Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsPilot

And They, Too, Remember Pancho

December 08, 1985

I enjoyed Ann Japenga's article on Pancho Barnes. It has fond memories for me as I still have my Happy Bottom Riding Club card in with some of my souvenirs. I was a young aircraft technician working on experimental planes at Edwards base during the years 1948 to 1950 and the club was the only oasis to go swimming in the hot summer and relax by the fireplace at night in the cold winter and listen to old tunes being banged out on the rickety piano.

I was taking flight training on the GI Bill using Pancho Barnes' field for practice. I finally bought my own Piper J-5 airplane and Pancho let me tie it down on the field free as long as I bought all my gas and oil there. She treated me well but I was always afraid of her. I was a rookie pilot in among all the high-powered test pilots, but they never looked down on me and all were just part of the gang at the time. I never realized all that was going on there until the place was made famous by Tom Wolf's book, "The Right Stuff" and the movie.

ROGER C. ADDAMS

Inglewood

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|