REPA News

Deadline for the Eastern Pilots New  Bronze Memorial Names!

Folks…..

After eight or more years of work (research, culling, casting, removal of the old Memorial and installation of the new Memorial) we have decided that this project, the New Bronze Memorial, is about to be concluded…

Just to refresh every one’s memory, the new Memorial came about because we had run out of room for the casting of new names on the old one and there was no way to install a new frame, for various reasons…. Besides, we wondered who would be around to have the last few casting made for those fortunate to have lived that long…

So the decision was made to put everyone’s name up, living or dead...

Except for the 1950’s, we had Seniority Lists going back to 1942 (incidentally that was the first one printed, per it’s title) and so the task began to compile a final list, hoping that everyone hired on in the 50’s would survive to make the first list in the 60’s… Anyone in that group who passed away would hopefully be shown on the old Memorial. As for the later years we believed that the lists we chose to use would capture all who flew for Eastern, up to the very last class hired...

We ended up with almost 17,000 names, most were duplications but surprisingly many names on the Eastern Pilot Lists were simply misspelled, further complicating our task… We sent the lists that we felt would capture everyone to a firm that specialized in converting conventional text to digital form, via 10 or more typist doing the job…

When the digital list (slightly less than 7,000 names) was completed and returned we thought we were ready to do the casting, however we decided to place it as a supplement in the winter 2011 issue of REPArtee, asking all to check it for errors, and especially their own names! We only got about 5-6 responses which was very surprising but it increased our confidence level as to the accuracy and completeness of the final list…

So we sent the list of names to the casting company and about six weeks later we got the two very heavy plaques back… Having measured the old frames (repeatedly) our next concern was that the new plaques would fit in them and, to our grateful surprise, they slid in perfectly!

Next step was the planning of the Dedication of the New Bronze Memorial so the Airport Authority OK’d a 10;00 AM start time (all our other work at the North Terminal had to happen AFTER 10:00 PM). We then sent the word out to the troops and many showed up…

One fellow (now an American Airlines Captain) came a bit early and immediately informed us that his name was  not on the list, however his dad (an Eastern Air Lines Captain) had his name shown! This was impossible to believe but a quick review that afternoon showed that about 170 Eastern pilots came and left between the two lists we used for the late 80’s time frame… Had his dad advised us that his son’s name (only two with that name so they should have been right together) was not on the supplement list then we would have caught that error before the casting was done!

Also we later learned that a few more names were missing or incorrect for a variety of reasons, mostly because the typists left them off or misspelled their name…

As a result of all this we made a “virtual” Addendum, which was placed on the REPA Website (between the two casting), which as of April 4, 2017, numbers 217 names… There is room between the two existing plaques for the Addendum, which we plan to cast and put up later this summer…

This project has to have an end so the REPA Board of Directors has set a deadline of July 31, 2017, to submit additional names or corrections to existing ones…

We ask that everyone double check the New Bronze Memorial by a personal visit to the North Terminal of the Atlanta Airport or by going to the REPA Website and then click on the Bronze Memorial picture… Or you can use the following address to go straight to the Bronze Memorial itself: http://gigapan.com/gigapans/182690. There you can zoom in on the three plaques and read each name with ease…

Any errors or omissions found should be forwarded to us at Roadhog37@comcast.net...

Jim Holder
Jerry Frost
Bob Drawdy
Sandy McCulloh

Highly Informative Report on the Winter REPA Board Meeting!

Folks…
 
The REPA Board of Directors held the "Bylaws Required" Winter Meeting last Saturday in Kennesaw, GA (about one week before Spring Time!)…

Most of the meeting was about the plans for the 2017 REPA Convention…
 
It is to be in Birmingham, Alabama, at the Hyatt Regency at the Riverchase Galleria Mall, one of the premier malls in America (the hotel is attached to the mall). The Convention will be September 5th 6th and 7th…
 
Much more on the Convention in the 2017 issue of REPArtee, planned to be mailed towards the end of May… Also we will be updating the Convention Page on the REPA website too...
 
The REPA Nominating Committee has proposed those below for the 2018 Board of Directors…
 
President…Bud Robbins
Vice President… Johnny Steinmetz
Secretary… Jim Gardner
Treasurer… Jerry Frost
Director at Large (and Editor)… Jim Holder
Alternate for any position (except Treasurer or Editor, per Richard)… Richard Burnette
 
Now I expect the readers will notice that most of the names for the REPA Board (including Richard Burnette) have been popping up for years…

One could say that for many years now it has appeared that we just swapped seats and then gave each other plaques… That is true!
 
So…. If anyone wants be on the REPA Board and break this chain we will be happy to consider you!!!
 
Jim Holder

Short Report on the March 14th Atlanta REPA Luncheon

Folks….

Cold and windy but we had a good turnout at the Atlanta REPA Luncheon today (maybe too cold to play golf as Jay Allen, Joe Forrest and Ray Woolfolk were there, all three fine golfers)…

Also there for his first time was former Eastern Pilot and retired now FEDEX Captain Albert Whiteside… He seemed to have a good time and promised to return for more…

Brian Settles gave us a good talk on his career, including college, USAF and three airlines with a bit of taxi driver thrown in… We now know how his two books came about, those being “Smoke for Breakfast” and “Shattered Dreams”… Several folks bought a book and signed copies also are available at www.BrianHSettles.com.
 
Not much time was left for jokes although one managed to sneak in and, for a change, was funny!!!

Winning the $15 Door Prize was (Ho Hum!!) Joe McCann with Sid Lanier taking home $10 and Dan Frisch did the same with $5…

Jim Holder

Reminder for the March 14th Atlanta REPA Luncheon...

Folks…..
 
Virgil Tedder, our Atlanta REPA Leader, won’t be able to attend the REPA Luncheon next Tuesday (March 14th) so he asked me, your Humble Scribe, to take his place…
 
This month we do not have a scheduled speaker or program but Captain Brian Settles will attend and give us a briefing on his new book, Shattered Dreams… I expect he will have copies for sale too!
 
After that I suppose we will have one of our famous Jokes, True Stories and Tall Tale Sessions! If we run short I will be forced to subject the crowd to some I have been putting off telling!
 
So! Bring a war story, joke or anything that might be of the slightest possible interest to the group and have at it… As we all have learned our group will laugh at anything so don’t be shy…
 
To remind everyone we meet at the Piccadilly Cafeteria about 11:00 AM, when they first open… It is located on Godby Road, just east of Old National Highway, at the southwest corner of the Atlanta Airport…
 
See you there!!!
 
Jim Holder

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