BRACKETT AIRPORT ASSOCIATION TEN YEAR HISTORY AUGUST 1978 - AUGUST 1988
By Jack Hines Self-Appointed Historian

This ten-year history is written for the benefit of the members, associates and friends of the Brackett Airport Association.

On February 2, 1978 I purchased a 1974 Piper Warrior at Martin Aviation in Santa Ana. One of the conditions of the sale was that I had to move the airplane in a month. On March 10,1978 I moved the Warrior to Brackett Field. The reason I chose Brackett Field was because it looked like it was in the country, what with the cows grazing on the north side and the golf course and recreation area on the south and west of the field, Puddingstone Dam to the west and the Fair Grounds to the east. It was to become a home for N43434 and me so I settled in immediately with a tie down at Runway 37.
I was not happy with the north side of the field because all the action was on the south side. Fuel Pit, Wash Rack, Restaurant ( It was the VIN FIZ at that time), Admin Building and generally a place to kind of gather and make new friends. The one main problem was the lights on the taxiway on the north side were not operating. I put in a mild complaint to Ray Beeninga, then Airport Manager, but it did not do much good. Ray tried but he did not have access to the purse strings. We were going to have to go directly to the County.
That is when I met Bill Blohm, from the north side. Bill was sort of the rallying point at Hanger C-2. Many meetings and parties were held there and we picked up such notables as Sandy Grummet, Buzz Buzzerio, Bruce Corwin, Dennis DeNeve, Ken Ervin, Don Farmer, Al Gabrick, Dan Heeresema, John Holt, Larry Karger, Chaytor Mason, Walt Morrison, Flo Santry and Dave Zalibra. That was kinda the start of what today is the Brackett Airport Association. Many, many meetings were held in the big corner booth at the VIN FIZZ. Bruce Corwin took charge of coming up with some By-Laws and a Constitution. I kinda took over as Chairman cause nobody else wanted it. But we did for a month or so meet regularly in the VIN FIZZ to gather information, get Bill Blohm to talk with Pete Schabarum, Supervisor from this District and in general put this thing together. The following is a history put together from memory, minutes and hearsay.

AUGUST 1978 - First Meeting was held in the Pilots Lounge and we elected the following Charter Officers- Jack Hines, President; Dennis DeNeve, Membership Vice-President; John Holt, Activities Vice-President; Bruce Corwin, Aviation Affairs Vice-President; Buzz Buzzerio, Secretary; Sandy Grummet, Treasurer. We agreed that the meetings would be held on the first Thursday of each month, Board Meetings on the third Thursday of each month and the Annual Meeting would be a dinner meeting on the first Saturday oe November. It was pi-oposed that even though we had some complaints about conditions at the airport, we would proceed in a positive way to get things accomplished.
During our first growing year we worked with the Airport Manager, Ray Beeninga, and Aviation Division Manager Fred Taplin in concert to get things in better shape. We got to know each other and got many new members. Our meetings were designed to be of benefit to the members by having reps from Aircraft Manufacturers ( Piper-Beech-Cessna ) come and talk about their products and answer questions. We also decided that since we were just getting to know each other we would continue with the same officers with exception of Secretary. We got a female type (and she was definitely a female type) Florence Santry and she agreed to take the minutes and brighten up the meetings. Don Maggean served as Safety Chairman and liason between the Brackett Airport Safety Committee and the BAA.

1979 - We started out by taking a stand on the San Diego TCA and sent our wishes to the FAA and Congressman Lloyd.We were a big part of the FAA TASK 5-A with John Holt taking over the Corridor Plan and Jack Hines taking the survey of all the Inland Empire airports to see how much traffic etc there is in the area. We were up to 42 members now and Walt Morrison took over VP Aviation Affairs. ( He said he was not aware of any affairs on the airport). We had a contest for a logo and Walt Morrison not only won the contest but he also donated hats and patches to the members.We put up signs at all the gates about BAA and the meeting nights. Our Annual Meeting was held at Mountain Meadows Golf Course at cost of $10.00 per person. Don Downie from AOPA was our guest speaker and we all enjoyed dancing to the music of Flo Santry's 40's records. We still held many parties in Hangar c-2 and it was still the place to gather on Sunday afternoons for a few beers and a sip of the grape.

1980 - We started the year with some new faces on the Board. Jack Hines was re-elected President ( he is going to keep doing it till he gets it right), Walt Morrison took over Membership, John Holt on Program, Bruce Corwin on Aviation Affairs, Flo Santry on Secretary and Dennis De Neve as Treasurer. We did many things in 1980. Jack Hines had a long meeting with Fred Taplin to get some answers to questions asked from the membership.(You can see them in the book if you are interested). John Holt took over as Chairman for our first Open House. It was held in May but because of poor publicity it was not a financial success.But it was a fun learning experience. We had an Airport Clean-Up Day two weeks before the Open House and we all pulled weeds, trimmed grass and in general spruced up the airport. It was a lot of fun. The construction had started on Runway 26R. Don showed us a film on vertigo. Possible fuel shortage but they are jockeying fuel from airport to airport thanks to Fred Taplin. The First BAA Fly-Out was held on May 31, 1980. We went to the Flying Lady in San Martin, south of San Jose and had a great time. Thanks to Don Farmer, we all ate free. Fred Taplin was awarded an Honorary Membership for all he has done for the Association and Brackett Field.We held a Special Meeting for all tenants of Brackett regarding an increase in rental charges by the County.We banded together with Associations from Whiteman,Fox Field and El Monte. It was a heated meeting but we all pulled together and approached the County Board of Supervisors. As a result of that meeting the proposed increase was reduced.The dinner was again held at Mountain Meadows. The Chicken/Steak etc were great. John Holtzclaw, TRACON was the guest speaker and we danced to the music of Flo Santry's Band again,.

1981 - At last a new President. Dave Zalibra received the gavel from Jack Hines. Sandy Grummet took over the Membership drives, Dennis DeNeve moved to Treasurer, Flo was reelected Secretary and Jack Hines moved to Aviation Affairs. It was a good year (probably because it was a quiet year). We had a successful year with visits for programs from Lycoming, Shell Oil, Halon Fire Extinguishers, John's Instrument Shop etc.
1982- Same officers stayed on for another year. Minutes are missing for that year so it is sketchy.Don Wilson doing a fabulous job of editing TAILWINDS.We had a fly-out to the DeAnza-Borrego Sky Trail and then lunch at Borrego Airport. Commissioner Angelo Cardona gave an impressive talk about airports in the last twenty years in L.A.County.Jack Hines doing programs this year and we had a full schedule.Visit to March to inspect B-52's and KC-135 and met with the pilots. Thanks to Bruce Corwin for taking over as President when Dave Zalibra had to resign. It was a good year 1982.

1983 - New Officers were Jack Wilson, President; George Shanks, V.P. Aviation Affairs; Lee Heersema, V.P. Membership; Sandy Alford, Secretary; Al Gabrick, Treasurer. Jerry Marklay took over Membership early in the year as Lee had to resign. New Restaurant owner NORM'S HANGAR. Programs continue to be exciting. Narco, Continental, Lycoming, TRACON, Walt Morrison is elected an Honorary Membership. (He is now running an airport in Utah). Jack Hines, Jerry Marklay and Rex Alford have volunteered to take the Controllers for a ride.

1984 -.Sandy Alford voted President. After a long hard working year as Secretary, Sandy broke the gender barrier to become our first lady President.We continued to have many more interesting meetings. BAA members still working hard on the TASK 5-A Committee.

1985 - Things must have gotten bad cause they asked Jack Hines to take the Presidency again. Wife Joni agreed to take Secretary. Al Gabrick stayed on a Treasurer and Jerry Marklay was Membership V.P.We were starting to get lots of paper work now with the FAA trying to grab off all the airspace it can muster.There were many visits to Congressional Offices and petitions. We attempted to get another Open House going but ran into problems with no support from FBO's or the County.Maybe next year.

1986 - A fresh new President in Shel Bresin. Shel holds an Instructor Rating and he flies a Twin Commanche so he can't be all bad. Shel keeping us up to date on FAA restrictions and attending lots of meetings on our behalf. Walt Fulton is Membership V.P.;Gene Torris is Program V.P; Shelly Torris the Secretary/Treasurer. We celebrated their election at the Christmas Party on Dec 5th.As ususal we had some good programs again this year, 3M Stormscope Loran demos, National Aviation Insurance to name a few.

1987 - Re-election of Shel Bresin to the Presidency was no surprise. Without Shel we would have gone down the tubes last year. Hal Clark had taken over Membership, Gene Torris is still handling programs with Ken Eversol as Treasurer and Shelly as Secretary. Jack Hines is Aviation Affairs V.P. and was still active on the TASK FIVE A Committee. This year was a re-grouping year and many many legislative problems had to take much of the time.

1988 - Same Board again this year. It is hard to get more members to take committee jobs but perhaps after seeing what has taken place in the past, we might get more to volunteer in the future. It has been a pleasure for me to have served the last ten years.

Jack Hines Self-Appointed Historian


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