January 3, 2004
Hope you have all had a great holiday season.
This was our first Holiday Season in our own Readyroom. It is such a pleasure to finally have a place to meet and work. I hope you all have a chance to visit us this year and see what your support has brought you. Our work is by no means complete. We have a lot of work to do on the collection and the mockup restoration. Over the last several months a lot of work has gone on behind the scenes as well. Not often, but periodically we have been told our $40 annual membership was a little high. We have always responded by saying we have rent to pay and expenses to meet. A brick and mortar museum is different from a social group. As our membership has grown our month to month membership system has become ponderous to maintain. We need a change in both areas.
So, beginning this year, 2004, we are shifting our membership to an annual system, renewable each July, to coincide with the first flight of the OV-10 and the OBA calendar year. In addition, we will be reducing the annual dues to $30.00. I know there will be some confusion, as we transition. We will prorate existing memberships. So, if your memberships comes due between now and May, you will be billed for more than a year. During May, we will send out the first of three dues reminders. For us here, the membership billing will only take place once a year rather than every month. The piece meal approach we have been using has not always been the most efficient. We also hope more of you will see your way clear to join the OBA and help us preserve your heritage.
Become a Charter Member of the Forward Air Controller's Museum!
Charter memberships in the FACM are only $20... and you can do it right now through PayPal!
Make a donation to the FAC Museum!
If you'd like to make a donation to the FAC Museum for an amount of your choosing, you can do so quickly and easily via PayPal:
Second, For several months now, we have been talking to many of you about the concept of a Forward Air Controllers Museum that would embrace ALL FACS. The initial response has been very favorable and the OBA Board of Directors has authorized us to move forward with the idea. Often, when people have asked about the Forward Air Controllers Museum, FACM, we've said we will do it as time, money and space permitted. We had assumed that sometime in the next two to three years, space would be available for us to move forward. But, we got an early Christmas present a couple weeks ago. We were told the room next to the OBA Readyroom will become available to us in the next couple months. We are nowhere near ready to start a build out and frankly don't have the funds. We are still paying for the Readyroom to say nothing of the mockup restoration. But, if we don't secure the 1,200 square feet when it becomes available, there is no telling when space will become available at our present location. We have a target of opportunity.
So, here is the deal. Starting immediately, we are offering Charter Memberships to the Forward Air Controllers Museum for $20.00 per year. We envision the scope of the museum to start with balloons and continue to drones, with bi-planes, L birds, O birds, Mosquitoes, Fast FACS, Prowlers and UAV's covered. FAC's of all varieties will be included, air and ground, along with the people who support them. Big scope, large canvas, but if this is to be a perpetual museum, it has to have legs and the FAC business has that, if we don't get too tied up in a specific airplane.
This will be a huge task and will require more than what the staff of the OBA can support. The OBA will take on the responsibility of administrative responsibilities for now, but not permanently. That responsibility will have to pass on to a separate FAC Museum organization sometime in the future.
Now the fine print. The new space will cost about $4,000 per year. The OBA doesn't have that available so it will have to come from Charter Members or other sponsors. If there is sufficient support, the concept can move forward, if not the idea will pass and the OBA will once again concentrate on the OV-10 and its community. At $20 per year, we will need about 200 +/- members to hold the space, let alone finish it out. So, here is how we plan to proceed. We will need commitments for 80% of the annual rent by July 2004 to consider the FAC Museum viable, at least for the short term.
I know this letter is going to generate a lot of questions. First is, "what do I get for my $20 annual membership?" Frankly, not much. All of those funds will be needed to hold the space, so you will be put on an email group to be kept up to date, but no newsletter, no membership card, no patch or reunion, not unless we get a lot of local help. You will be helping to secure a place to preserve your heritage and that of those who came before so that someone in the future can continue your work. One of the comments that comes up all the time is "we don't want to lose our identity," none of us do, including the OBA. The FACM will be a place to preserve all our identities, either individually or as groups. We would love to see displays sponsored by the RUSTICS or the HEADHUNTERS or the MISTY's or PLAYBOYS. But for now we need to nail down the space. So, we need sufficient Charter Members to cover 80% or $3,200 of the annual rent by July 2004 or someone else will have to do a FAC Museum some other time.
For now, you can respond to me, but I may not respond immediately. I have the OBA to tend to first. We are in the middle of restoring the OV-10 mockup, finishing the Readyroom, a Readyroom Memorial Chair program and a myriad of things, but as we all know, we have a target of opportunity at hand and must take action. Eventually and sooner than later, we will need you heads and hands as well. We have a limited staff, so your active personal participation is very much wanted and desired. Don't hesitate to volunteer. We will find a job for you.
Also, please forward this to any of your friends who may not be members of the email groups. We need widest possible dissemination of this announcement.
You can also tell folks who don't know us to check out our web site at www.OV-10Bronco.Net
As always, I appreciate your past support and look forward to hearing from you. The FAC business has a great history. Let's preserve it together.
PS - Almost forgot, in recognition of your past support, OBA members can become Charter Members of the FAC Museum for an additional $10 per year. That means for $40 you will have dual membership.
Contact the OV-10 Bronco Association at 800-575-0535, or mail us at 505 NW 38th St, Hangar 33s, Ft. Worth, TX 76106. The OV-10 Bronco Association is a non profit organization open to any interested party - we value your support and participation! Visit our website at www.OV-10Bronco.Net for the latest OV-10 and OBA news and information, updated frequently.