June 17, 2005

Gordon "Bax" Baxter Dies

baxseatMy all-time favorite aviation writer is Gordon Baxter, "Bax".

He didn't write about equipment, or procedures, or regulations. He wrote about people, and flying, charismatic old airports, and kids getting their first rides, and seniors rediscovering the joy of flight.

For years he wrote a column, in the back pages of Flying Magazine, where every month he took us to another cool airport, or introduced us to another fascinating pilot, or regaled us with one of his flying adventures. His column was the first thing I wanted to read each month, but I always tried to save it 'til last. The dessert.

In the early days of the EAA's AirVenture show daily newspaper, Bax wrote an occasional column about the characters he knew and met there. When it became clear that he didn't have the time in his hectic Oshkosh schedule to continue the column I had the chutzpah to step up and say, let me give that a try.

Since 1998 I've written a daily column in the AirVenture Today paper called "Around the Field". I have no illusions that mine is anywhere as good as Bax, but every story is inspired by his example.

During that first year of my column I discovered, and reported, that Bax's health was failing, and that he would not attend the fly-in that year.

On June 11 of this year, Bax died. He will be missed.

Posted by jackhodgson at June 17, 2005 04:34 PM