to complete some summer college courses. She plans on coming back toward the end of July or the beginning of August.
GRINNING FROM EAR TO EAR are grandparents Dennis and Millie Jacobs who now have their arms full with newborn twins. They were caught leaving the post office by Sherron Hill, who was immediately shown pictures. “Talk about proud grandparents,” she laughed.
The proud parents, Cody and Hannah Miller, have named the girls Kinsley Ann and Mary Adaleigh Miller.
“They were born Saturday, June 2, at Christus Mother Francis in Tyler,” said Dennis.
IT IS BACK TO HOMETOWN for Caleb and Linda Pirtle as the couple will be at the Kilgore Bookstore autographing books until their pens run dry from noon to 4 p.m. today. The store is located at 1012 Houston Street in Kilgore.
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