Leading off 2024 as our January Spotlight Volunteer is Mary Laudon. Born in Southern California, her mother worked for Lockheed Aircraft as a riveter and a machinist and her father served in the United States Army Air Corps during World War Two. She was almost predestined to find her way to the Hickory Aviation Museum.
Growing up in Southern California, Mary and her brother lived the iconic lifestyles as portrayed by Hollywood movies. In the late sixties her brother joined the United States Marine Corps and did a tour in Vietnam. Mary volunteered at the local US0 club, dancing with young servicemen stationed in the area. She graduated from Agoura High School and then attended Pierce College where she studied computer science.
After college Mary met and married a young Marine. During this period, Mary lived just about everywhere a Marine could be stationed. Mary has one daughter who lives in Houston, Texas. Her daughter is a true animal lover who owns a Rottweiler and a three-legged cat. In 2022 Mary moved from California to Lincolnton, North Carolina.
Mary enjoys the slower paced lifestyle that allows her to volunteer in many worthwhile activities. She is heavily involved in the American Legion’s Auxiliary, Disabled American Veterans and the Veterans and Community Alliance. To appease her inherited love of aircraft and all things aviation, Mary volunteers at the Hickory Aviation Museum. She loves to work in the museum’s gift shop and interact with visitors, both young and old. We invite you to visit and meet the lady who directly or indirectly inspired such musical hits as California Dreaming and California Girls.