April 26, 2012

Pheasant Airplane Arrives Back Home in Memphis

Volunteers roll the Pheasant aircraft fuselage out of the semi-trailer that hauled the historic plane from New York back to Memphis, where it was originally manufactured in the late 1920s. (Photo by Mike Scott.)

More images from the unveiling of the Pheasant in Memphis on April 21st can be viewed here.

Pheasant Airplane to Be on Public Display

The Pheasant Airplane Committee will have the Airplane on display for the next two weekends for the public to view.

The dates to be on public display will be Saturday April 28 from 1 - 4 p.m. and Sunday, April 29 from 1 - 4 p.m. The plane will also be on display the following weekend, Saturday, May 5 from 1 - 4 p.m. and Sunday, May 6 from 1 - 4 p.m.

The airplane is on display at what is now the Wiggins Family Museum (the old Farley Building) on Hwy. 136.

If you have questions or need additional information you may contact Fred Clapp at 660-341-2307 or Ron Brown at 660-328-6361.

Letter to the Editor

Dear Committee Members:
Tomorrow will be a historic day for the people of Memphis and for me. Pheasant Airplane #118. She will have completed the journey back to the place where she was made. I write this letter to tell you how immensely grateful I am to be able to witness this amazing story.

When I called my sister Sharon after Stan Myers found me and told me what's been happening, I said, "I have something to tell you that you are not going to believe!" She said, "Try me!" When I told her the story, she told me I was right. For me, the story of Pheasant Air Craft was personal, told through the eyes of my father who lost his father at age 14. His memories were of his father and of his father vision's and forward thinking. Lee Briggs' death rocked his family's world forever. My grandmother, aunt and dad's loss was monumental and altered the course of their lives dramatically.

Stan Myers' phone call opened up a whole new vision of Pheasant Aircraft for me. It's not simply the story of my grandfather and a company he helped start. It is the story of an amazing town, amazing because of the amazing and resourceful people who live there. It was a group of men who founded Pheasant Aircraft, not a single person. It was the hard work of more people who came to the plant each day and diligently and skillfully put those planes together.

It is that same resourcefulness that I see today. A couple of men who'd also grown up with the stories of Pheasant Aircraft saw one advertised for sale in a magazine. Their excitement was contagious, and soon the whole community was involved and beyond what anyone could have expected, they raised the $75,000 needed to purchase the plane.

Thank you, Stan Myers, for relentlessly trying to find Lee Briggs' surviving family members and thus giving us the privilege of seeing what you all have done. Thank you to everyone who's had a part in making this day happen. My only regret is that my father, Dan Briggs and my aunt Anna Lee Briggs are not here to witness it as well. I am very proud to have family from Memphis.

May God continue to bless all of you in this exciting adventure. I look forward to coming to Memphis myself this summer.


Pat Briggs Read

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