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A look back at an early flight breakfast

July 5, 2018
David Swartz - Managing Editor ( , Estherville News

Editor's note: "246 Planes Land Here for Flight Breakfast" proclaimed the main headline of the Monday, Aug. 18, 1952 Estherville Daily News.

Yes, that's right, the Estherville Flight Breakfast was not always on the Fourth of July. Max Pelzer loaned us his copy of the paper from that date that shows what one of the early flight breakfasts looked like.

From Aug. 18, 1952

A record number of planes landed at the Estherville airport for yesterday's Flight breakfast. Leading the list of flying guest was Charles Backlund of Pipestone, Minn., who said he'd been "flying around since 4 a.m." His plane rolled across the field here about 5:15 a.m.

hroughout the morning 245 other planes landed and 563 pilots and passengers dined with 783 local persons on pancakes, bacon, eggs and coffee.

Together they ate four cases of eggs, 174 pounds of bacon, 30 pounds of butter, pancakes made from 130 pounds of pancake flour, 100 gallons of coffee, 84 24-ounce bottles of syrup, 520 half-pints of milk, 10 quarters of cream and 120 quarters of milk used with the pancake mix.

* * *

Thirty-six more plans landed this year than for last year's Flight Breakfast. However there wre 118 fewer passengers about 70 fewer local persons ont eh field.

The Estherville fire department was on hand in case of an accident, but the Flight Breakfast maintained its perfect no-accident record. The flying guests were guided by jeeps with "follow-me" signs ot the lineup of parked planes and the field and taken to the administration building in convertible cars furnished by local businessmen.

While guests in Estherville, they ate breakfast, were taken on tours of the city, and participated in a program emceed by M.S. (Niel) Nielsen.

First flyer on the field Backlund was given a jacket from Leuthold-Tibbetts. Two flying clubs received prizes. Willard Van Hoorn of the Rock Rapids Lazy-Eight club was given a lamp from Sanborn's furniture store and Leslie Maynard of the Mapletown Sky Hawks was given a hunting knife set by Woolworths, as presentatives of the flying clubs with the most planes attending the flight breakfast. Each club had seven planes on the field. Van Hoorn also received an ice bag from Sears and Roebuck.

* * *

Sports shirts from Bagan's were presented to George Johnson of Gilmore City for being the heaviest passenger and to Dr. Sterling Johnson of Worthington, Minn., for bringing in the most passengers, seven.

Charles Beasley of Reading, England, received a traveling bag from Ben Franklin store for being the passenger living the greatest distance from Estherville. Mrs. Maude Watson, 75, of Los Angeles, Calif., chose a towel set from Christensen department store as her prize for being the oldest passenger.

The six-month old twins of Mrs. Wayne Nyman of Bancroft were given a thermos jug from Western Auto for being the youngest twins and a blanket from Penney's went to Linda Sorensen of Worthington, for being the youngest passenger. Linda, age three, has taken this prize three years in a row at Estherville, the first time being the 1949 flight breakfast when she was but six months old.



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