1958 Reunion Is Most Enjoyable Occasion
Meeting at Pittsburgh, in Conjunction with the Air Show, Provides Excellent Program Opportunities
Reunion, 1958

Picture here are the Early Birds as they were called upon to help open the big Air Show at Pittsburgh featuring the National History of Flight. It marked the beginning of a three- day span of reunion activities that were thoroughly enjoyable. Other pictures follow.

Early Birds Go To Pitsburgh, 1958

     BACK ROW---(left to right) Ernie Hall, C. B. Tibbs, Blanche Stuart Scott, Paul Studenski, E. B. Gaither, Frank Ellis, Harry Graulich, L. L. Walker, E. A. "Pete" Goff, Andy Heermance, B. W. King, and A. O. Heinrich.
     MIDDLE ROW---Rod Wright, Bill Denehie, Nels Nelson, Charles Patterson, Stan Vaughn, Warren Eaton, Ivan Wheaton, Jack Curran, and William Diehl.
     FRONT ROW---George Scragg, Paul Garber, Ralph Barnaby, Russ Holderman, T. C. Macaulay, and Joe Pallissard.

Early Birds Reunion at Pittsburgh, July 4-6, 1958

     We are indebted to our Secretary, Paul Garber, for the report on our meetin. He gave us this in splendid rhetorical style with a blow-by-blow description of every event and fitting comments on many sidelights. Unfortunately, the limited space that we have in the CHIRP does not permit printing in toto, so we have taken the liberty of extracting the highlights to give readers a broad picture, to let the absentees know what they missed and to encourage their attendance next year.
     The 1958 reunion in Pittsburgh got under way on the morning of July 4th when Early Birds flocked to the Penn-Sheraton Hotel, many of them in time for the breakfast and some early fellowship.
     Promptly at 10 o'clock that morning the buses left for the Connelsville Airport, and activities were in full swing. Two busloads of EBs made the trip, some 20 airline miles away and a lot more by winding bus route through the mountains. Soon the group with the checkered caps were esconced in a prominent front section near the announcer's platform.
     The Air Show, with planes old and new re-enacting the history of flight, was a joy to the eyes of EB's. The veteran announcer, Bill Sweet of the old Air Race days, was on hand doing his usual superlative job of building interest and making the show an exciting thing to behold. Beginning with a flight of F-101 McDonnell Voodoos and B-57 Martin Canberras, the show moved rapidly into a stunt act with two biplanes-- a Stearman and Great Lakes trainer, the introduction of the beautiful Miss Golden Wings as official hostess, a thrilling demonstration by a Canadian-built Vampire, and a fly-past of current planes coming from every state in the Union. Then came an air-parade of planes of the 1920's and 1930's flown by members of the Antique Airplane Association, and later some very interesting ships constructed my members of the Experimental Aircraft Association. These home-built and experimental types appeared to be well constructed and were a delight to see as Ealry Birds reminisced of days gone by. A radio-controlled plane was next on the program, carrying on by remote control, and the morning show likewise embraced some excellent clowning by a skillful pilot who pretended he didn't know how to fly.
     In between the morning and afternoon programs there was a good opportunity to view the "Air Museum" which was housed in a tent. Inside, there was Frank Tallman and five of his famous typ planes. Frank is devoted to preserving the romance of flight by finding, restoring and flying significant aircraft.
     You may remember the article in True magazine of last April, describing the Sopwith Camel which he repaired and flew. You'll also recall the reconditioned Bleriot XI which he piloted at Andrews Field last year. In this tent he was exhibiting the Bleriot, two planes representing the Nieuport-28 and Fokker D-7 of the First World War, and a P-40 and F4F of World War II. Also in the tent were Charles Hubbell's well known paintings of aircraft and famous flights. These included 12 of Early Birds which formed last year's calendar issued by Thompson Products. Also in the tent there was a showing of Walt Disney's animated movie on the History of Flight.
     The afternoon program of events was impressive, with a good mixture of variety acts. These included some clever acrobatic stunts by Bob Mantz, flying a Great Lakes Trainer; stunts by Bill Benson in an auto-gyro towed by an automobile and pushed by an outboard powered prop respectively. Then there was Shirley Staffor staneing in strapped position on the top wing of a Stearman during a series of afcrobatics. Another fly-past of various modern planes was followed by Bevo Howard in his German Bucker Jungmeister, one of the most perfectly designed planes in the world. His acrobatics were nothing short of the best as he demonstrated his mastery of different stunts in poetic rhythm. No wonder Bevo holds highest honors in aerobatic competitions.
     Still more expert stunting by Melvin Robinson in a Boeing Special and Hal Pryor in his Great Lakes job, and the day's presentations drew to an end. It was a most enjoyable affair, and our thoughts then turned to the evening's banquet.
From The Early Birds of Aviation CHIRP, November, 1958, Number 60
To read the article on "The Banquet",
which contains many photos, click on: Banquet.

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