Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

MC Weekly

February 12, 2014

RAY MOSCOWITZ: Former educator Jim Price taking flight at Grissom Air Museum

He's offering history that visitors want to learn and hopefully support.

Jim Price can be a funny guy in a droll way.

Asked whether he had any background in aviation when he became executive director of the Grissom Air Museum, Price responded: “I have flown on an airplane a few times. That is all of the aviation experience I have had prior to this position.”

But Jim Price is also an intelligent guy.

So it’s no surprise that since becoming executive director in January 2011 after being a consultant in October 2010, Price has gained a lot of aviation smarts. One gets the impression he’s been around flying for years.

In reality, though, Price’s background is in public education, the career path of his parents, James W. and Rosemary A. Price West, who were both educators.

Born in Elkhart and raised in Wabash, Price, 58, is the third of four children, the others being Jeff, 65, a Peru attorney; Jenni, 61, a professor at the University of Southern Indiana; and Janet, 55, a chemist for Roche Diagnostic.

Come March, the busiest time of the year will begin for Price, the museum’s only full-time employee. If the budget allows, Price said, the museum tries to hire a part-time employee.

The museum will be open every weekend, Friday through Sunday, until the end of November. The museum also will be open on Mondays from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Tour groups can schedule outings any day of the week, Price said, adding that the hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. “After hours” events can be scheduled after 6 p.m.

In my view, the museum, which attracted 14,500 visitors last year, is a real bargain, especially for families.

Here are the affordable admission prices:

• Patrons ages 21-54, $6.

• Patrons ages 6-20 and age 55 and older, $5.

• Military patrons, $4.

• Patrons age 5 and younger are admitted free.

Museum members do not pay an admission, and depending on an individual’s membership level, guests may be admitted for free.

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