|Forrest Wysong, President and Jo Lees Cooper, Secretary|
I am both proud and humble that you have elected me to again be President of The Early Birds of Aviation. Proud because of the caliber of the Associate members; humble because I have reached the time when I will be needing a lot of help from all of you, if we are to achieve our goals. In most organizations there are a few key people who carry all of the load. Just think what the Early Birds can accomplish with over 150 key members to build on!
At the Reunion in Los Angeles last fall, the membership decided that we should plan for an Associate Membership of 300 competent and efficient people with a devoted interest in Aviation. Now, each of you must know at least one such person. Follow through on that thought and our membership goal will have been accomplished. I have appointed Eldon Cessna to be Chairman of the Membership Committee. Let him know, promptly, who you have selected to be your new member.
Vivian Branyan has volunteered to head up a Publications Committee. She needs news items and other aviation material for each issue. Those of you who have literary ability should plan on making regular contributions. You can make CHIRP a magazine to be proud of.
The history of Aviation is not over. True, the dream of the ages has been accomplished.The sky is filled with commerce, men have flown to the moon. The recent tragedy of the Challenger will set us back a little, but only long enough for us to get our second wind. There is so much that is still going on that you are a part of. The events of today will be the history of tomorrow and the participants of today will be the pioneers of tomorrow. The future lies dead ahead and what will be accomplished staggers the imagination. Aviation history, past, present and future deserves to be recorded and to be preserved so that we can be aware of where we came from and where we are going.
Two of our Associates, Carol Osborne and Bobbi Trout, are forming an organization, Osborne Productions, to videotape interviews with aviation pioneers. While they have already made a number of these tapes, they are exhausting their resources and really need a grant to continue this noble effort. Maybe you can help them find a grantor.
There are a number of outstanding aviation museums in this country, The Smithsonian in Washington, the AeroSpace in San Diego, Birmingham, Columbus, etc. The heads and devoted workers of each of these museums should be Associate Members. They are the kind of people that we need in the Early Birds of Aviation. We should have an article about each of these in every issue of the CHIRP. Those of you who are located near one of them should visit it, meet the people who are running it, invite them to join, get the history and the list of exhibits, then write it up for publication. Later on we could consider them as reunion locations. Or, perhaps as wing locations, if it seems desirable and advisable to expand to that extent.
There is so much to do. But, I am sure that each and every one of you, acting as a key person, will find the niche most suitable to your abilities and help make The Early Birds of Aviation, Inc., the foremost organization of its kind.
Forrest E. Wysong