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    We would like to thank the following people and companies for their help in developing this project.

    Russ Barber, who is the Aerostar Dealer in the NY, Albany area is who we first went to when we came up with this project. We chose Russ because of his many years working on balloons, his extensive knowledge of different balloon manufacturers and different models, also his many years in the Hot Air Balloon Sport as pilot and instructor.  We have also chosen Russ to maintain The Old McDonald Hot Air Balloon® because of his expertise in balloons and his involvement in this project from the start. Russ is a veteran pilot of 28 years, he is a Commercial Hot Air Balloon Pilot and also holds a fixed wing license. He has flown his balloon over the opening ceremonies of the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid  and also he was given special permission by US Park Service to inflate his balloon at the base of The Statue Of Liberty for the opening ceremonies of the 1977 Harbor Festival in New York City. Russ also went to Saga Japan in 2000  for the Intercontinental Balloon Race as an official observer and to represented the United States against Japan and Canada, while there he also flew the "I LOVE NY" banner . Russ also is the owner operator of the Hudson Valley Balloon Port and the Balloon Bed & Breakfast in Hudson NY.  Russ can be contacted by phone or by the e-mail links below.

Russ Barber (518) 828-3735  E-mail:

The Balloon Balloon Bed & Breakfast & The Hudson Valley Balloon Port 


 Paul Stumpf, at the “ripe old age” of 46, Paul may be considered an “old-timer” among balloonists.  He was drawn into ballooning through an interest in photography in 1973, while still in high school.  His enthusiasm quickly led him to design and build a balloon at age 17, which he tethered for a year and a half before he was finally old enough to qualify for his pilot’s license! 

After receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in photography from The Rhode Island School of Design, Paul began ballooning for his livelihood.  Shortly after graduating, he became very involved in all aspects of commercial flying.  It was at this time too, that he designed and built a few accessories for his balloon; and as friends began demanding similar items for their balloons, Paul decided to make his custom products available to balloonists throughout the nation via a mail order catalog.  This, along with the commercial business, became the foundation for Stumpf Balloons.

 Twenty years later, the scope of Stumpf Balloons has expanded considerably into a full-service balloon center.  Paul operates a certified repair station, offers hot air balloon flight services, builds cold-air promotional balloons as well as hot and cold air balloon banners. Paul also serves as the Northeast Distributor for Aerostar International, the nations oldest and largest balloon manufacturer.

Paul has done most of his flying in the coastal New England area, but does enjoy “getting away” when time allows.  He has flown balloons in Venezuela, Switzerland, and at the 1983 ballooning Bicentennial in France, where he flew a one-man harness balloon which he built especially for that occasion.  Paul has also been recognized for designing various “Art Inflatables” as well as for building and flying the World’s first “glass-bottom” balloon basket.

 Paul is married, has a son and daughter, and recently moved his family and business to Andover Vermont

Stumpf Balloons Paul Stump (802) 875-1600 E-mail:


    Martin Harms, who is the representative from Aerostar who oversees design, fabrication, and construction of special shape balloons. Mr. Harms was able to have his designer Randy Williamson take our idea and putting it on paper and to bring out the beauty and the childhood memories of this design.

Aerostar International Inc®  (605) 331-3500

We would like to thank all the people involved with this project our sincerest thanks.



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Storybook Balloons LLC

(516) 578-6596