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Harry L. Steinmetz
(In passing - December 13, 2021

Harry Steinmetz by Howard Haupt

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          Harry attended San Diego High School, and graduated from San Diego State College (1952 to 1957) majoring in Speech.  He was employed by San Diego Unified School District (1964 – 1999), teaching fine arts at Madison High School, and was an Adjunct Instructor (Communications Studies) at San Diego Community College District starting in 1980.

          Both Harry and I are alumni of Madison High School, with Harry’s career of teaching at Madison, and my graduating with the Madison Class of 1968.  Our paths never crossed on campus, for my schedule of classes did not include any of the Fine Arts classes Harry taught.

          I came to know Harry on a more personal basis through our mutual membership with the San Diego Orbiteers.  Harry became active with the Orbiteers in the mid-seventies.  Non-Power was Harry’s cup of tea, flying Coupe, A-1, Unlimited Rubber and P-30.  Harry teamed up with John Oldenkamp in 1976 to brainstorm the concept of a new modeling class, the P-30.  Prototype designs were drawn up and built and tested.  Flying a P-30 design, Harry competed at the 1976 Pacific NW Championships and placed 5TH in the Unlimited Rubber Class.

           In the calendar year 1977, a number of pivotal activities occurred with Harry at the helm.  He was elected President of the Orbiteers, the P-30 rules were finalized, a four-page P-30 promotional flyer was developed, published and distributed.  A P-30 Postal Contest was defined and sponsored by the Orbiteers.  With Harry’s guidance, the P-30 Postal was a success, with 43 entries, and is thought to be the catalyst that launched the P-30 class on the path to success.  Also during the course of this calendar year, Harry competed monthly in the Non-Power class, and closed out the year as the club Non-Power Champion.

           After a monthly Orbiteer meeting, Harry shared with me some insight he had developed over the years teaching.  He went on to say that on the first day of class, he could look out at the students in attendance, and assess with a high degree of accuracy, the grade level each would achieve by the conclusion of the course curriculum.  At the time I thought this was a remarkable ability to interpret body language and presence in a glance.

            Well Harry, your remarkable presence, will be missed.

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Left to right: Harry Steinmetz, John Hutchison, Kathy McLaughlin, Arline and Don Bartick, and David Steinmetz

William (Bill) C. Hannan

(1931-2020)

Bill Hannan by Jim Lueken

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          We have lost another giant.  Bill Hannan passed away peacefully on December 14, 2020.  Bill was known around the world for his beautiful drawings, model designs, magazine articles and columns, and his wonderful books.  His drawings are works of art and his writing style contagious.  Back around 1971 I met his son, Ken, at a summer school model airplane club.  The first time I walked into Bill’s model room I was awe struck.  So many beautiful models!  I had no idea what peanut scale was but wanted to build one so he gave me a plan and told me he wanted to see it when it was finished.  From then on he was my mentor.  I learned most of what I know about modeling from him.  That’s how he was, always willing to help others.  One of my favorite stories happened back in the mid 70’s.  My father and I went to a large annual free flight scale meet.  Bill had a number of models with him, each capable of winning their event. Half way through the day I realized he hadn’t flown any of them.  When I asked why he hadn’t flown yet his reply was “I’m having way to much fun to take the time to fly.”  He was helping others, taking pictures and answering hundreds of questions from friends and fans.  That was Bill! 

         Bill is survived by his beloved wife of 67 years, Joan, daughter Doreen (Michael), son Ken (Jann), 5 grandchildren, and 9 great grandchildren.

John Oldenkamp (1931-2014)

      John Oldenkamp was born in 1931, was an Honors graduate, DePauw University, and had military service, USN 1950-54.

      A South Park/Golden Hill resident since 1969. John and life partner Carin Howard live in a craftsman home in South Park. Now retired his background includes working for General Dynamics Astronautics as an offsite and corporate photographer and as a self-employed editorial and advertising photographer in San Diego from 1965 until 1995. When retired he traveled extensively both domestic and foreign.

Clarence Mather (1922 - 2014)

      Clarence Mather, born in 1922, grew up in Lemont, Illinois, a Chicago suburb.

      Starting as a youngster building his own planes from orang-crate wood and whatever tools were available. For 10¢ and an oatmeal box top, Clarence purchased a Vought Corsair kit through an advertisement in a magazine. He learned about fragile balsa wood, tissue and complicated plans. Completing the model, he began buying more 10¢ kits.

      Clarence enlisted in the Army Air Corps about the same time the US entered WWII. Trained as an aviation mechanic, he was assigned to pilot training and eventually became a flight instructor. Clarence managed a little bit of model building at each place he was stationed. After his military service, he entered college and continued to build models.

      Clarence is in the AMA Hall of Fame.

      (information edited from the AMA History interview 2004)