March 18, 2015
A Conversation with Roy Mize, Early Aviation Historian
In aviation’s early days there were many pioneers. One of the most famous pilots wasn’t known for his flying but for entertainment and incredible feats of derring-do. Harry Houdini escaped from handcuffs, locked safes, and chain-covered crates tossed into a frozen river. And he wanted to build a new act - with an aeroplane.
At our March 18th meeting, historian Roy Mize will tell Houdini’s story: how he bought an aeroplane, learned to fly, and set a record that put him in the history books. Roy’s presentation includes a clip from one of Houdini’s movies that includes some of the best original footage of Curtiss JN-4 flights that still exists. If time allows, he will show videos from some modern history.
About Roy Mize
Roy Mize is a retired aerospace R&D program planner who became an early aviation historian after he began to research some 1925 U.S. Navy biplane photos bought at a Palo Alto estate sale. His search turned into an odyssey and over the next twelve years, he looked for other forgotten stories about the beginnings of flight. That effort has morphed into two books and a two-volume anthology of early flight entitled Forgotten Stories of Early Aviation, 1843 to 1845. He has written a number of other aviation publications. Roy has Bachelors’ degrees in Business Administration and Science in Business as well as an MBA. He served in the US Army Air Defense School at Ft. Bliss, Texas where after 18 months of training, he served as a Nike Operations Instructor. He has taught Continuing Education courses at UC Santa Cruz Extension, UCLA Extension, Sonoma State University - Professional Development, and Sunnyvale Adult Education as well as various corporate in-house training courses.
Location:Mesa Beverage Company, Inc.
3200 N. Laughlin Road. Santa Rosa, CA
Directions: From Santa Rosa, take Highway 101 North and exit at Airport Blvd. Turn left on Laughlin Road toward the museum. The Mesa building is located on the left side of the street a couple hundred yards past the museum.