News & Pictures

Harry's 94th Birthday Celebration - 17 February 2017


























On Saturday, February 17, 2018, quite a few folks met at Soulman's BBQ in Greenville, TX around 11:30 a.m. to celebrate Harry Andonian's 94th birthday. Thanks to Karen Smith, the room was nicely decorated with patriotic table cloths, plates, and napkins. The room really looked good. Thanks to the organizer of the event, Dennis Mathis, a personalized, second iteration birthday cake with two candles was on display. The second iteration of the cake is another story all by itself. And as become tradition for all Majors Flying Club related events, and much to the chagrin of Gordon Hay, he provided yet another batch of his epic Ghiradelli brownies. Shortage of food and dessert was NOT an issue.

Folks started gathering around around 11:30 a.m. for the perfunctory howdy's before answering the siren call of the Soulman's BBQ food line. Good conversation ensued as folks enjoyed their BBQ lunches on the nicely decorated tables in the backroom of Soulman's. With the majority of the mastication being complete, Dennis Mathis stood to welcome everyone and to provide a brief introduction. Mr. Mathis mentioned, among other things, Harry's induction into the Lancaster Aerospace Walk of Honor. The Walk of Honor is dedicated to recognizing one hundred distinguished test pilots who conducted test flights at Edwards Air Force base and other notable locations around the country. Check out the history of the Walk of Honor, the names of the other ninety-nine honoree and their pictures and profiles at the Lancaster Aerospace Walk of Honor website.

Harry was kind enough to stand up and share several of the stories related to the pictures on his birthday cake. Included in those pictures is the notable picture of Bozo the Clown before his ride on the Vomit Comet, Harry in a pressurized suit, and his Debonair. The Bozo the Clown story is a classic. Of note, there is NO post flight Bozo the Clown picture. Harry talked a bit more about flying the Vomit Comet, flying the L-450 in a pressurized suit, the recognition the crew and passengers of a commercial airliner gave him on his way to his induction at the Lancaster Aerospace Walk of Honor, and flying his Debonair. Always entertaining and good the hear any of Harry's stories.

The #9 candle and the #4 candle were lit and the crowd burst out in a heartfelt, if off key, rendition of the Happy Birthday song. The cake was cut and distributed, the brownies were devoured, and a good time was had by all.

Thank you for letting us be part of your 94th Birthday celebration Harry!

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