AT HALES CORNER, WI, 1969
|EARLY BIRDS AT HALES CORNER, WISCONSIN
STANDING IN FRONT OF 1912 CURTISS PLANE
L to R; John Nichols, Bill Diehl, Tex Marshall, Charles Meyers, Walter Bullock, Paul Garber, Harry Copland, Waldo Waterman, Walter Addems, Stanley Vaughn, Ivan Wheaton, Glenn Messer, George Page, Charles West, Forrest Wysong and David Young. Front row: George Clark, Dale Crites (pilot of plane), Jean Roche and Melvin Hodgdon.
|George A. Page, Jr.
President, Early Birds of Aviation
by George A. Page Jr.
Greetings to all my dear Early Bird friends. It was pleasant to meet a goodly number of you at our 1969 Reunion in October at Rockton, Illinois. At that meeting you informed me of my election to be your President for the year 1970. For this great honor, thus conferred on me, I extend my heart-felt appreciation to the entire Early Bird membership, and trust that during the coming year we all may add some significant contributions to the history of our beloved organization.
Undoubtedly the highlight of the 1969 Reunion was to meet again with Early Bird B.R.J. "Fish" Hassell on his own home grounds, to view the remains of his Stinson which had lain on the Greenland ice cap for forty years, and to hear a description of the recovery from "Fish" and his sons.
Out total membership, as of the October meeting, was 160, and we are spread all over the United States and to Europe in the East, Honolulu in the West, Canada to the North and Mexico to the South. With our members so scattered, many of them find it difficult, some because of poor health, others because of limited finances, to travel the distances required to attend a Reunion. Consequently, we experience a major problem in getting a large percentage turnout. At our last Reunion only 28 members were able to be there. That is only seventeen and one half percent of our total number. As your President, I would certainly welcome any suggestions as to how this situation might be improved.
Strangely enough, and happily so, we still get a few new members. There were ten reported in the 1968 CHIRP, but only one in the 1969 issue. Generally, qualified individuals knew of our organization, but either did not realize that they were qualified or did not know how to go about joining. Fortunately, in several instances, meeting an Early Bird allowed them to make application and be accepted. It would be appreciated if all members would be on the alert to discover qualified candidates.
While it is true we are a "last man" type of organization, and our activities cannot go on for many more years, we are still the organization that is composed of the men who achieved the age-old dream of powered flight. No matter how small one's individual achievement may have been, if he can qualify for membership, he can be known to posterity as one of the distinguished group who gave this gift of flight to mankind and laid the foundation upon which the space age was built. I am proud to be one of you. So let us continue to be active and energetic in the cause of the Early Birds in any way which is open to us. I look forward to meeting with a large number of members at our 1970 Reunion, and whenever possible at local gatherings throughout the year. Please accept my best wishes for the health and happiness of all Early Birds and their families during 1970 and onward.