Hotel Carter, Cleveland, August 30-September 2, 1946.
Yes, you were all there. Not all of you were there in person but you were there in spirit and wishfulness. And you were there in the thoughts and recollections of those who actually lifted their glasses.
There should have been more of you present in person. As in the first reunion, and in the last before this, and in between, you would have had the time of your file. And still better will be the next to come, and the one after that---for how long? Quien Sabe.
Youv'e all got a lot of years yet to pleasure yourself at an Early Bird reunion but why longer delay. Make it a date for next year---you'll be surprised.
Saturday morning, Aug. 31 there was the annual meeting and election, adjourned into a second session Sunday morning. During the afternoon racing the Sesquicentennial Commission of Cleveland presented President George Scragg a plaque commemorating EB Glenn Curtiss' first flight over Lake Erie, August 31, 1910. At the reviewing stand were EB's Scragg, General Lahm, Reinhardt Ausmus, John R. Gammeter, Ernest C. Hall, Robert J. Minshall and Al Engel. Subsequently the plaque will be installed at Euclid Beach park whence the flight initiated.
Al Engel and Harvey Humphrey of the Park Company were present when Curtiss flew and were on hand for the presentation made by Charles A. Otis, the Commissions Co-Chairman. Al Engel was mechanic for Curtiss on the original occasion. Humphrey's father, then president of the Beach organization, put up the $5000 for the flight to Cedar Point under the auspices of the Cleveland Press.
The evening of that day meant cocktails by Minshall as a matter of lubrication. Then followed fueling up at Frank Tichenors dinner and them filets really did a job. Of course late birds could still attend the aviation ball before hitting the hay.
Sunday morning, September 1 was called a "rest period" on Scragg's long green ticket but the time was consumed in discussion of a national fund for deserving aviators at large, the EB museum, a permanent metal membership card and this and that.
The air races were still there for the afternoon and a lawn party for the evening, guests of Fred Crawford, president of Thompson Products.
By Monday, September 2, some of the EBs had seen about enough of the races and they hung around the more or less elaborate headquarters set out for the EBs by the Hotel Carter. Departures were recorded here and there as the EBs began their individual returns to the peace and quiet of normal routine, with a permanent reminder of the last day in John R. Gammeter's leadless lead pencil, which might come to be handy to anybody.
At the head of the tables were; EB President elect, George H. Scragg; Frank A. Tichenor, President of Aero Digest and EB's good friend/ EB Retiring President R. H. Depew, Jr.; Tom Herbert, First World War Pilot and Governor-Elect of the State of Ohio; Brig. Gen. Frank P. Lahm, Ret., EB Vice President; Augustus Post, EB Treasurer; Robert J. Minshall, President, Pesco Products and EB Trustee; Air Commodore Frank WHittle, R.A.F.; E. R. Sharp, Manager of the Cleveland Laboratory, N.A.C.A.; Al Engel, EB member Reunion Committee, and our speaker, William B. "Bill" Stout, who lost none of his reputation as speaker, prophet and authority in the course of his remarks.
The headliners were introduced with few unnecessary words as to their importance and then attention turned to a sampling of the ordinary diners.
Frank Tichenor reminded his hearers that had America heeded Billy Mitchell, there would never have been a World War II and he vehemently urged us to consider that we are now in a similar position and there must not be neglected adequate appropriations for research for the Army and Navy and the Air Forces. Chairman Scragg took the opportunity to express publicly the appreciation of the Early Birds for Frank Tichenor's "fathering" of us fledglings.
And he called attention to the work of Paul Litchfield of Goodyear in the pioneer development of aeronautics.
In the sampling, Scragg called on the following in turn to stand, reciting a line or two in reminder of their past doings---Al Engel, Blanche Stuart Scott, Dr. G. F. Myers, Frank T. Coffyn, Dr. H. W. Walden, A. P. Warner, Auguste Koerbling, J. T. H. Jack Whitaker, Ralph S. Barnaby, Hillary Beachey, and Major R. W. "Shorty" Schroeder.
Bill Stout's elequent and impressive survey concluded the evening's events. He talked of three dimensional thinking excepting, perhaps, the bureaucrats---, compared the influence of the automobile upon the world as compared with that of the airplane, recalled the failure to appreciate Mitchell's sinking of the battleships and considered the selection of assumptions. One could assume world peace and the path would be easier and air travel and air acquaintanceship might well be the greatest influence and power in its attainment.