Here is the wording of Tony's invitation, dated August 8, 1977:
"Permit me to intrude into some of your precious time to
introduce myself in order that you may have some insight as to the subject
matter regarding this correspondence. Thank You.
"My name is Anthony Terrigno (Tony) of Buena Park, California,
the proud owner of Mooney Mites N118C and N120C. My interest in contacting you
is to have a very informal gathering of California "MITE" owners, of which they
number approximately twenty-eight (28). California has the largest number of
"MITES" registered of all the states. The purpose of the "get-together" would be
to exchange ideas and see other MITES with the hope of making new friends. The
necessary information is listed below for your convenience: If planning to
attend, please fill out the form and mail on or before 9 Sept. 1977. We would
like this fly-in to be the beginning of an annual affair.
A.A. Terrigno (Tony)"
Founding Members (attendees
all from California): (The names marked in blue arrived in their Mite.)
Pre-registered, but did not attend:
- Jack Callahan,
Bakersfield, N4125, s/n 295, blue & white
- Ben Favrholdt,
Torrance, N4092, s/n 127, blue, 1000 hrs
- Earl Sanderson,
Placerville, N380A, s/n 41, red & white, 1500 hrs
- Allen Weddle,
Orangeville, N9AW, s/n 234, white, red & blue trim. 2220
- Ernie Buenting,
Upland, N496M, s/n 246, green over white
- Doris & Ben Loftsgaard, Sacramento,
N122C, under construction
- Tony Terrigno, Buena
Park, N118C, N120C, s/n 79 & 81, yellow, black & green trim, 500
- Dave Jappay, Orinda,
N4152, s/n 318, white & gold, 830 hrs
- Richard McComas,
Manhattan Beach, N329M, s/n 210, red fuselage, silver wings, 1400 hrs
- Bob Katz, Encino
- Fabio Escobar, La Palma, N109C
- Luis Tomich, Norwalk, N109C
Audrey Schutte, Northridge, N3163K, s/n 7,
white, orange, gold, 900 hrs
Dan Shumaker, Livermore, N4142, s/n 308, white
& brown, 935 hrs
Sam Gagian, Lemon Grove, N4104, s/n 138, white,
blue trim, 900 hrs
Prizes (Winners judged by ballot):
Furthest distance flown,
Best paint design and finish,
Best general appearance
There is no record of who won the prizes.
Here is a report on the first Fly-In prepared by Ben
Loftsgaard, who forwarded copies to the Porterville newspaper and the
local EAA chapter:
"On September 17th a Mooney Mite Fly-In took place at
Porterville Airport. It was organized by Tony Terrigno of Buena
Park, Calif. A total of nine "Mites" showed up. Five were from the Los Angeles
area, one came over from Hayward, and two from the Sacramento area -
Allan Weddle from Phoenix Field and Doctor Earl "Doc"
Sanderson from Placerville.
"In addition to lots of flying, the group participated in a
seminar (they called it a "Rap Session") on their aircraft. Doris and
Ben Loftsgaard flew down in a Cessna 150 to attend the
sessions, and Fabio Escobar, wife, son, and two friends who
have "Mites" in their garage in Mission Viego, came up in a Cessna 172. Fabio
first became interested in Mooney Mites when he learned to fly in his
native country, Columbia, South America.
"The Townspeople of Porterville gave the group the "Red Carpet"
treatment. John Konop, the Airport Manager, and Ken
Billingsley the local Ford Dealer, furnished free transportation and
everyone at the field co-operated with the "Mighty Mite" flyers. The only
uncooperative thing at the whole fly-in was the automatic sprinkler system on
the airport grounds which "did it's thing" at five o'clock on Sunday morning,
dousing the pup-tenters and their airplanes. A garbage can placed upside-down
over the offending plumbing took care of the situation."