Jon is the husband of Dodit Rogers-Patterson, which of course, makes him the son-in-law of Roy Rogers an d Dale Evans. But over the past few years, Jon has become part of our Roy Rogers Festival family as well! You'll probably find him helping out with the entertainment in our hospitality room most evenings, hosting some of the events throughout the festival, greeting and getting to know the fans of Roy and Dale, and doing whatever he can to support Dodie, the Rogers legacy, and the festival. He may even occasionally pull out their Trigger and Gabby puppets to entertain the kids.
John is also of special interest to the guests of our festival because of his 'day job.' For more than 25 years, Jon has worked as an engineer at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). In laymen's terms, he's a "rocket scientist." Jon is currently supporting the development of NASA's new launch vehicle, the Space Launch System (SLS). This will be used to carry America's crews and large payloads to deep space exploration destinations, including Mars someday. He is currently leading his team in the definition of the capabilities necessary for the on-board computers to operate the vehicle systems, as well as those required to detect and respond to failures to either maintain critical functions, or to recommend and support an abort of the crew in the event of a significant failure requires that they are able to return safely back to earth.
Over his career, Jon has had the opportunity to support several of NASA's fascinating programs. Some of these include the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, the Tethered Satellite System (TSS), the Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle, several experiments flown on the Space Shuttle, International Space Station (ISS), and the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME). It was while he was acting as the lead Software Engineer for the X-33 Reusable Launch Vehicle program in Palmdale, California in 1999 that he met Dodie.
In addition to his fascinating work, Jon still enjoys playing soccer and softball competitively. He is also one the lead singers in the band, Natchez Trace, and eight-member group that performs county, classic, southern rock, and even some blue grass music throughout the Tennessee Valley area. We have the opportunity to enjoy a taste of his passion for singing and music when he performs for us each year at the festival.