Several years ago at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, I was one of a group of a half-dozen or so journalists—including the distinguished Peter Lert— passing the time of day chatting near the press headquarters. [If anyone else who was there reads this post, please corroborate that this is a true story in the comment section below.]

As we stood there, a friend of one of the group walked by carrying a vintage aircraft tail lamp assembly that he had just picked up at the Fly Market. Caked in dust and grime, it clearly looked like it had been sitting around someone’s hangar for decades. Apparently, our friend was working on a restoration and thought he might have found just the diamond in the rough he needed. But he seemed unsure the unit was reviveable. Maybe he had just squandered good money after bad.

Upon hearing uncertainty in his voice, Peter called us all together to gather ‘round in a tight circle and reach into the huddle to stroke the potential treasure. We all did what Peter asked, not having any idea why.

After a short, awkward silence, he said, “Surely, you all know the old Chinese proverb. ‘Many hands make light work!’”

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