The Curtiss Team was managed by Jerome Fanciulli, who was an even greater salesman and promoter than the Mannings. However, the Curtiss Exhibition Co. had a far better reputation with the public, city officials, and financial institutions, but they did so at the expense of the aviator himself. They didn't steal airplanes--there was no need, it always belonged to the Curtiss Co. few, of these early exhibition fliers made money at the game; they lived high for a few brief years and if they lived through it, came to their senses and went into more productive forms of aviation. Throughout history the Curtiss Exhibition Co. has always been dealt with as an entity unto itself, seaparate from the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Co. This it was, mainly because Glenn Curtiss himself never wholeheartedly approved of this method of bringing the age of flying before the public.
Lincoln Beachy
Collection of Ernie Sansome
       One of the first promotional schemes Fanciulli recognized at the 1911 Chicago Meet was the presence of three qualified California aviators, Lincoln Beachey, Glenn Martin, and Charles Walsh. He approached them with the idea of flying together under the Curtiss banner as the Golden State Trio. If they would tour the nation, three brand new colorful Curtiss Exhibition Machines would be supplied and a fortune could be made with the three flying formation aerobatics. All consented but the next morning Glenn Martin, tied to his mother's apron strings, and left for Califronia leaving the idea go out the window.
     Walsh and Beachey laughed at the turn of events and decided to form a duo instead. After consideration, it was felt Martin wasn't right for the job anyway and Fanciulli was satisfied with the two. Even so, their only organized competitors, the Wright Exhibition Co. and the Moissant Team wouldn't have anything like it.
     New 75 hp Curtiss pushers were given to Walsh and Beachey and they started to practice a routine. Beachey was by far the most daring--the most reckless. The opening stunt was of particular danger. Walsh would line up at the end of the field, headed into the wind. Beachey was at the other, headed down-wind straight at Walsh. At the signal they would takeoff directly at each other. At mid-field, in front of the grandstands they would cross within a few feet of each other when airborn about 50 feet. Other times Walsh would haul his plane off early and jump over the onrushing Beachey while both were just leaving the ground.
     Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending upon how you look at it, the pair weren't able to perform the stunt before very many spectators. Curtiss advancement had lined up so many engagements that the ten fliers under contract had to go their separate ways in order to meet commitments. Only when Walsh and Beachey were in the general vicinity, and had a few days free did they fly together again.
       When Charlie joined the Curtiss organization, Harry Christofferson wouldn't go on the new circuit. Walsh was a good boss, but he didn't want to answer to the Curtiss people after they entrusted him with one of their machines. He preferred to remain in the western part of the country and returned to San Francisco where his brother, Silas, was experimenting with flying and needed Harry's knowledge and experience. The Curtiss Co. appointed William Sturnble Fell as Walsh's mechanic. More than once thereafter, the newspapers would cause near heart failures at the Curtiss offices with their typical headlines. A favorite was "Aviator Walsh to fly in Texas--Fell on his way!"  
Charles Walsh
"In 1911, C. F. Walsh spiraled down around this and the natives were flabbergasted."
Collection of Ernie Sansome
Charles Walsh
Aviator Chas. F. Walsh ready to make a Flight at Kearney's Aviation Meet. 8/4/11
Kearney, Nebraska
"This was a tough meet. Engine ran bad & wind also bad. Ended in a wrecked plane & very little money, but we had a good time."
Collection of Ernie Sansome
Charles Walsh
"Hubby at Neide, Nebraska"
Collection of Ernie Sansome
       The maddening weekend engagements started for Walsh at Stearling, Illinois, then a swing through Nebraska, and Iowa in September 1911. Down to New Mexico and up through Utah. It was like keeping a major league baseball schedule. In early December, Charlie made flights at Lufkin, and Houston Texas, then a weekend in Columbus, Georgia and another at Aberdeen, Ga, where he was joined by Eugene Godet, another Curtiss Flyer.  
Charles Walsh
"Airship" At The Sage Co. Fair, 1911
Fell & Harry, Mechanics, at Beatrice, Nebraska.
Collection of Ernie Sansome
Aboard the S.S. Chalmette, Dec. 23, 1911
Charles Walsh
Charles Walsh
Charles Walsh

Dec - 23 - 1911
Dear Father & Mother & Betty.
We are going down the Mississippi on our way to Havana, Cuba and we will arrive there Xmas day about 4 P.M. I Hope and Trust to God He will give you all a fine & Happy Xmas and Glorious New Year and that you will all be together and think of me & mine.
We expect to be in Calif. about last of January. I hope so as I am getting rather tired of bumming around. I met Hubby this A.M. at 7 o'clock as his train did not get in until this morning and was due in New Orleans at 9 o'clock but we might be on the way about two hours now and will get to the Gulf untill 8 o'clock tonight.
I will drop you a line from Cuba as soon as we get there and if I can send you a winter, I will as a Xmas present, so will close with lots of love to you all and I hope I will be with you next Xmas.
Your loving Daughter & Son & kiddlets

Copy of letter to Mr. Edward Connolly, Shorb, California
Collection of Ernie Sansome
      Next on the itinerary was to have been Mexico, but while on the way back through Texas, they were notified of an uprising in Mexico City and the engagement was cancelled. Instead, the Curtiss Co. sent orders for Walsh and Godet to join Beckwith Havens and proceed to Havana, Cuba for light demonstrations over the Christmas and New Year's Holiday festivities. Charlie and his family, Gene Godet, their mechanics and trusty Curtiss airplanes turned around and entrained for New Orleans, Louisiana where on December 15, 1911, they sailed for Cuba on the S.S. Chalmette The entourage arrived in Havana two days later and were welcomed by Becky Havens who had arrived the day before. The entire Cuban country opened their arms to the fliers; they were feted with banquets, parties and fiesta's throughout the nation. For six days the three fliers amazed the people with their flying skills, and the people amazed the aviators with their hospitality. Walsh led the group by making a night flight, taking off and landing by the lights of burning drums of oil. He carried passengers and made distance flights well out over the bay and over the city of Havana.
Charles Walsh
"We bought these lottery tickets in Cuba, Xmas, 1911"
Collection of Ernie Sansome
  On December 28, 1911, Charles took Cuban Army Lt. J.A. Jiminez for a ride...the first Cuban to be up in an airplane. On January 2, 1912, he took Sr. Augustin Parla up. Parla was so thrilled that shortly thereafter he signed up for training at the Curtiss Flying School then situated at winter quarters in Miami, Florida. He made the grade, thus Augustin Parla de Orduna was the first Cuban to learn how to fly.
     Beckwith Havens was a cautious flier, carefully following the book and doing things in a precision manner. He later became a flight instructor for Curtiss. Eugene Godet, on the other had flew-frightened. He was a good pilot and loved to fly but was at times overly cautious with a phobia about landing. Sometimes he would circle for what seemed an eternity before he would get up the nerve to land. The second day of the Cuban tour, Godet smashed his machine during one of his freaky approaches. Gene was unhurt but he gave up flying until he could get back to the States. It took the wild Irishman Walsh to provide all the thrills of the show and as a consequence, Beckwith Havens won all the prizes offered by the local business men.
     Shortly after Christmas who should show up but Lincoln Beachey. He had just completed an engagement in Puerto Rico and instead of heading back to the States, loaded his plane aboard the Lagazpi and set sail for Cuba to see how the gang was doing there. He was mad at Curtiss. The organization was giving him the run around. He wasn't getting enough money for the large crowds his name was drawing and for his unique flying ability that made it all possible in the first place. To top it off, he, like all the other Curtiss fliers under contract, had received a telegram from Fanciulli.... cancel all further engagements, we're going to Europe and "set them on their ears." The pilots complied, canceling their next six month schedule. A few days later the European tour was off and they had to get everything reorganized again. As soon as Lincoln could save enough money to by his own Curtiss he would go his own independent way.
     Beachey arrived for a good time. Since Cuba was not on his schedule, he had no intention of flying but the crowd and especially the flashing senoritas, persuaded him to participate in the final day's festivities. His plan was still aboard the Lagazpi which was ready to depart for Florida. Godet's plane was repaired and Beachey took it over although he didn't like it. "There is nothing like having you own machine." Linc said. "He knows just what it will and what it will not do." Consequently he flew a cautious exhibition. At last, three top rate Curtiss fliers together. The crowd went wild. On the closing day, January 3, 1912, the people showered him with gifts, they were formally received by the President of Cuba and as a parting gesture, the three airmen took cartons of Havana cigars aloft and while flying over the crowds and the towns, threw them out as frantic hands scrambles to catch one as a souvenir.

     Ernie Sansome has recently (12-15-03) found and recommends this website which relates very nicely to the story on this page.

Kearney's First Air Show
by Mardi Anderson
     This offers a very fascinating story of the 1911 Air Meet in Kearney, Nebraska, including many details of Charlie Walsh's primary role in the show. It is found on the "Buffalo Tales" page for February, 1988 on the website of the Buffalo County Historical Society f The story itself is interesting in its own right and is well worth reading. You can access the page by clicking on the title above.