Castle salutes “Greatest Generation” with dinner, dancing

The first dinner-dance and variety show, “Thanks for the Memories, a Salute to the Greatest Generation,” was held Saturday at Castle Air Museum.

Joe Pruzzo, executive director of the Castle Air Museum, said the event was designed to raise about $20,000 for its activities.

Bill Johnson, a Las Vegas entertainer and Bob Hope impersonator, was the master of ceremonies. The festivities also included three women known as as the Swingin’ Blue Stars performing songs in the style of the Andrews Sisters.

The 17-piece 3 O’Clock Jump Band, directed by Gus Wedenmeyer, provided big-band sounds of the 1940s. A three-course meal was prepared by Alex Bianchi.

The dinner-date followed the Aug. 31 Open Cockpit Day that attracted about 3,000 to the museum to check out its aircraft. About 35 of the museum’s 60 vintage aircraft were open for viewing, including the museum’s crown jewel – the former Air Force One, a Douglas VC-9.