<font color="#808080">MAGEE, Alderson</font>

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ALDERSON MAGEE
(
1929 - 2016)

Alderson "Sandy" Magee, the only child of John and Alice Magee, was born on October 5, 1929, in Hartford, Connecticut. He was a "typical boy" except for his unusual fascination with the principles of flight. Birds, airplanes, and lighter-than-air craft all drew his attention with magnetic force. Once, while still a young boy, he built a hot air balloon and made plans to set it loose. All systems were was "go" and the flame was lit. However, before the balloon could begin its ascent, his grandmother saw the flame, and thinking that something was awry, vigorously attacked it with a broom. The balloon tilted crazily to one side, then toppled and burned beyond repair.

Following a three-year enlistment in the United States Marine Corps, Sandy enrolled at the University of Connecticut from which he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Management. This, combined with his life-long interest in aviation, secured a position for him with Pratt and Whitney Aircraft as a technical representative.

The position proved to be very interesting and at times quite exciting. He was on assignment in Adana, Turkey, at the time Francis Gary Powers took off on his ill-fated flight over Soviet territory in his Lockheed U-2 reconnaissance aircraft. The events that followed are well-known to most Americans.

A not-so-well-known aircraft is the Gee-Bee biplane. The Gee-Bees rose to fame in the early 1930's as superb racing airplanes. A racing Gee-Bee piloted by Jimmy Doolittle won the 1932 Thompson Trophy race, one of the most coveted trophies of the times.

In 1965, while serving as executive secretary for the Bradley Air Museum in Connecticut, Sandy located the last remaining Gee-Bee biplane in the world. He went to Claremore, Oklahoma, intent on flying it back to the museum, but over Ohio the engine failed and he made a successful forced landing. The aircraft was then dismantled and transported by truck to Connecticut.

In 1968 he and a close friend entered into negotiations with the Guatemalan government to purchase their inventory of twelve North American P-51 "Mustang" fighter planes. After a trip to Guatemala to inspect the aircraft, it became evident that the Guatemalans could not bear to part with them and all negotiations were terminated.

While holding the position of director of trade show exhibits for Pratt and Whitney, he hired an intelligent and very pretty secretary, Mary Ann Kaspar. In May of 1970 she became Mrs. Alderson Magee and has been at Sandy's side ever since. Two months after he won the duck stamp contest their daughter, Kathryn, was born.

Sandy has always had a keen interest in the paintings of the Old Masters, and white on assignment in Europe for Pratt and Whitney he visited most of the major -art galleries. His interest was so intense that he finally purchased some oil paints and watercolors and began the difficult task of teaching himself to paint.

By 1971 he felt that he could make it on his own in the art world; he resigned from Pratt and Whitney and began a new career in the field of fine art. Sandy was keenly aware of the areas in which his talent needed improvement, so he enrolled in several courses at the West Hartford Art League under the direction of Estelle Coniff. He could not have had a better instructor. She seemed to have a sure answer for every question regarding technique, light values, composition, etc. . . . a most unusually talented woman. In 1972 he decided to try his hand at scratchboard, a medium about which he had read in an old art book. He so taken by this technique that he has worked in no other medium since.














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