Thursday, January 20, 2011

Stearnie's BushCaddy


From: idahoharry@gmail.com

Sternie is an active member of the JAC Hangar--The most active guy  I have ever known for his age--90+ and He is just as sharp upstairs now as He wwas when I first met him some 10-15 years ago.

For those of you who have visited us in Jackson/Wilson … Clarence Stearns is a local legend … He owned and ran the Wilson Store, or "Stearnie's" for longer than I can remember … and built a little log cabin next door for his pet project.  Stearnie was a B-17 pilot, who spent a good part of the war in a German concentration camp … and when he returned to Wilson he was determined he would fly again … so started building a homebuilt amphibian in the cabin next to his store … you'd see the light burning in the cabin every night, all winter, as he struggled to stay ahead of the homebuilt company's plan changes … and then he and his wife Dodie, would take off for their cabin in Saskatchewan … where'd they'd spend all summer on a a lake with only one other cabin … taking their canoes on two-week trips into the wilderness … just Stearnie and Dodie … in their 70's .. and then 80's … and then come home and try to catch up on building that little amphibian. 

Well, a few years ago Stearnie decided that if he was ever going to take flight again, he'd better look for a plane that was a little closer to flying … and the 'rest of the story' is well described on the website below …

Stearnie, now 90,  and Dodie will be taking the BushCaddy back to Canada to Lake Ithingo again this Summer … If you're flying something on floats south of Lake Athabaska, stop by 55-60N  107-33W and look for the little cabin in the crook of the lake …  If the Stearns are out canoeing, leave a note .. like we did a couple of summers ago (another story!) …

Be sure to click on the photos to get a good look at that great plane .. and Stearnie's broad smile!!


Rich

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