“Summer Camp” for Big Kids


Jake has been sending me pictures and video of his days at work and here I am {Hi everyone!} finally getting them together in one post.


This is Wolfe Field in Shipshewana, Indiana.  It will (probably) forever hold his fondest memories of the first summer away from home, the first summer at a “real job”, one that didn’t involve one or both of his parents in attendance.


The three crop dusters waiting on deck.  I’m of the opinion that this isn’t Wolfe Field but another location they fly out of that is closer to crops they are working on.  Why do I think that?  Because there’s too much tarmac in this shot…but I could be wrong.

Also, in this outfit, there are three pilots and four grounds crew, Jake (the youngest) being one of the grounds guys and also the one that does the mowing and weed whacking.

* Jake, help your mother out here if I’m incorrect on any of these descriptions.


I’m not sure what was going on here but one thing is certain, the plane was either going “in” the hanger or coming “out”.  Pretty smart aren’t I?  The tractor/mower combo pictured is one he uses to mow the airstrip there at the “home base” airfield, Wolfe Field and it could be too this is the unit he loads on a trailer, along with a weed-whacker, when he goes and does grounds maintenance at two other airfields.

*Side note:  the Shipshe airfield (Wolfe Field) is the only grass airstrip of the three they use, the other two are cement or maybe I should say “concrete”?  Whatever.  They’re a hard surface anyway.


Break time?  Not sure here.  I’m thinking the wind came up, they couldn’t spray anymore for a while, and this was the first plane back to base. Or, they’re sitting around, each taking a turn and saying what they like best about this particular plane.  Ha, ha…long time inside family joke.


This is the truck, full of the dry chemical, that fills the hopper of the plane so it can do it’s job on bug ridden fields.  Could be fertilizer too for all I know.

*You have to know I’m totally adlibbing and doing much guessing as I write… Jake didn’t send descriptions with these pictures and he isn’t exactly easy to get ahold of by phone or email these days…He put the “B” in busy.  The kid, on average lately, has been doing 70+ hour work weeks.  It’s good to be young.


Jake tells me that sometimes he runs the truck and the auger thing and sometimes he climbs up on the plane, as shown, and guides the auger into position so it can fill the hopper.  Someone must have been doing his job at this juncture because he took this and all the pictures in this post.


I think this is the “liquid” chemical, of which he is not old enough to “handle”, being pumped into the plane.  Sometimes, depending on the crop or pests, they spray dry and sometimes it’s in a liquid form.  Certain regulations prevent Jake from handling the liquid variety because he is under the age of 18.


One of the crop dusters landing at the home field in Shipshewana.


And that’s that…for now.  There’s a few more of when he and his employer took the six-seater to Beaver Island just outside Traverse City, Michigan plus he sent me a few more shots yesterday and a funny video of the resident shop cat, “AgCat”.  He’s pictured above.

Speaking of video here’s a couple short ones…The first one was taken while he was mowing the airstrip (or coming back from mowing) and the second when they were working at night.



14 thoughts on ““Summer Camp” for Big Kids

    1. I’ve never heard of it but every time I hear a small plane fly over it reminds me of living in Shipshe when one of Lutz’s crop dusting guys would fly over and “wave a wing” at us if we happened to be out in the horse pasture. Thanks for sharing your memory!


  1. Kayo, I, too remember Sky King!
    Dee, it’s so nice to see a post from you – I miss you, girlfriend! I hope you’re having a good summer. It sounds as though Jake is having a very BUSY one!


  2. Hi Dee! Great photos from your super busy guy…..I’m sure this is a summer he’ll always remember. My hubby loves the airfield shots (of course) – he occasionally sees crop dusters when he’s up in his own plane flying around the countryside – they are busy ALL THE TIME. I bet you’re anxious to have Jake back home again but it’s also OK to admit that a little alone time just might have been nice too! ;) Great to see the post…….have missed you.

    Hugs, Pam


    1. Thank you Pam. I thought of your husband and his occupation of being a pilot when I put this post together. Glad he enjoyed it.
      I’ve been busy myself and have missed all of you too, a bunch!
      Hugs Back,


    1. Looks a interesting job Jake. when are you going to be flying at night? I thought that was you trying to land in the dark. doesn’t Ralph also have some T6 planes? keep those wings flapping. glad you’re having a good time Jake.
      have fun and take care. don’t forget a chute when you go up.


  3. This kid, Jake, he amazes me. He works a lot of hours, and I mean a lot of hours day after day, week after week and never once have I heard him complain, moan or groan, or grumble, and is just pleasant to be around all the time. He has a great work ethic, but then look at his mentors. You have done a fantastic job with this kid T&D.


  4. Whenever I think of crop dusters, it conjures images of summers at Chincoteague, Virginia where the official bird is the mosquito. Every few days the planes would fly low overhead and spray for control of them and we would always get a message in our room to stay inside during the hours they would be spraying. Which naturally, for my son and me, meant we raced outside to watch them, likely inhaling the toxic chemicals. Oh well, life is dangerous.

    Glad to hear you are feeling up to being out and about and that Jake is enjoying his summer. What a cool adventure.


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