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Author Topic: It was a typical AJ Hornet kind of beginning  (Read 785 times)

Offline Out of the Loop

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It was a typical AJ Hornet kind of beginning
« on: June 23, 2018, 06:32:22 PM »
     I have read several stories that have a common thread where the guy started buying dime gliders (AJ's), progressed to the AJ Hornet followed by a series of Comet kits. Dad and mom got married in June of '45. He was going to school to be a minister. I came along in December of '46. His first church was in a tiny town in NE Nebraska. Then on to Lincoln, Nebraska in '50. The airplane story actually started in Marion, Indiana, in 1952. Dad went back to school there to finish his Bible School degree. I found my first AJ's on the counter at a drug store about half a block away. We lived on a busy street so most floated out there and were run over--CRUSHED. But I kept buying more. Next church stop was in Wayne, Nebraska. We lived on the south side but 2nd grade was at the teachers college there. You had to walk through downtown to get to school on the north side. The 5-n-10 on the way had several Comet kits which sold all the way up to $1. The first Comet kit I purchased there was the 16 inch SPAD for 29 cents. Being a preachers kid in the '50's or any other decade was not that much fun. Dad was not a model builder, but he did know his Bible. So I was pretty much on my own with model building most of my life.
     The next church stop was in another little town in NE Nebraska. It was 12 miles back to where he had started in 1945, but this was 1957. The first plane with an engine was a Comet TriPacer with and OK 049. I got it in Indiana during a trip for dad to preside over the marriage of his youngest brother. On another day the family traveled to Sioux City, Iowa to shop. Dad past a hobby shop there. We stopped in and I bought a Ring Master. Over the next three years, we visited that shop as well as one in Norfolk. In December of '58 while I was waiting on the GreyHound to deliver my newspapers (rem newspaper boys??) I stumbled on a issue of American Modeler in the magazine rack. Pictures from the Nationals were in that issue. My airplane universe that I knew was out there finally made an appearance. I ordered a Fox .35 from America's Hobby Center to fit onto the now completed Ring Master. Life was good.
     Once again Dad relocated to Watertown, South Dakota. That would have been '61-'62-'63. In 1962 we took a family vacation to Washington, DC. Heaven on earth was the one day we spent at the 1962 Nats. Finally my parents were exposed to ADULTS who had mastered airplane modeling. I saw Bob Randall, Bill Werwage, Don Still, and Lew McFarland who was flying his new Shark 45. I got a COX PT-19 for Christmas that year and finally learned how to fly by myself.
     This December I turn 72 on the tenth. Thank God I'm a country boy.


Offline john e. holliday

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Re: It was a typical AJ Hornet kind of beginning
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2018, 08:16:14 AM »
This is a great story.  I can't imagine a preachers kid even though I ad classmates that were.   One I remembered most I found out never finished high school.  American Modeler used to be Young Mens Magazine if I remember right.  Learned how to tie a neck tie from one issue.  It also had the annual issues that covered the Nationals and I dreamed of attending one.   But, also my Dad didn't have that great a job as far as money, so what money I spent on models was earned working for neighbors.  One Christmas I did get a card on the tree apologizing because the Nobler kit they had bought for me didn't get there yet.    Back then $9.95 as a lot of money.  So I didn't argue when it came to doing the farm chores.   Driving the tractor was the biggest thrill for me.  There are so many memories that I remember that I could go on for ever.   But, how can I thank my GOD for the things he let me do and the friends I have made through the years.  By the way did you continue on in the ministry?    D>K
John E. "DOC" Holliday
10421 West 56th Terrace
Shawnee, KANSAS  66203
AMA 23530

Offline Out of the Loop

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Re: It was a typical AJ Hornet kind of beginning
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2018, 03:12:16 PM »
John E.

     Well, I started out my college years attending that same Bible school in Marion, Indiana in the fall of 1965, but I knew before I went there that I was not going to be a minister. Dad and Mom had three boys, none of whom ever attended church once they graduated from HS and headed out. Some of my best friends are dedicated to their church. You know what they say about politics and religion. Anyway, once I got out on my own I was finally able to go out to the field on Sunday and fly to my hearts content. In fact, that's where I met Lew Woolard, who would later be BEST MAN at my wedding in '73. The flying field was provided by Beech Aircraft and included a paved CL circle. Last time I was in Wichita, I drove by that location but found nothing but brick and mortar retail outlets everywhere. Life goes on, John E.

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Offline john e. holliday

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Re: It was a typical AJ Hornet kind of beginning
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2018, 03:31:39 PM »
I remember Beech field.  Won a few carrier contests there and a second in combat in 64.
John E. "DOC" Holliday
10421 West 56th Terrace
Shawnee, KANSAS  66203
AMA 23530


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