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Author Topic: My beginnings  (Read 4115 times)

Offline Sam Crooks

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My beginnings
« on: May 19, 2014, 01:14:35 PM »
I grew up in the 70's in suburban Glendale AZ with 3 older brothers who were constantly into something new.  Rockets, C/L , pyrotechnics (basically blowing stuff up with fire crackers and M-80's  LL~.  I was rarely allowed to participate in much since the age gap was 7 yrs to my next closest brother.  I can remember all the names of the C/L planes they built and flew.  Ringmaster, Voodoo, shoestring, Lil Satin to name a few.  At some point around the 7th grade long after my brothers had abandoned the hobby I was pillaging through boxes in the garage and I came across a Cox Golden Bee engine and a few other odds and ends.  In a fit of utter boredom I built a small mount to attached the motor to and clamped it in my dads vice.  I managed to find  everything I needed to start the motor except fuel of course. Made a trip to the local Hobby Shop "Val's Hobby Hanger" which was an amazing mom & pop hobby store nearby to collect the needed fuel. 30 minutes later I had the Golden Bee screaming away and spewing burnt castor (amazing smell BTW!) all over myself.  Needless to say my fire was lit and now it was my turn! 

I convinced my oldest brother who was now attending the local community college to help me build a Baby Ringmaster.  Big mistake in some ways since he was the most meticulous builder I have yet to encounter and It took us what seemed like an eternity to complete the kit.  Good in other ways because he built one heck of an airplane.  The big day finally came to fly so we headed to the local grade school to have at it.  I was quite nervous as he ran out and grabbed the handle and gave me a shout, "Let it go"!  Up it went and and he ran it through a tank of gas without issues.  We must have made 5 or 6 trips to the flying field with me never getting the courage to fly it.  Finally he went to work on my fragile emotional state and convinced me I could do it.  We role played the whole take off sequence like we were Blue Angels or something.  Long story short my courage was up and I reluctantly made up my mind I could do it although looking back I was a complete wreck from the minute I woke up on my maiden day.  With handle in hand my voice screeched out the signal to let it go and I was frozen in slow motion as the Ringmaster did a complete wingover and pile drove the earth 180 degrees from where my brother was standing "re-kitting" itself LL~ 

I can laugh now and so many of us suffered the same fate on our first flight but I will admit it was a top 3 most devastating moment of my childhood.  I cried the whole bike ride home!  A few weeks must have passed and I ended up in the garage with what remained of the Ringmaster which to my surprise was in decent shape considering.  The main issue was the broken fuse along the center.  I somehow managed to completely repair the plane without anyone noticing.  I can remember like it was yesterday when I walked into my brothers room with the repaired plane and he was blown away. Although not nearly up to his level I had done a decent job getting the thing back together without gaining to much weight.  He flew the plane a few times and finally it was my turn again.  Something had changed in my confidence by now I can recall not being all that nervous.  I had one crystal clear thought in my head as I grabbed the handle which was, "hold down into it on launch".  WHOA!!!!  The rest as they say, "is history".

Offline Bill Little

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Re: My beginnings
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2014, 01:41:33 PM »
Hi Sam,

Welcome to Stunthangar!  Your story is similar to the way many of us got our start.  Welcome back to C/L!

BIG Bear
Big Bear <><

Aberdeen, NC

James Hylton Motorsports/NASCAR/ARCA

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Trying to get by

Offline RknRusty

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Re: My beginnings
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2014, 01:54:53 PM »
HI Sam, glad you found us here at Stunthangar. Great intro, and not so different from mine, except Dad was the family gluemaster and the plane was a black Cox Stuka.
Rusty Knowlton
... and never Ever think about how good you are at something...
while you're doing it!

Jackson Flyers Association (a.k.a. The Wildcat Rangers(C/L))- Fort Jackson, SC
Metrolina Control Line Society (MCLS) - Huntersville, NC - The Carolina Gang
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Online John Rist

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Re: My beginnings
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2014, 03:31:07 PM »
It's still a thrill every time I get an engine to run.  What a great hobby!  #^
John Rist
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Online john e. holliday

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Re: My beginnings
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2014, 06:41:08 AM »
I sit here reading your post and wonder how I missed it even less responded to it.  Very similar to me except my 3 half brothers were gone from by the time the oldest one gave me a brand new Cox Space Hopper .049.   After I learned to start it after it had been run that Christmas day was to find a use for it.  Sure have learned a lot since then and I'm  still learning.  Thanks for the story.
John E. "DOC" Holliday
10421 West 56th Terrace
Shawnee, KANSAS  66203
AMA 23530  Have fun as I have and I am still breaking a record.

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