Museum Volunteer Spotlight: Morris Cheatwood


Morris Cheatwood is one of our awesome volunteers and brings some aviation maintenance expertise into our Gold Dome. Learn a little bit more about him and what he helps out with here at the museum!

Basic biographic information:
Morris is 32 years old and moved to Fairbanks from Tulsa, OK in 2017 for a job opportunity in military aviation maintenance. He worked on the Eielson AFB F-16 fleet as a civilian contractor after serving in the USAF as a B-52 bomber electrician in Bossier City, Louisiana. 

Q & A 

How did you get interested in the museum?
I recall my first visit to the museum was in the fall of 2017. I discovered it by chance after eating at the Salmon Bake for the first time. I was brand new to the Fairbanks area and wanted to explore around during my time off work. It was close to closing time when I had entered so I made a quick loop and decided I absolutely had to come back.
What kind of volunteer work do you do here at the museum?
I have helped with a wide array of activities from helping rearrange and store museum photographs and displays, cleaning, patching small holes in the museum flooring, to working on a couple of the aircraft featured at the museum. 

 What kind of challenges has that work presented?
Working on the older aircraft has presented several challenges. Having limited resources as far as blueprints and maintenance data makes for an interesting time more often than not. Trying to reassemble an aircraft without the original books has been like solving a puzzle.
What do you enjoy most about volunteering?
I have volunteered my time with various clubs and organizations from a young age. From being an assistant youth wrestling coach after high school and throughout college, to working with different chapters of the VFW between Shreveport LA and Tulsa, OK. I mostly enjoy the opportunity to network with other people with similar interests. There is always something new to learn and volunteering presents a great opportunity to do just that while meeting new people. 

Do you have a favorite object here in the museum? What about it appeals to you?
Having seen all of the exhibits and displays within the museum, I can’t really say that I have a particular favorite. However, the museum building itself is really interesting. It’s a geodesic dome that has been packed full of Alaskan military and civil aviation history. I was surprised to see how many aircraft and displays have been organized and displayed within the building. The layout is thoughtful, allowing visitors to walk a loop while exploring the various exhibits, displays, and aircraft. If you have not been through, you really ought to check it out!

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