The Gang's All Here -- Hard At Work In The Hangar
There's an old saying that the outside of a horse is good for the inside of a boy, and that may just hold true for airplanes as well. Some folks at Flabob Airport in Riverside, Calif., are trying out that theory on five young high-school-age gang members, by inviting them into a hangar to help restore a DC-3. The boys spend three hours a day, four days a week working on the aircraft, which is owned by the Commemorative Air Force of Riverside. "We didn't look them in the eye and tell them 'Gangs are bad' and 'You are all bad people,'" said Jon Goldenbaum, a retired Air Force colonel who is involved in the project. "We just said 'C'mon in, we'll take you as gang members, we just want to show you something.' They work well as a team because we left the gang intact." The program is working so well that supporters are drafting a second proposal to continue the work. "Aviation is so far away from anything these guys have ever thought about," Goldenbaum said. "We've given them some rides in airplanes, they're excited about flying, working on airplanes, and can't believe they're working on something that's actually going to fly." The project is supported by a federal grant in partnership with various sponsors and the local school district.