Okay, let’s ponder this chapter’s longevity for a
minute. The chapter was first chartered in 1961. The
charter document was signed by the young, strong
hand of one Paul H. Poberezny. I read all the members’ names on the original charter. The list of past
presidents of the chapter read like a who’s who in
Pacific Northwest aviation history. The chapter
president in 1965 was—drum roll please—Dick
VanGrunsven. Ever heard of him? You might just
know him as Van. (Folks, he’s been a passionate crusader for experimental aviation for a long time!)
Chapter 105 members didn’t just start their
celebration with a banquet; they made a day of
it! Starting in the early afternoon, they had two
different presentation “tracks.” Track 2 was a
flying companion seminar presented by the
Oregon Pines Ninety-Nines. Track 1 was about
Oregon and Chapter 105 aviation history: “Pre-
Ron, the chapter president, played a tape
made by Paul Poberezny especially for the
event. The room went silent.
Outlaws, George Bogardus and the American
Airman’s Association, Chapter 105—The First 15
Years, Chapter 105—The Most Recent 15 Years,
Future of Light Plane Design.” You’re getting the feel
of it now, right? This was an event honoring the people, airplanes, and passion of the last 50 years.
Then came the banquet. The food was good, but
these things are seldom about the food, are they?
They’re about the people. Ron, the chapter president, played a tape made by Paul Poberezny
especially for the event. The room went silent. That
was a special touch and was much appreciated by the
crowd. Then they asked me to say a few words
(because, as my friend Nel told me later, “Daffy Duck
wasn’t available.”). So, of course, I worked in a couple stories about Nel. And another about my other
buddy, Jerry VanGrunsven (Van’s brother). And, no, I
don’t just talk about the screwups of others; I talk
about my own, too. I told them about the one time, in
my 26-year airline career, that I taxied to the wrong
gate. (You haven’t heard these stories? Not to worry.
I’ll tell ’em again at the Speaker Showcase at
AirVenture this summer.)
I told my Van story of how, being a farm boy, I’m
way into the mechanics of my airplane but not so
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