TSM Honors Its Number One Fan: Lockheed’s Gail Rymer.
Retired LMCO VP, Gail Rymer poses next to her namesake: ‘Gail’s Glory.’(All photos by John Eggett)
“This was one of the nicest things that anyone has ever done for me,” said a very surprised Gail Rymer. The recently retired Lockheed-Martin VP had no idea that there would be a ‘naming ceremony’ to commemorate TSM’s new F-117 mockup. “I never imagined anything let alone ‘Gail’s Glory.’ I am very proud to have been affiliated with you and the Traveling Space Museum these 14 years and I hope we can continue [for] 14 more!”
Meeting Gail Rymer was serendipitous. I was a manager for a new private space museum in the spring of 1998 tasked to find funding to keep the museum afloat. My bosses were all courting a big aerospace firm and I was specifically told not to talk to them. I could approach anybody but not that company.’
I quickly found a thick Yellow Pages Directory and started ‘cold-calling’ aerospace companies. Soon, I was calling Lockheed-Martin.
LMCO Space Day Team left to right: Darryl Armstrong, Penelope Gault, Kay Armstrong, Gail Rymer, Gary Cambre & TSM’s Ivor Dawson
In a matter of days, Lockheed executive, Gail Rymer was at my museum ready to talk sponsorship. My bosses were anxious for the meeting and also very apprehensive about having me sit in. Gail Rymer was adamant, “Ivor is the reason why I’m here and Ivor sits in the meeting!” I was very impressed. A total stranger stood up for me when my own bosses wouldn’t. That showed me what kind of person Gail Rymer was. From that very first day, I knew that this was going to be the start of a beautiful friendship!
Gail Rymer changed my life. Her financial support for Traveling Space Museum, Inc. turned my avocation (space advocacy) into my vocation!
The decision to build the F-117 mockup would honor Lockheed-Martin’s support for TSM but when Gail announced her retirement, I wanted to do something special that would honor her! I also wanted the world to know our story. To share in the occasion, I had her former ‘Space Day’ associates help me to come up with the name. Kay Armstrong came up with the name: “Gail’s Glory.” Taking part in the ‘unveiling’ and signing her name on the F-117.was Gail’s first Space Day event as a ‘civilian.’
Now, the most asked question we get is: “Who’s Gail?” A GI in camouflage fatigues asked me if Gail was my ‘best girl.’ “That’s about right,” I agreed. Mission accomplished!
By Ivor Dawson