When Louisville native Rob Givens was 15, he took his very first ride on a small airplane at Bowman Field.
Ever since then, he’s been passionate about all things aircraft and continues to volunteer for aviation-centered events like Thunder Over Louisville and the upcoming Bowman Field Aviation & Military Heritage Festival.
Givens, who now is the executive director for the Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship in Lexington, believes Bowman Field is a true Louisville gem, and this festival, which he volunteers for as deputy director of air operations, plays an important role in carrying on the 97-year-old airport’s traditions.
“I am emotionally committed and attached to preserving the active and historical nature of the airfield, which is what our festival promotes,” he tells Insider. “It showcases a jewel of our city and inspires the youth of our community to consider careers in aviation.”
This is Givens’ second year helping out at the three-year-old festival, and he says he’s most looking forward to seeing the C-30 plane from the 123rd Airlift Wing of the Kentucky Air National Guard, which is coming to Bowman Field for the first time.
“It’s going to be an awesome sight,” he says.
The Bowman Field Aviation Festival takes place Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 6-7, at Bowman Field and features historic planes from the Golden Era of Aviation (1920s-60s), plane rides, live music, vendors, food, drinks and much more. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 5 to 16, and free for veterans, military personnel and children under 5. Gates are open both days from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
We caught up with Givens before the planes land to ask him some very important questions …
What’s the most surprising thing on your Bucket List?
I want to set foot on Antarctica, then I can say I have been on every continent.
What poster was on your wall in junior high?
Fighter aircraft of the world. And, of course, Farrah Fawcett. I mean, I was a 13-year-old male.
If you were mayor, to whom would you give the key to the city?
The outstanding Public Educator of the Year for JCPS. The key to the city represents honoring someone you respect. I think we need to emphasize showing respect to those who educate our kids.
What are your preferred pizza toppings?
All of them, except anchovies.
If you could be any age for a week, what would it be?
25 — but with all my knowledge today. I finally understand what my dad always meant.
What famous person do people say you resemble the most?
Me. I actually am famous …
Who would you most like to be stuck with in an elevator?
Someone who understands the value of personal hygiene.