|Leslie Payne poses with one of his airplanes. Image courtesy of Johnathan Green.|
After Leslie Payne retired to a nursing home in the late 1970s, and after his death in 1980, his airfield was abandoned. The planes, tower, and machine shop remained until 1987, when Jonathan Green, then director of the California Museum of Photography traveled to Lillian, Virginia, and with the permission of the family, brought back a plane, the air tower, and some of the machine shop. Green’s team spent years restoring the artifacts. In 1994, Green assisted the Anacostia Museum in acquiring the collection, and it remains an important part of the museum’s holdings today.
|Leslie Payne motto. Image courtesy of Johnathan Green.|
Let me end with Leslie Payne’s motto that was burned over the doorway of his machine shop: Safty first, Tak No Chance!
This post originally appeared on the Anacostia Community Documentation Initiative blog.
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Anacostia Community Museum