of the new Founders’ Wing in the EAA AirVenture Museum
placed the first bricks Sunday and kicked off the fundraising
campaign. Photo by Phil Weston
people are called packrats when they refuse to throw anything out.
But EAA founder Paul Poberezny is being hailed a historian.
decades, Poberezny and his wife, Audrey, kept everything related to
the beginning of the sport aviation association in their home,
basement, garages and rafters. But that memorabilia is about to get
a new, permanent home.
Founders’ Wing in the EAA AirVenture Museum is designed to
preserve EAA’s beginnings through an exhibit and a library. It is
meant to showcase a collection that will hold the history of EAA in
archived letters, pictures, artifacts, media clippings, and much
new exhibit area should be complete by AirVenture 2009.
said the most special things in the exhibit will include the first
desk Audrey had (their kitchen table) as well as her first
typewriter. But as he’s gone through some of the old
correspondence, it has also reminded him of how EAA has impacted so
many people. "There were a lot of people who believed in what I
was doing," he said. "I have file cabinets filled with
letters, even letters from famous people like Anne Lindbergh, Scott
Crossfield, Jimmy Doolittle…. There were so many supporters."
ceremony Sunday, the first supporters of the project placed a brick
on the Founders’ Wing Wall and officially launched the project’s
fundraising campaign. Poberezny placed the first brick in his and
opportunity to help enable one man’s dreams and a lifetime of
memorabilia to be permanently displayed and accessible to all our
members is an opportunity I did not want to miss," said Fred
Telling, who also placed a brick.
said the idea for the exhibit came from the board of directors, who
wanted to make the extensive collection more accessible to members.
The concept evolved for two or three years, and took a number of
twists and turns, before it was finalized.
some things were always certain. "We wanted it to be in the
museum, and not a standalone building," Telling said. "We
wanted an element of it to recapture the original basement office.
And we wanted a special members’ area where they could view
artifacts and letters."
said people will be able to access old videos of the fly-in
convention. "It will help people recapture the days of Rockford
or early Oshkosh," he said. "It will help to recapture the
magic and innocence of early EAA."
and Cate Majka placed a brick, and said there was a need to preserve
the association’s history for today’s youth in a place that was
Majka said he had
seen most of the items when he went to Paul’s home and the sheer
number of things is impressive. "It’s similar to the first
time someone goes to AirVenture. It’s sensory overload."
If you’d like to
contribute financially to the Founders’ Wall, you can do so in the
EAA Welcome Center, the EAA AirVenture Museum, or online at www.EAA.org.