I’d pulled the little Cessna 140 up to the self-serve fuel pumps at the Prineville, Oregon, airport. I don’t have a parking brake, so I snatched a set of chocks from a pile at the base of the pump. There was something familiar about that set of chocks. They’d been built by Marvin Benson.
Marvin is Benny Benson’s dad. He has a little woodshop at Benny’s airport in Sisters, Oregon. Marvin specializes in Intarsia. It’s a method of producing somewhat three-dimensional art by joining different types of wood, their natural colors providing separation the way different colors of paint would on a canvas. Every year, Marvin cranks out lots of sets of nice chocks so that all the transient airplanes that flock in from all points can keep from rolling away during our annual Fourth of July Fly-in.
This particular pair of chocks hadn’t gone far, but what of others? A guy who stopped by in an airplane destined for a trans-Pacific flight might very well toss in a set. You never know when you may need some and I’ve been known to toss some of Marvin’s chocks in the back of my plane. So it wouldn’t be such a surprise to find
some of Marvin’s chocks at Reykjavik. They might show up at London’s Heathrow or Paris’ Le Bourget. If only chocks could talk about the travels they’ve seen.
It would probably be quite reasonable to see a battered old Super Cub sitting in the dust of the Simikot airport in Tibet, its wheels kept from rolling by a set of Marvin’s beautifully crafted Sisters Fly-In chocks.