Return to the Days Before NAS Pax River on Sept. 26

PATUXENT RIVER, Md. (Sept. 8, 2010)—Life Before NAS Pax will be the subject when the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum Foundation kicks off its quarterly speaker series on Sunday, Sept. 26, 4-5 p.m. at the museum in Lexington Park.

The Patuxent River Naval Air Station is the leading economic engine of Southern Maryland, with more than 20,000 military and civilian employees. Its impact on the area's growth has been incalculable.

There was a time, however, before the air station even existed, when Southern Maryland was a rural community. Farming, particularly of tobacco, was the leading occupation. It was a time when numerous farm buildings, an auto dealership, two churches, the town of Pearson and a summer colony existed on what is now NAS Patuxent River.

Those days will come alive again in a casual and relaxed fireside chat where people who remember those days will tell their special stories. Local historian Johnny Cook has organized a dynamic forum of five community leaders who will provide a living history of life in Jarboesville (Lexington Park's original name) and surrounding areas in those long-ago days. Listen and learn what life was like from these living legends:

-- Jane Yowaiski, who will share memories of her life as a community political leader;

-- State Sen. Roy Dyson, who will share stories passed down to him from his mother;

-- Nell Levay, who will describe the challenges faced by families who moved from their homes to make way for the new naval air station;

-- Webster Dyson, who will tell about life as an African-American in 1940s Southern Maryland; and

-- Ann Lancaster, who will share her memories as daughter of the postmaster.

Life Before NAS Pax is the first of what will be a quarterly Educational Speaker Series in preparation for the Centennial Celebration of 100 years of Naval Aviation in 2011. Each program's theme will center on the Patuxent River Naval Air Station.

The first program is sponsored by Sabre Systems, Inc. Sponsors are being sought for the remaining programs in the series. For more information, email the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum Association at association(at)

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