Saturday, February 28, 2015

Realistic fantasy

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“The plane, the plane”. Man how many times did I hear that annoying voice of Tattoo announcing the “new guest arrived”. Fantasy Island. Haven’t seen it for a long time now. Time for a rerun TV-guys? No, don’t bother. I didn’t ask. What I do want to know is: “where did the bloody plane land?”

I needed some information on airstrips or small airports everyone had forgotten about. After all, although I am writing fiction, things have to be realistic. In my mind I had planned a scene at an airport. In fact I had written the entire scene without knowing if the airport I had described really existed. For the record. Whether it would exist or not, was not a matter of life or death. As said, I’m writing fiction, so I can make up any airport I like. But then again, the real thing would make things a lot more convincing.

To my surprise the answer was easy to find. Unfortunately it was far more difficult to decide which of the abandoned airfields I was going to use. The website Abandoned and little known airfields by Paul Freeman, describes details of no less than 1,911 airfields in all 50 states of the US. History and mystery combined, so it’s said on the website. True stories and photos about days long forgotten. I enjoyed reading about those airfields. Some are still used, others partly or completely vanished. But all of them have a story worth to be remembered. Paul Freeman has made sure, these stories are remembered.

How about the Fantasy Island airstrip? Well, first of all it’s an island, guests were supposed to arrive by seaplane. The original series (1977-1984) was primarily filmed in Burbank, California. The coastline as seen in the opening scenes in fact is the coastline of the island Kauai, Hawaii. The plane with new guests arriving, was filmed in the lagoon behind the Queen Anne Cottage in Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens.