The Hang Gliding Historical Committee is tasked with preserving and celebrating the rich history of hang gliding.

40 years ago MARCH 1972 SCHGA Meeting

Postby Neil Larson » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:06 pm

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Re: 40 years ago MARCH 1972 SCHGA Meeting

Postby Neil Larson » Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:19 am

After 40 years hindsight is virtually digitally "perfect"-
The real back story on these photos may be boring to some, but it reads like a Paul Harvey
episode of the Rest Of The Story...
I was given a set of contact prints, from a roll of film (this set of pictures) a month or 2 after this meeting took place. Back when cameras took photos on film a contact print was a test sheet of tiny photos the whole roll of film (negatives) could be placed one sheet of photo paper making "contact" with the raw paper. When the light exposed these one inch square images the photographer could then see his entire roll of film & decide which image to enlarge, rather than use up time & paper on the whole roll of film.
Having no other access to the negatives I had a set of tiny contact prints only, each stripe with about 5 photos per strip. Well back in the Spring of 1972 my was good... but not that good, tossing them into the trash can up in my bedroom, I was 19 & still living with the folks. My Mother, Lala Larson came in for the weekly cleaning, emptied the trash & salvaged all the photos I disposed. Curiously she got out her big Sherlock Holmes magnifying glass to get a better look, decided they were worth keeping *& put them into an envelop writing a short notation about save these for Neil.

-Roll clock forward 5 years -1977, Mrs. Lala Larson passed on due to Leukemia. Contact Prints are lost in archives of family shoe boxes until my Father moves into a new residence in Redlands Ca. in about 1993. He uncovers the envelop and sends them to me for a small Christmas Present in 2006, with the note, found these old hang glider photos Mom had them tucked away, I hope you can use them. So with diminished vision, no digital scanner I still could not see the small one inch photos & simply archived them for later use in my desk.

- Roll clock forward - 6 more years -present day- Here are the long lost one inch square micro contact print photos of the Southern California Hang Gliding Association General Membership Meeting from March of 1972, at the Southern California Gas Company regional Headquarters auditorium on Flower Street.

- You can say thank you to Mrs. Eulalia Larson, for her wisdom & insight to secure a small part of Hang Gliding History. By the way my Mother is the one who suggested I could get more involved by requesting a call for vote to establish an official SCHGA Historian onto the executive board of the organization. Of course I also made the move during that meeting to request by vote during that general membership meeting to install "me" as that Historian. Call it destiny or fate or karma, but I will call it a mother's intuition which allows you enjoy these photos . Thanks Mom!
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Re: 40 years ago MARCH 1972 SCHGA Meeting

Postby Neil Larson » Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:31 am

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Lloyd Licher (USHPA #4) on left behind the table displaying assorted SCHGA printed materials & publications I am sure Low & Slow had a portion of that display. Lloyd is perhaps best described as the silent creative compelling force behind the SCHGA. Lloyd gave his best to establish a written document known as the Articles of Incorporation for the SCHGA. That official State of California Document not only allowed the "club" to have a non-profit status but also be virtually self-regulating.
Lloyd was a witness & present on the hill in Newport Beach on May 23 1971,he was the President of the Soaring Society of America. Part of Lloyd Licher's own story can be seen in the DVD ...BIG BLUE SKY by Bill Liscomb. But what is not common public knowledge is how Lloyd steered & directed the founding & direction of essentially the beginning of the World's Largest Hang Gliding Organization.
-I would like to see some form of Annual Award which could be given out that reflects Lloyd Licher's enduring commitment to the administration & purpose of the Hang Gliding Community.
Last edited by Neil Larson on Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 40 years ago MARCH 1972 SCHGA Meeting

Postby Neil Larson » Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:41 am

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These photos are basically posted in order from the roll of film ...
in Chronological order, as the evening transpired. This is a good shot of my brother (center) Eric Larson USHPA charter member # 72, I am on the far right side. again lloyd is at the club's information table to answer questions & observe everyone. This was the usual format of the early meetings, a very friendly & open environment which encouraged creativity between members. In those days the organization was growing so fast that it became very apparent a large venue was needed to house the growing number of people coming to our monthly membership meetings. I think , Joe Faust had something directly to do with acquiring the use of the large basement auditorium at the So. Cal. Gas Co. headquarters. We had obviously long since outgrown the small sailboat Sail Loft Factory in Lomita where the club first met. Thank god for those with some higher sensibilities because most of us simply wanted to jump off of cliffs & fly!
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Re: 40 years ago MARCH 1972 SCHGA Meeting

Postby Neil Larson » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:06 pm

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Bill Watson (USHPA # 46) This is a great shot of a regular occurrence during early club meetings. Invariably creative inventors would bring at least one "model" prototype or design to demonstrate at each meeting. Here Bill demonstrates his latest design. He had a highly creative brain overflowing with new ideas & he naturally conversed with many of the other HG builders of that day. This gives a real insight into the very sharing atmosphere that enveloped those early meets. Part of some meetings would allow actual open discussion of design concepts there would even be model or paper airplane performance contests during early SCHGA meetings. The amount of transfer of open & inventive sharing was part of the reason the Sport accelerated so fast. As Dave Cronk mentioned in Bill Liscomb's movie BIG BLUE SKY...
"We all shared ideas & locations of launch sites among ourselves"... there was not the corporate silence between builders in the early days. One idea would reinvent itself after 30 days & appear in a new transformed incarnation at the next meeting!
Last edited by Neil Larson on Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 40 years ago MARCH 1972 SCHGA Meeting

Postby Neil Larson » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:15 pm

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photo left to right - March 1972 SCHGA executive board members -
Joe Faust standing at podium, Rick Finley, Chris Talbot Jones, Neil Larson.
Joe (USHPA #5) - acting SCHGA President Pro Tem, as the position had recently become vacant.
Rick Finley (USHPA #18) SCHGA Treasurer
Chris Talbot Jones (USHPA #17) SCHGA Secretary
Neil Larson (USHPA #24) SCHGA Historian
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Re: 40 years ago MARCH 1972 SCHGA Meeting

Postby Neil Larson » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:27 pm

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As a side note, to focus on the progress over the past 40 years.
media display & presentation of the time period, a 16mm film projector on rolling stand in center isle. Also 2 cigarette floor standing ashtrays can be seen. Of course the ashtrays were there for the comfort of those who enjoyed smoking in public gathering places! Oh how times have changed...
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Re: 40 years ago MARCH 1972 SCHGA Meeting

Postby Neil Larson » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:43 pm

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Joe Faust , (USHPA Charter Member # 5)
Leads the March 1972 SCHGA monthly general membership meeting as acting President Pro Tem.
- Any written detail here would be an understatement of the lifetime investment to the Sport of Hang Gliding of the vast work done by Joe Faust over the past 42 plus years.
His labor of love has contributed in as many ways as there are current flying members of the USHPA.
There will be no disrespect of any kind tolerated by myself towards this man.
His deep contributions on so many levels to the progress of individual human flight affords him a very precious & special place in our Hang Gliding community. Any attempt to bestow honors upon Joe Faust can in no way repay his contributions to Hang Gliding.
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Re: 40 years ago MARCH 1972 SCHGA Meeting

Postby Neil Larson » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:54 pm

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This is something that is completely missing from the current version of the organization we started in 1971... actual physical members being present in one single location. As the organization expanded over the coming years this self actualizing ability was lost to the overall gain of a greater momentum of increased membership numbers. Again it is only due to the vision of a few key people who planned for the future. To use the phrase - You Gotta Tiger by the Tail - comes to mind. Accepting more out of State memberships, the final direction for the "club" catalyzed into the USHGA -
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Having the flexibility to present spontaneous input from the members present had a lot to do with the attraction of these meetings. Group participation energized these meetings with creativity which was the life's blood of the original concept for this organization.
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Re: 40 years ago MARCH 1972 SCHGA Meeting

Postby Neil Larson » Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:47 pm

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Mike Koman (USHPA #71) standing - Mike just hand launched a Styrofoam Coffee cup model "paper-airplane" into the crowd to demonstrate the concept of a modified cylindrical Rogallo Wing Glider.
These spontaneous demonstrations for the group were certainly allowed, usually before the mid-meeting break.
These coffee cup gliders were very fast & easy to build , using a penny or a nickel as counter weight taped under the center "keel". The Koman Kite hang glider was one of the first such prototype hang gliders, predating the Seagull Aircraft model designs. Mike Riggs early SCHGA member from Santa Monica continued this concept with his line of Seagull Aircraft Hang Gliders.
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