It was 1957, I was 10 yrs. old. I got a Cox ready-to-fly plane for Christmas that year. I don't recall the name of the thing, I just remember it was almost too big for the .049 engine. It would just barely stay airborne but it was slow enough to let me get the feel for the handle. For the next 4 years I must have gone through 8 or 10 of those RTF's from Cox. Then I met a neighborhood boy my age and he told me he knew of an older guy that had started a flying club near to where we lived. So a short bus ride later we found ourselves at this guy's house. As we walked into his open garage my eyes got wide because his garage was a fully stocked c/l shop. On one side of the garage was a large display case about 10 ft. long with a wide array of engines and a complete line of accessories. On the other wall was shelves stocked with many different types and sizes of kits. So we decided right there to join the "Flying Fiends" c/l club. This older guy, maybe 20 yrs. old (I don't remember his name) was the president of the club. He was a great guy with an interest in helping kids with the hobby. He supplied us with everything we needed. The first plane I bought from him was, of course, a Ringmaster. I got pretty good with it doing the basics and stayed with it until I laid my eyes on the Voodoo kit on his shelf. Once I built that kit and put a Fox 35 on it with crank pressure, which was a new way, at least around our area, of feeding the 35 back then. I started flying combat at age 15 and got pretty good at it. We would travel around to the different flying fields around Houston, competing against other clubs in the Houston area. Then one time the president of our club entered us in a big event in Longview Tx (about a 4 hr. drive from Houston). I entered the combat division, scared to death from all the horror stories that I would hear about the caliber of some of the guys I would have to compete against. As it turned out I got 1st runner up and was so proud of myself. Of the five guys that represented our club I was the only one to get a trophy. I continued flying to age 17 and that was about the time girls came along and, well, that, so they say, was that. So, in 1965 I left the hobby behind and never picked it back up, until now.
Welcome back............it's still a great hobby.