Airplanes in Brandon with Gino at the Park of Salandino

brandon park plane maker

For round one of Christmas mini sessions, we ventured out of the studio and over to Tony and Bertha Salandino Park on Bryan Ave.  As we set up, the kids played and my hubs helped build the new stand I designed to bring with me-good thing he was there because it was about 8 feet tall, and I couldn't have figured out to build it that size without him. *My hero* An older gentleman wheeled over a cart of stuff to a lone picnic table with his back to the park and got right to work. Of course, like a cat, i was curious, and I HAD to go talk to him after the 2nd family had finished their shoot. 

Meet Gino. He is a Veteran, and my journalistic skills are certainly lacking because I didn't find our when he served or much else about that part of his life, but I am quite sure it wasn't recent. He had a nice disposition, and told me of how he comes down to the park to make the planes, essentially, to keep his mind and his hands busy. He spends hours creating these fun planes for kids, and sells them to those who wish to purchase for $5 to help him along on his journey. Gino explained that he'll sit and make them, and when families buy them and run ff to play with then, if the kids manage to break them a bit they'll run back over to him and have the kind old man fix them right back up. A smile crosses his face as he says this, and looks back at my kids running around like wild banshees, and tells me how blessed I am. He didn't have any ready to fly while we were there, but I did get to see a bit of his process. He even goes in and makes it so the tips of the planes wings and back end (yeah i don't know the correct terms guys,) can actually be adjusted so you can make the planes fly in a certain direction if you wish. I found it interesting to say the least! He hopes to one day make a book of all his stories. Stories he says, that would make your head spin. I, for one, look forward to the day that he does write this book, and encouraged him to do it. 

You can't have a post like this without a good ole black and white right? My favorite from the 5 minute session, coming right up! 

A big thanks to all those who have served, and are serving. You are appreciated.