Friday, December 12, 2014

Northwest Aviation Founder Dies

Spotted this a few weeks ago when trolling thru my myriad 'O News sources via my NFB Newsline for The Blind telephone service...

As I'd hazard a guess most of Y'all have NO idea who Delford Smith was, right? Nor did I actually know his  name either, instead just simply knew about the aviation company he'd  founded, once again, thanxs to the world  of motor racing.

And whilst I'm tripping down memory lane, i.e.;  reminiscing 'bout Greg Moore, this  seems somewhat Karmic, as the company in question is Evergreen Aviation, which made my memory banks recall the driver named Mark Smith, who I first spotted running in Indy Lights 'Wayback in the early 1990's at Portland International Raceway, and somehow learning that his Evergreen Aviation sponsorship came from his "Pops," the late Delford Smith.

From what little I can remember, seems that Mark was a frontrunner in Indy  Lights, (1990-92) at least near the sharp end of the grid at PIR; as he competed against Moore's predecessor 'PT, aka "The Thrill from the West Hill," nee "Mr. Chrome Horn" or simply Paul Tracy.

Mark finished third overall in his rookie  campaign behind 1990 ARS champion Paul Tracy, then runner-up in his sophomore season and lastly finished a  disappointing seventh in his final Lights campaign before graduating to the B-I-G CARZ, nee CARTin '93 before retiring from racing in 1994.

And although his father built the company into an international powerhouse, before Evergreen Aviation apparently floundered, having filed for Bankruptcy in late 2013, Delford, along with son Michael, will most notably be remembered as the men who brokered the deal to move the legendous' Howard Hughes Spruce Goose, the world's largest Flying boat from California to McMinnville, Oregon, where it currently resides in the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum...