In 2006 I started attending Escalante City Council meetings because of our need to get permits to modify our commercial building we had purchased. In March there was a public meeting about the Escalante Health Clinic and its unusable condition because of a fire the previous August. I offered to help Mayor Porter get the funding for the Clinic and a new Firehouse. Not too long after that I started writing for the local newspaper about the council meetings. That’s how I met Paul Bowmar.
Paul was obsessed over issues with the Escalante Municipal Airport, owned and operated by Escalante City. He was a pilot, owned several planes and was very frustrated with his treatment by City Council members and others. His passion and persistence led him to Tracy and I that summer. He wanted revenge instead of progress and it took a long time for him to get beyond where he was. He couldn’t get the City to give him help with another Pilot and let him rent part of the City’s hangar. Eventually, Glen Caudill came to Escalante, bought land, leased lots at the Airport from the City and had 4 hangars constructed. Paul purchased one of those and proceeded to enjoy his passion for flying.
With Tracy’s help, two of the local scouts adopted the airport for their Eagle Scout projects, replacing the power room and building steps to the Pilot’s Lounge. The City helped with some heavy equipment and operator time. Then in 2010 Tracy coordinated the necessary materials and labor to crack-seal the runway. Paul was so determined to make a difference and have Escalante Municipal Airport an asset for the community, he not only helped Tracy with his own hours of labor crack sealing – he paid his own employees to come out and help. Without his efforts the resulting runway replacement project from FAA would never have happened.
I hadn’t seen Paul in many months, but had the opportunity to visit with him at the Post Office in late December. We chatted about life, family, and business and he told me he was at peace with the whole issue and delighted the runway had been replaced. With pet Parrot on his shoulder, he crawled back into the old white truck and made his way back to his manufacturing plant with a smile and a wave.
He worked tirelessly in making sure the airport was considered an asset, including hosting several fly-ins at his own expense. He continued to operate his small manufacturing operation providing jobs for many in the Escalante community. His partner, Linda, was always by his side and spending the last 5+ years together in a most remarkable relationship – until his last flight, Saturday, January 19, 2013.
Thanks for letting us help you make a difference, Paul. I know you’ll be missed by your loved ones and friends, and I hope everyone will remember Paul and that he made a difference.