During this family holiday season, it might not be amiss to reflect on how our families have responded to that Coot project in the garage or in the hangar. Most of us start building long after our parents were around to influence us, but I was only 34 years old when I first applied saw, glue and clamps to Sitka spruce. My father had already passed on by then, but my mother, always afraid that I was wasting my time over Coots, finally agreed, 32 years later, to come flying as my passenger.
Of course, the key relationship for most Coot-builders is with one's spouse. Spouses are often conflicted over a husband's Coot-involvement. On the one hand they like to see their husbands working creatively at home, but on the other hand they can sometimes resent their husbands' weekend hours spent in the garage instead of on family picnics. We read in Sport Aviation about some spouses who join their husbands as they build landplanes, but Coot-builders tend to be a little older, I think, so their wives rarely get very involved. The most active spouse I can recall is Lyndal Coote in Australia, who also has her flying license. It's nice when couples can be building teams.
Perhaps the most natural relationships among Coot-builders are with son or daughter. We have several father-son pairs among newsletter subscribers. My own children, Pascal, Colin and Rachel, were a little too young to help me much with N42RS, but they sure have been great helpers and co-pilots with N1395X (Harvey). As I look back to flying with them in the late 90's, and with grandson Justin a decade later, those flights were the most enjoyable of all, and they fulfilled my highest dreams as a Coot-builder. As 2011 closes and 2012 begins, I hope that you will enjoy your Coot-dreams too!