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Oct 13, 2017, 02:48 PM
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Dave Olson - Status

Soaring Friends,

This is a long post...First, know that this is something that Dave would never ask for himself, however he does know what I (we) are trying to do for him (and Jean), and he is very appreciative of it (although it is far from his mind right now I agree). I've taken it upon myself to ask the soaring community to do what they can so that, while Dave and Jean are going through the long process of rebuilding their lives, he'll have the ability to get some respite by flying if he chooses. It's the way he "escapes" all that he's been dealing with, and anyone that's been around him over the past 18 or so months has visibly experienced how he "responds" to it. I'm asking each of you to consider helping, in whatever way you can, to enable Dave to fly and get some "relief" from the situation when and as he can...

Below is the text of the email that I had sent out to the NorCal and SoCal slope flyers on 10-11-17 about Dave Olson, and I'm posting here on RCG as a single point of communication to the Soaring world at large . Below that email is his current status as of the morning of 10/13/17, when I spoke to him. Further updates will be posted as they are available. I'll use a Title of "Dave Olson Status - MM-DD-YY so things remain chronological.
Many of you are probably aware, but just in case…Due to the Santa Rosa fire, one of our own, Dave Olson, has lost just about everything. He and Jean escaped with their dog Sable and little else. I spoke with Dave yesterday, and he assures me that they are fine, or as fine as they can be anyway. His next door neighbors, Jean’s brother and his wife, also got out safely.

Dave is not asking for anything (you all know him, he doesn’t do that), however he’s lost everything, and while I don’t really know what their plans are, and I’m sure that “toy airplanes” are not his #1 replacement item right now. I believe that we, as a soaring community, should step-up and do what we can…Dave is one of our own, and one of the most passionate and giving members of the soaring community. He’s lost about all his “toys”, all of the things that he has been collecting over all these years, all of the things that, when he looks at them, bring a smile to his face as he remembers the circumstances, in short…All of the things that gave him a respite from day-to-day life. Some of those things cannot be replaced…They exist only in his and our memories. Dave has given a tremendous amount of support and time to our community, even during his own personal situations (family medical issues). I’ve been with Dave when he’s come out to an event, sometimes to fly and compete, sometimes not even flying but just to get a “break” from all that he’s been doing with his family stuff. I can tell you first-hand that it’s always made a difference in him, when he does it. You can see and hear him relax, and take a few breaths, you know what I mean, just a “release” of all that’s been pent-up.

I’d like to try to coordinate some kind of group effort to provide Dave with some “toys” (or anything else that they might need) so he can forget about all this, at least for a short while. If there’s anything that you can do or contribute please contact me via private email or call me. I’ll get a database setup to catalog stuff, and then we’ll go from there.
[SS] I'd like to note that some have indicated that they consider my use of the word "toy" above is "inappropriate", that it might be misconstrued by the non-modeling public in ways that are not supportive of our great sport. I thought about that for a bit and decided to leave the wording "as-is", simply because that is reality, when you consider all else that he'll have to deal with over the coming months/years, as well as the fact that they will never really be "whole" again. So please, don't take offense, the words are my own...And if you do take offense, I humbly apologize in advance.

UPDATE: 10-13-17
I spoke with Dave this morning...He DOES have 3 FreeStylers and his Jeti Tx (however he did that <G>) as well as his prized jacket from the Lofoten World Cup event . THAT is ALL that has survived of his modeling equipment ! Some folks have already offered up radios, a FS at cost, a place to stay, $$$ to help out, etc...THANK-YOU ALL very much for your quick responses, they are very generous indeed!

Here's my initial plan, and if you've got an idea to make it better/easier, send it to me - PLEASE! This weekend, I will setup a spreadsheet to keep track of physical items that fellow enthusiasts can make available to him, whether loaned or permanent, etc. Names will not be made public however I will provide them to Dave. If you wish to donate funds, I think it might be best to do that via PayPal (Send money to friends or family), which doesn't incur a fee if it's done via a PayPal balance or a bank transaction. If you wish to donate funds, please contact me via my personal email shldnsmth at google mail...You'll figure the proper email addy out , with "For Dave Olson" as the subject, and we can communicate how to do that. The spreadsheet will NOT contain any $ amounts, just the fact that there are dollars being contributed.

Please don't update the posted spreadsheet on your own, again, contact me using my personal email address, again with "For Dave Olson" as the subject, how you can help, and I'll take care of it. In the end, I'd like to be able to provide Dave with a list of fellow pilots and how they've helped so he can respond to you in his own time and way. If you wish to remain anonymous on the spreadsheet (and to Dave), I will respect your wishes of course.

If anyone has any thoughts on the above approach, please let me know, I'm open to all suggestions at this point, as I've never attempted to do something like this before, and while I'm sure there are many ways to approach it, this seemed quick, simple, & manageable!

Regards to All,

Sandy Smith
A friend of F3B/F3F, and Dave Olson (as we all are )
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