By Charles W. Holmes
To some of us, the long drive to the area of Conifer isn’t convenient, but is rewarded by the scenic highway and, eventually, the sight of the historic old yellow stage coach station on the right side of the road. If there was any doubt that this was the place, a look at Norm Meyer’s “garage” showed the cowl and prop of a Cessna.
The Rocky Mountain Wing of the OX5 Aviation Pioneers held its annual picnic on Sunday, August 13, at the “Norm Meyer International Airport” at Conifer (land uphill, take off downhill—but not without his specific permission). We’re always happy to meet there, in this wonderful pace, and with all of the food brought by members and prepared on the grill by our glorious leader, Bob Taylor. Norm, a retired Continental Airlines captain, is always a gracious host and loves this type of punishment. The previous day, he hosted about 60 retired Continental Airlines employees.
We had a minimum of association talk, stressing stories by one and all. As always, we had the short afternoon shower, which did little to dampen spirits.
Eddie Mehlin, friend to all, received the gold star for encouraging more new members than anybody else this past year. Tal Miller always has stories about the earlier days of aviation in the Denver area. Gordon Autry, a new member who at one time had Rocky Mountain Airways and other aviation enterprises in this state, helped him out with those anecdotes.
Genelle and Bob Williams, of Univair fame, are always there keeping up spirits and adding to stories, while “Nick” Nichols helped others to remember details and added spice. Lou Maxsom and his wife June, retired from airline flying, were their usual bright and colorful selves, as were Ted and Rose Wilkinson. It was great to see Doris Reid, whose husband Howard was a fixture of Colorado aviation and United Airlines for so many years.
Of course, we always miss those unable to come for reasons of health and age, but they were to be found in many of the stories. I miss hearing the stories of early Colorado aviation—which should never be told where the FAA is present.
Our OX5 membership list contains some of the greats of Colorado aviation. A number of them have been honored with awards on the national level, such as 10 members of the OX5 Aviation Hall of Fame and several other national awards.
A fine time was had by all. And we’re looking forward to next year if the “creek don’t rise.”