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Features > Oshkosh, WI (July 2008) > Tour of Oshkosh Jesuit Retreat House & AirVenture


My dad recently snagged a post-retirement contracting gig with Oshkosh Corp in...Oshkosh, Wisconsin. So, I decided to head up there to visit them and also say hi to Bob Dufford at the Jesuit Retreat House there. In addition, the craziness of Oshkosh AirVenture 2008 was in full swing so my mom and I visited the air show there.


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The Jesuit Retreat House in Oshkosh is a very picturesque place right next to Lake Winnebago (which is only 21 feet at it's deepest, and evidently where up to 10,000 cars park during the winter for ice fishing).


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And during AirVenture 2008 there are even some airplanes on the lake at the marine base


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What Jesuit Retreat House would be complete without a statue of St. Ignatius?


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Dining area


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A nice stairway...


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A small courtyard had several nice places to sit


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and flowers


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"Pray Now" proclaims the plastic dog that lives in the fountain!


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A very nice main chapel


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The coat of arms of the Loyola family over Fr. Dufford has he shows mom around the house


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Old Milwaukee Journal clippings about the facility which began as a novitiate for the Jesuits


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A pretty gazebo


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Sr. Marie led retreats at the facility for many years - evidently enough to warrant the building of the gazebo in her honor with a plaque (with all words starting in caps even!). It says "With Grateful Appreciation To Sr. Marie Schwan, C.S.J. For Her Years Of Dedicated Service And Loving Devotion To The Ministry Of The Retreat House"


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A sturdy gazebo no less!


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Some fun altered coloring on trees along the lake


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I guess you don't really need to radio the tower when you land on a lake huh?


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Flowers along the lake


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One can see across the lake in the distance


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The >WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots), a little-known group until the late 1970s when documents on their mission were declassified. The group flew 44 different models of aircraft from 1942-44 and logged 60 million miles at the cost of 38 of their lives to accidents. Sadly, their fellow WASP Margaret Ringenberg died in her sleep at the retreat house just as AirVenture was starting.


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This tree, with a large gash in the center but still living, is a powerful symbol for many that visit the retreat house


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A Shrine of the Sacred Heart established by a man who lost his young son


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Bob and I - Bob used to play quite often with the 11:30 am choir at St. John's Church at Creighton before I went there and visited the choir every once in a while during my time at Creighton.


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Plans were everywhere, including this field to the side of the main road to the retreat house.


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On to Oshkosh AirVenture 2008 where up to 300,000 people visit the event where nearly 15,000 aircraft are also housed temporarily, making it the largest civilian airshow in the world.


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The Osprey...frightening, not only for it's capabilities but previous safety record...


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Look - it's the Oracle plane, the company that makes the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning Sytem) I work with as an IT Architect at GE Healthcare


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Look - Canon made a little elevated deck for all the photographers (and there were lots, with BIG lenses too!)


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This was the famed Rocket Racing League at EAA


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Then it was time for warbird planes


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Mom's EAA bracelet states that Oshkosh is GLAD that she is there!


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Next was the F-22 Raptor flew over and was remarkably quiet before it got there and remarkably loud after...


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I wonder when we'll get a hybrid hornet?


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Maybe even a hybrid hornet would need fuel for some maneuvers...I think the condensation cloud is caused by the well-known Prandtl-Glauert singularity


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Always good to show all your cards so everyone feels better since those few minor...isolated...accidents involving live weapons where they weren't supposed to be on aircraft


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Don't be fooled by that big "Smile in the Sky!" yellow plane - watch the F-22!


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The military-natoinalism meter reached it's highest level when the F-22, an older plane, and an even older one flew in formation.


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Oh wait, that wasn't the peak - then they brought national guard tropps along the flight line (in Oshkosh trucks I think). Now, I don't dispute that praise is certainly earned and to be afforded to those that provide needed service to our country, but the whole thing was a bit overly theatrical and scripted complete with soundtrack. I was also a bit turned off by a small minority of the attendees with t-shirts that said something like "Peace the old fashioned way" with fighter jets forming a peace sign...


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Of course...I'm not a violent person, but I really did want to go mug him for that lens... I promise I'd even give it back after the airshow was done!


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The hornet has landed...


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