By Bill Stansbeary
Andy Parks, president of Vintage Aero Flying Museum, made some significant announcements at Platte Valley Airpark (18V) in Hudson, Colo., on May 19, during a lunch meeting of the Daedalians.
First, Diane Wallach and John Gates of the Charles C. and June S. Gates Family Fund have provided the Vintage Aero Flying Museum with a three-phase, $1,500,000 grant. The grant will provide for a World War II collection acquisition, land acquisition and development, and limited marketing and program expansion. It will also provide transitional operating support and new hangar and design development for an aviation museum.
Also, Jerry Priddy, Richthofen Castle owner, has donated his WWII collection, valued at $750,000, to the museum, including an official full copy of the Instrument of Surrender executed on the USS Missouri battleship in Tokyo Bay on Sept. 2, 1945.
Parks also announced that Nancy and Nick Rutgers II have contributed $25,000 for the restoration of a WWI fighter aircraft by the museum. Nancy is the daughter of James Norman Hall, adventurer, soldier, highly decorated WWI pursuit pilot, famous author, essayist and poet.
During the meeting, J. Clark Hearn, Citizen Heroes president, revealed the relocation of the Citizen Heroes Collection to the Vintage Aero Flying Museum.
The final announcement, made by Marilyn Taylor, manager of Platte Valley Airpark, was regarding the new construction of the Eagles Nest Aviator Homes at Platte Valley. This will be an assisted living program for seniors who share a common bond in their passion for aircraft and flying. Eagles Nest Aviator Homes will offer a unique alternative from the standard assisted-living facility in that it will be a total theme environment reflecting the history and nostalgia of flight. The homes will be furnished in a style reflective of the 1940s and decorated with aviation memorabilia and artifacts from WWI, WWII and early general aviation history.