March 31, 2004

Hi folks,

Today was a special day for you and the Bronco Association.

Two pallets of unusable, unwanted, surplus OV-10 parts arrived at the museum from the California Department of Forestry. So what’s the big deal you ask?

Just over three years ago when we began the process of acquiring the mockup, we also began a relationship with the California Department of Forestry to acquire surplus parts through the Government Surplus Property Program. Almost five years ago we had gone through a process to be approved for participation in the GSA surplus property program. We knew we needed to do this to be eligible for parts and maybe even an airplane. When we first saw the mockup, we knew we would need parts and began to work with CDF to obtain what would be needed to complete the restoration.

When we started we never knew what would really be required. We figured we would fill out the paper work and stuff would just show up. Shows you what we knew. Several of us made trips to the CDF salvage yard to help identify parts for cataloging. Then we had to learn the ins and outs of the surplus program and how we might guide items to us through direct donations. The odyssey for a few old, worn out parts has included assistance from numerous people including elected Congressional Representatives in California and Texas as well as hours and hours of letters, emails and phone calls. The folks at CDF, especially Leigh Hanna and Al Hanson, have been extremely helpful and patient with us. The folks at GSAhave been equally patient with us uninitiated folks both in San Francisco and Austin. Lifers Dave Rabing and Gordy Evans have spent countless hours helping to make this happen. The final piece of the puzzle came through the wife of another Lifer. Carol Pitt helped us hook up with Yellow Freight in Texarkana and they graciously donated space on a truck to get the parts to us. They arrived today.

We never knew for sure how this would all go and didn’t want to make a big issue of the effort. Well, it is time for you to all know what has been happening behind the scenes for so long. CDF has other items for us and we are assured by GSA that the next group of part won’t take near as long.

Just wanted you to know about this significant development. There is always a lot more going on inside OBA than meets the eye.

This brings me to another point. All of this isn’t free. We will have to pay a transfer fee for the parts. It won’t be as much as it could have been, again through the cooperation of the Texas GSA, but a price will be paid.

This is one reason we initiated the fund raiser last month. We knew these parts were coming and funds would be needed for transfer fees, paint, decals and such to finish the mockup.

Our fund raiser only has about one month to go and we are way behind. Many of you have stepped up and for that we are all very grateful and appreciative. The big problem is, we have only achieved about 15% of our goals and that is pretty much across the board.

So, I am going to ask you once again to send what you can no matter the amount. We will get by, but without sufficient funding, our progress will be slower. We are developing outside sources for funding beyond our membership and close friends, but we are not yet in a position to expect much from those sources. Next year should be different, but your help is critical this year.

Please find the letter we sent last month and when your tax return comes back please consider sending a little along to us. We need to retire the Ready Room debt, have funds available to finish the mockup, enhance our electronic capabilities in the ready Room and fund the first year of the FAC Museum. If you have misplaced your request letter, you can find full details on the web site (see below) or give us a call at (800) 575-0535. We appreciate your consideration and continuing support. You are all helping us preserve our collective heritage.

A special thanks also goes out to the dedicated members and friends that have worked with us over the last few years to help us get CDF’s left overs. We will turn them into OBA treasures.

Thank you all,

Jim Hodgson
OBA President