The third Saturday in November, and the Annual General Meeting as decreed by the powers-that-be to validate our status as an official organization; not really any different from our regular monthly meetings, with the exception that an election is held to select directors and Board members for the following year. This time, an astounding count of twenty ballots were submitted, out of two hundred members; come on, folks, is this the best we can do? Can't we show more interest as a Chapter in who is going to run the show?
Early exit polls suggest that their will be no surprises in the results, although long-time president Larry Rothrock's name was not on the list of candidates this year, he having resigned after many years of significant contributions to the Chapter, in particular his dedication to dealing with the City to obtain a long term lease to ensure our existence at Brown Field for many years to come. In recognition of this service, Joe Russo presented Larry with a Life Member plaque (but no gold watch) – actually Larry's second plaque, since no one recalled that he had received a similar one some years ago. However, this time we really mean it.
Most of the activity this week centered around the anticipated visit of a large group – originally expected to be about thirty-five, pupils from the Science Club at La Jolla High school. They had requested that we provide some education in the field of aviation, scientific and otherwise. In planning for the visit, Donna and Ryan arrived on Friday to spruce up Hangar 1, space was made for seating in Hangar 3, and even Hangar 2 was cleared sufficiently to allow hands-on demonstrations. However, as so often seems to happen, the number of Young Eagles participants from the school was whittled down to eighteen, a more manageable number. Also, the school (or their legal advisers) had ruled against having the kids fly, so the planned program was reduced to seminars only. Mark Albert and Eline Kok-Vermeulan (I have to remember how to spell that Dutch name) were in charge of the event, so I'll let them report more fully on how things went - lots of action there. I should mention that Mark had arranged for the purchase of some special shirts for the YE's volunteers, bright red, with pockets, and suitably emblazoned with their affiliation. Can't miss them with that color.
On Tuesday, a crew of our more stalwart and muscular members assembled at a location in Spring Valley, for the purpose of transporting a large quantity of Pazmany PL-2 parts to our facility at Brown Field. Among them were Jerry Boughner, Chuck Stiles, Ryan, and Larry Rothrock, plus probably some other Chapter members. (I was mercifully absent at a Young Eagles planning meeting.) The airplane parts had been donated to the Chapter, and consisted of a mostly complete PL-2 (wings and fuselage) and four large boxes of PL parts, in addition to some heavy tooling, which will be brought down later. Exactly what's in the boxes we don't know, although one is supposed to contain some type of airplane engine.
As it turned out, not too much muscle was required as the donor had kindly provided a fork-lift to load the boxes on the the two trailers we had brought along – just as well, as it would have been nearly impossible for the crew to have handled them, each box weighing at least half a ton. Upon arriving back at Brown Field, the problem was how to unload them; although we have an ancient fork-lift, it's so heavy that it sinks through our thin black-top,so it couldn't be used. Instead, by pushing and pulling and much grunting, the boxes were finally dumped the off the trailers on to the ground where they're likely to remain for some time. So far they remain unopened – a surprise still to come, just like Christmas. We'll be looking for some customers for all this stuff; it is really a complete PL production assembly, so may need someone who is interested in getting into the business of making and selling parts.
Late on Friday night we had some very welcome rain, not very much, but anything is welcome in this parched part of the country. In anticipation of this, Ryan had taken care to procure some plastic sheeting to cover the wooden boxes. Good thinking. Saturday morning arrived with typical cold-front weather, clear and cool, a little breezy but with beautiful cumulus cloud formations, perfect flying weather, although this didn't seem to attract too much flying activity to our Saturday assembly, as only one airplane arrived – Joe Pribilo's much anticipated RV-4, which he had purchased some time ago and had been up-grading it to its current immaculate condition. Joe is something of a perfectionist, as witness the numerous trophies he has accumulated for his Luscombe over the years, so he has been working to make sure the RV meets his high standards. We are looking forward to seeing him joining us on our future breakfast fly-outs.
Lunch was prepared and served by Larry Rothrock, one of his last contributions to the Chapter prior to his abdication as president, although of course that doesn't absolve him from repeating his cooking skills in the future. Eighteen members were present to enjoy his pork and beans, plus salad and the always available ice cream. A good start to November.
A concluding message for this week: don't forget that next general membership day (20th November) is polling day at the Chapter, so if you haven't yet filled in one of the voting forms, make sure to pick one up or use the one included in this month's Newsletter.