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Category: General Interest
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I thought the members might enjoy a story that links the Ercoupe with the Starship Enterprise.. I had a very good friend who passed away a few months back.  His name was Walter M. Jefferies.  We just called him Matt.  He was my son's god father and lived in Hollywood Hills area.  He was born and raised in Virginia.  He had two jobs.  Being a vary talented artist he was an illustrator for the Library of Congress and in whatever spare time he had he learned how to fly.  He was ripe for the draft and wangled he way into Army Aviation.  He flew right seat in a B-17 that carried no guns or bombs or what ever else was needed.  He never heard a shot fired in anger. After the war, Matt resumed his flying but this time he was a flying salesman for Ercoupe. Matt would tell us some hair raising tales of showing how the "Coupe" would land in a cross wind.  He flew almost 7 days a week and became quite a pilot in the years between WW II and Korea.  He bought a run down Waco YOC and it took five of us 10 years of Sundays To restore it. Matt got a job designing set for the movies and applied to, and was accepted into the Art Directors Union.  His talent didn't go un noticed.  One afternoon the phone rang and the voice introduced himself, "I'm Gene Rodenberry.  Could you come up to my office?"  Well, anyone familiar with  TV and or the movies, knows that name. Matt left the office with a big grin on his face because he had just been given the task of designing the Starship Enterprise.  H retired to his basement studio and two weeks later marched into Rodenberry's office with a stack of art board  on which were drawings, almost like paintings of the Starship, the bridge, sickbay and conference room.  It was so good that not a change was made for the run of the series. It was my pleasure to know Matt and his younger brother John, an art director in his own right.  They are both 'gone west' now but if anyone asks, The Enterprise got it's beginning in an Ercoupe.   Gene deRuelle