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Society for Aviation History

   President's Message for May/June 2024

It is with a very heavy heart that I bring the news of Ron Strong's passing. Ron passed away on March 4, 20024. Ron had been an SAH member since its inception in 2006, and had served on the board for a number of years. Ron grew up in Southern California near the Lockheed plant in Burbank and his father worked for OnMark Conversions preparing Douglas B-26s for the war in Vietnam. So, Ron had a good, solid aviation back ground in his youth and he later joined the Air Force serving on weather and gunship C-130s. After his service, he worked at the Naval Air Rework Facility at Alameda, and later transferred to NASA when the Navy left the area.

At NASA he worked as a wind tunnel mechanic servicing the systems there and installing and removing test models. He later worked on the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), a highly modified Boeing 747SP fitted with a 106-inch infrared telescope. Ron began his SOFIA work before the telescope's mirror was built, and he spent months on end in Waco, Texas, integrating the observatory's systems.

In addition to his professional career, Ron was active in aviation journalism as a writer and photographer for Pacific Flyer Aviation News and other publications and he was the co-author of AMARG: America's Military Aircraft Boneyard, which was recognized with a Distinguished Book Award by the Military Writers Society of America.

Ron is survived by his wife Barbara, and his sons Aaron and Bret and their families.

With Ron's passing, we began the search for a member to serve on the board of directors. Barbara Strong volunteered to serve out Ron's term, and we're very glad to have her join us. She was in attendance at all the meetings and was host of a number at her and Ron's home in Dublin, so she is already up-to-speed on how the board conducts business. Please welcome Barbara to the board.

**** Educational Program Reminder ****

I encourage every member to refresh themselves with the society's policies. They can be found on our website at: Policies and Procedures Page

The third paragraph under "Educational Programs" states the following: "Occasionally, the question arises as to whether or not a member can attend an educational program without paying? The answer is: No! SAH rules require a prepayment so we can have the correct number of meals and seats on hand. In addition, the fee covers the room cost, the meal, the program, and any speaker costs."

So, if you or a guest would like to attend a meeting, you/they must pay the full cost of the meeting as there are other financial considerations beyond the meal that we have to account for, such as speaker travel, room rental, and venue admission.

In addition, we have raised the "show without reservation fee" to $75 per person. We require reservations to be made by Tuesdays of the meeting week. In the past, we had a number of people who regularly showed up without reservations expecting a meal and a seat, which is a problem when the restaurant plans on a set number of meals and has to scramble at the last minute. This also required people who made reservations and were already seated, usually a board member, to give up their seats to accommodate late guests. Making a reservation for these meeting is just a common courtesy.

See you in June!

Nick Veronico


Past President Messages can be found on the new page below:

Past SAH President Messages