2015-07-17 / Front Page

Flock of “Eagles” gathers to celebrate upcoming birthdays

“The Original Timex”
By Jim Hamilton


Ralph Brown will be 99 November 16 and Maynard Cusworth will be 95 February 8. A Flock of Midlands Aviation Golden Eagles celebrated their upcoming birthdays early with a lunch gathering Monday, July 13 at the Flight Deck in Lexington. The flock, including Ralph and Maynard, have been associated with Midlands Aviation over the last 50-plus years at the former Owens Field (now Jim Hamilton-LB Owens Airport CUB) in downtown Columbia. Standing (l-r): Jack Sellers, Reece Hall, Bill Turner, Frank Young, Lawrence Savage, Merrill Donahoo, Fred Severance, Don McElveen, Dennis Dabney, Ralph Brown (98), A.J. Eggenberger, Hans Bagnal, John Hodge, and Jeff Trumbower. Seated (l-r): Larry Yon, Jim Hamilton, Maynard Cusworth (94), Bill Mitchell, John Leonhardt, Dirk Tanis, Jack Starling, and John Hamilton. 
Photo courtesy of Jim Hamilton Ralph Brown will be 99 November 16 and Maynard Cusworth will be 95 February 8. A Flock of Midlands Aviation Golden Eagles celebrated their upcoming birthdays early with a lunch gathering Monday, July 13 at the Flight Deck in Lexington. The flock, including Ralph and Maynard, have been associated with Midlands Aviation over the last 50-plus years at the former Owens Field (now Jim Hamilton-LB Owens Airport CUB) in downtown Columbia. Standing (l-r): Jack Sellers, Reece Hall, Bill Turner, Frank Young, Lawrence Savage, Merrill Donahoo, Fred Severance, Don McElveen, Dennis Dabney, Ralph Brown (98), A.J. Eggenberger, Hans Bagnal, John Hodge, and Jeff Trumbower. Seated (l-r): Larry Yon, Jim Hamilton, Maynard Cusworth (94), Bill Mitchell, John Leonhardt, Dirk Tanis, Jack Starling, and John Hamilton. Photo courtesy of Jim Hamilton Ralph Brown will be 99 November 16, 2015. Ralph has an interesting life history. He was shot down while flying a P-51 fighter plane near Berlin during WWII.


Ralph Brown Ralph Brown After bailing out of his burning airplane and five days of successful evasion, he was captured and held as a POW for the remainder of the war.

After retiring from the Air Force, he joined Midlands Aviation as a pilot in the early ’60s until “temporarily” retiring again. During his time with Midlands, he began driving stock cars in races at Columbia Speedway and several other tracks around the state, earning him such titles as “The Silver Fox” and “Bifocal Hippie.”

He continued racing until age 80 while also working with his son A.J. in the auto repair business. A.J. has taken over the stock car driving, cheered on by his Dad in the pits, and they won a race last Friday night.

Ralph owns half their race car and says he goes wherever the car goes. So, you will find him at the track every race night.

Ralph still walks (without any assistance) for exercise in his neighborhood twice a day. He lives with his youngest daughter Andi (he has two other daughters as well). He is in amazingly good condition even compared to a much younger person.

After a routine physical exam recently, his primary care physician asked him, “What is your secret ?” His answer was, “Keeping active.” His friends have dubbed him “The Original Timex.” He just keeps on ticking.

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