Dennis & Kim Short

Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

Champagne Cowboy

Dennis got involved in ballooning in the mid 80's crewing for local pilots with his older brother.  Back then there were 8 or 10 pilots who would fly just about every flyable weekend in the Tulsa area.  It was a good group and they always a good time!  He even started training with one of the local pilots back then but then let ballooning take a back seat to 'life'...marriage, kids, a real job, etc.

Fast forward to the late 90's and he was driving home one day and saw some of the pilots getting ready for the media flight for the Tulsa Gatesway Balloon Festival.  He went out onto the field and saw what looked like an approachable couple (turns out he was spot-on there!) and asked if they needed any crew.  They said they did, and the Shorts ended up crewing for them for the rest of the weekend.  That weekend not only got their family back into ballooning but introduced them to their now great friends Carson and Martha Lane.

Over the next few years they got involved with the Gatesway Festival and started crewing for balloonmeister Phillip Thompson and local pilot Martin Philpott.  The day they learned that their favorite balloon 'Champagne Cowboy' might soon be for sale Dennis immediately started trying to think of a way he could talk Kim into letting him buy it when she turned to him and said "we HAVE to buy it!!"

After buying their balloon in 2005 Dennis began his training and earned his private pilot's certificate and hopes to have his commercial rating soon.  Dennis and Kim enjoy the many friends they have made while ballooning and they are keeping the whole family involved.  Their daughter Kayla enjoys being on the chase crew, and their son TJ plans on earning his pilot's certificate on his 16th birthday.

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