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Author Topic: Bob Gialdini  (Read 3228 times)

Online Bob Hunt

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Bob Gialdini
« on: December 15, 2020, 03:44:15 PM »
It is with utmost sadness that I report the passing of Bob Gialdini. Bob was a great flier, builder, designer, and ambassador. He was routinely referred to as "The classiest guy in the hobby." And that he was.

This news came to me at a point when I have to leave to do something of import, so I do not have the time right now to write all that I need to and want to about Bob. I will do that later this evening.

Bob passed three days ago and his daughter, Genell has been trying to get in touch with me. She finally did that through the AMA.

In deepest sorrow for the loss of a great friend and hero.

Bob Hunt

Offline Mike Griffin

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Re: Bob Gialdini
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2020, 04:27:09 PM »
This news saddens me greatly.  When I kitted the Rayette and the Stingray, I had several conversations with Bob.  He was the ultimate gentleman and helped me greatly with advice.  I am really saddened by this news.  RIP Bob and thank you for all you did for me.

Mike
« Last Edit: December 15, 2020, 06:05:48 PM by Mike Griffin »

Offline Istvan Travnik

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Re: Bob Gialdini
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2020, 04:29:50 PM »
Our old comrades never forgot him, as he appeared in the World Championships, in 1964 at Budapest, Hungary.
They referred him often as a great idol.

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Offline Dan McEntee

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Re: Bob Gialdini
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2020, 05:01:25 PM »
   I was fortunate enough t have met Mr. Gialdini in person and one of the early VSC contests that I attended, and was seated next t him at the banquet.  I had on a souvenir shirt from a vacation I spent the year before living on a sail boat for a week or so, and it was decorated with some pinafore flags, I think they are called, and Bob introduced himself and launched into some conversation regarding sail boats, which do interest me! He asked if I was an "old rag hauler"  amd O had to admit that this was the first time I had even been on board one! We had a very pleasant dinner and evening, and talked a lot for the rest of the event the next day. This was back when it was only two days long! I got to see him a few more times at the Kid Venture venue and again, great conversations. I lent him a few batteries for his camera and he promised to pay me back, and  told him it wasn't worth the walk for him to do that, but later in the day, he trudged all the way out to the venue again and replaced that batteries. As you can tell from any of the photos that you may have seen of him and his models, the words "class" and "Gentleman"  are barely adequate to describe him.
   Fair Winds and Tight Lines Mr. Gialdini!"
  Dan McEntee
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Offline John Miller

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Re: Bob Gialdini
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2020, 07:04:37 PM »
Sad news indeed.

I first met Bob at the "Hill Top Cafe" in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin back in the early 80's. I'd moved there a few years previous from Alaska and had quickly found the "Cafe" as it was unique in the area. Bob kept his sail boat there and spent as much time as he could during the summer months Sailing on Lake Michigan.

A friend, Bobby Braun, who worked where Bob kept his boat, introduced me to him one morning as I was having breakfast. We soon found we shared more than a good meal. We both loved boats, me, a stink boat, and him, a Rag Bagger. Truth be told, I'd spent some of my early years crewing on a racing sail boat off the coast of California,  so, I wasn't too offensive for a true sailor to be around. We often met there in the Hill Top Cafe. About half way through that summer, conversation touched on Model Airplanes. Not just any models mind you, but CL Models. I think I might have been the only person who even knew what that was for miles around.

I enjoyed so many really great stories about his time in the sport. A year later, I bought my first model kit since the early 60's, a Top Flight Tutor, with  a used Red Head .35 in Milwaukee. I mention this as I stopped at the shop Bob suggested, on my way home from joining the club he belonged to, The "Milwaukee Circle masters." It was the only CL club in the state, but worth the almost 2 hour drive.

Bob was often at the once a month meetings, showing up at some contests, and was always the Class act he'd always been.

After I moved out west to Utah, I would occasionally see him and a few other 'Masters at VSC. Time, distance, and accidents have reduced the ability to stay in touch. Why does that happen?

I'm saddened to know that he has passed on. He'll be missed by many, but I'm sure he's with a lot of great folks who've gotten there earlier. What a contest they must be able to have.
Getting a line on life. AMA 1601

Online Bob Hunt

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Re: Bob Gialdini
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2020, 07:35:21 PM »
As promised in my initial post above I'm going to add a few thoughts about Bob. I was in such shock when I started this thread that I just couldn't put the words together to convey just how devastating this news was to me. Bob was a great and long-time friend.

I decided that the best way I could pay tribute to Bob was to post here a portion of one of the chapters of my autobiography. I could have simply posted the part about Bob, but I have decided to include a bit of backstory that explains who I was at the time I first met Bob, and how I perceived stunt, and how he changed all that. So please bear with me as this piece is a bit long, but at the end I hope you will get the picture of what I was trying to say. Let's go back now to the 1961 NAts in Willow Grove, PA...

We were still living in the Doylestown area in 1961 when the AMA Nats returned to Willow Grove, as they had every four years since 1953. One of my schoolmates was the son of one of the base big wigs, and he also had an interest in model airplanes. His father was apparently put in charge of helping to promote the Nats in the region, and he asked me if I would consider appearing – along with a couple of other local youths – on the “Morgan in the Morning” television show that originated in Philadelphia. Wow! A chance to be on TV! That was pretty impressive to a young man in those days.

The big day arrived and we were driven to the television station in an official Navy staff car. I was asked to bring along an airplane and all the necessary items I would need to start the engine on the sound stage. Remember, there were no mufflers in those days. I chose to bring my prized Quicker (described earlier) with the flame paint job. It was fitted with a Johnson .35 engine, and those of you who have run them know that it is by far not the quietest engine on the planet. I remember mentioning that to the person who was assigned to direct us, but he said not to worry.

The big moment was nearing. The Morgan in the Morning show was what everyone in the entire area watched when they got up in the morning. I was about to have my few minutes of everlasting fame. Everyone would see me on TV, and I’d be the envy of all my friends. I was told to fuel the model and be ready to crank it up when the program returned from commercial. I remember being cued to be ready to flip the prop. I had the battery leads connected to the engine, and got a bump on the prop. And then . . . Well, you probably won’t believe this next part, but I swear it’s true. At just the moment that we were supposed to come back on air, the program was preempted for coverage of Gus Grissom’s Mercury space flight! That was on July 21, 1961. The host, Rex Morgan personally apologized to us for not being able to get us on air. We were not re-scheduled, and that was that.
       
Larry Scarinzi was asked by the AMA to be the event director for the CL Stunt event at the 1961 Nats, and he came to stay with us for the week. Each morning I would go with Larry to the Nats, and he put me to work as a gopher. I’d go-for coffee, go-for donuts, etc. I also ran some scores for the Navy officer judges, and performed other crucially important tasks. In other words, Larry kept me from being a pest most of the time.

As mentioned before, I flew CL Combat with my Quicker at that Nats, but I also had a lot of time to just roam and see the many sights that a Navy Nats had to offer. Those Nats were a lot like a three ring circus, except that there were many more than three rings. Everywhere you turned there was something happening. Combat was being flown on the grass adjacent to the runway where the Stunt event was being flown, and Speed was just a few hundred feet away, along with Navy Carrier. Radio Control and Free Flight events were also being contested. It was an amazing contest.

For me, however, the most fascinating aspect of that Nats was the hangar that was filled with workbenches. The Navy actually built what seemed like hundreds of wooden workbenches, and modelers would work on their airplanes there. It was a place where spare models could be stored while a modeler was out competing, without the fear that something would be stolen or damaged. Many contestants actually slept under their assigned benches!

I vividly remember walking through this workbench area one day and coming upon a man working on his Stunt model. I knew instantly who it was, because the airplane he was holding had been featured on the cover of the American Modeler Annual just the year before as an S. Calhoun Smith painting. It was, of course, Dave Hemstrought, and the model was his absolutely gorgeous semi-scale Fairchild PT-19. Dave was performing some sort of maintenance on the model. I remember just standing and staring at this scene. Here was a genuine celebrity and I was just a few feet from him. After a few moments he looked over at me and asked if I would help him with some chore on the model. I was stunned! This Stunt Hero was asking me for help! I don’t really remember just what it was that he had me do, but I do remember asking him a lot of questions. I also remember that he was extremely friendly and patient. He treated me like a real person. He actually listened to what I was saying and held a real conversation with me. I was amazed! In retrospect I’m quite sure that he really didn’t need my help with anything and just wanted to ease my obvious nervousness.

David quit flying stunt soon after that and didn’t come back until around 1974. By that time I was an established Stunt flier. I remember seeing Dave and Les McDonald walking toward me at a Nats and wanted to re-introduce myself to him and relate the above story. I was sure he wouldn’t remember the episode at the 1961 Nats, but I wanted him to know how much it meant to me at that time. I started to tell Dave the story and about half way through he stopped me and finished it in perfect detail. He did remember! I was amazed, impressed and elated to know that our first meeting had been so memorable – for both of us.

The evening of appearance point judging was also a highlight of that Nats for me. It was done in the main hangar and in the evening when all the overhead hangar lights accented the beautiful finishes on the CL Stunt models. There were many amazingly beautiful stunt ships at that Nats, but I’m fairly certain that all who were there would agree that the two Ballerina II models that Charles Lickliter brought were the absolute pinnacle. Charles’ original Ballerina was published in Flying Models magazine in the October,1959 issue. The original design featured a carved balsa canopy frame that was fairly wide and resembled the canopy section of an Ercoupe. In fact, the airplane was in many ways seemingly inspired by the Ercoupe, having twin rudders. The Ballerina II had a thinner fuselage at the cockpit area, and featured a removable bubble canopy, allowing access to the incredibly detailed interior. Charles transported the models in large wooden boxes, and there was a crowd around his work area in the hangar when he opened the boxes to reveal the gleaming models. One was painted gray, and the other one - the one he used in the contest - was painted metallic blue. They were both flawless models, but the blue one just popped.

Charles flew the Ballerina II very well that week, ultimately placing second. I would be remiss in my reporting if I didn’t mention the fact that the Ballerina hit the ground during one of his finals flights. I was standing just outside the circle when this happened, and the hit broke the outboard wheel pant off the model. It skated just past one of my sneakers! By the rules, that flight should have been disqualified for jettisoning, but I guess the judges either didn’t see that wheel pant break off, or they were not cognizant of the rules. In any case, Charles had a great Nats result, and no one who saw those models would or will never forget them. Many years later I had the honor of publishing the Ballerina II in Flying Models during my tenure as Editor there. Charles was very pleased to get that model into print, and he was a delight to work with. Sadly, Charles passed away in 2007.       

A number of other life changing things occurred at the 1961 Nats for me. I guess I’ve always liked models with a different design flair, and there were quite a few very original looking models at that particular Nats. I was walking by the Junior/Senior Stunt pit area on one occasion and saw a group of very unique looking stunters. They had a sort of Schneider Cup aesthetic to them. You know, like the float plane racers from the 1930s. I walked over near the group who obviously belonged to these ships and just stood there and stared at those gorgeous models. They were, of course, the Tucker Specials that were being flown by the guys from St. Louis. I guess it was Lou Zeller - Gary Zeller’s dad - who saw me drooling over these models and invited me to come over and take a closer look. Hesitant I was, but their very friendly demeanor drew me in and soon I was at ease and asking a bunch of questions. One of the group asked me if I would like to pick up one of the Tuckers. I accepted the offer and was amazed at how light those models were. They were resplendent in the Italian racing colors of the Macchi line of race planes and they were simply beautiful.  I’ll never forget those models, but I’ll also never forget the hospitality and genuine friendliness of the St. Louis group.

During the 1961 Nats I watched all of the greats of the era fly their official flights. This was “important” I remember thinking, and it was with genuine reverence that I spectated.
I remember watching Lew McFarland fly the legendary Shark 45. I do remember that the Shark had a noticible tendency to “porpoise” during level flight. Nothing too extreme, but it was apparent. I guess the judges didn’t see that, or it didn’t bother them too much as Lew won the event that year (and he repeated as the winner the next year also). I didn’t get to meet Lew at that Nats, but I did meet him several years later and we became good friends. Lew even wrote me a very touching complimentary letter after the publication of my Genesis design in Flying Models magazine. I still have that letter and it is one of my most treasured possessions.

With flying Stunt as a future goal, I naturally wanted to see just how well the Junior class fliers performed.  Hey, I was 13 and was going to be a Junior for several more years. The Junior class winner that year was Jim Vornholt. Jim was flying a Bernie Ash-designed Airon. That model was extremely sleek and stylish, and I just loved the way it looked. It was an I-Beam wing model, and it had a long, thin fuselage, long and thin wheel pants, and a bubble canopy. It was a space age looking ship for sure!

Jim was smoking hot that year, and I watched his finals flight from dead down wind. When he did his Reverse Wingover, the model seemed to be heading straight for my head. Jim drove the Airon down about as far as possible before turning the outside corner. That corner still sticks in my mind as perhaps the very best I’ve ever seen. The ship seemed to pivot on a point and came out dead flat. At that point my hope to fly competitive stunt in the near future seemed a bit unrealistic… The rest of Jim’s flight was equally impressive. Many years later Jim and I would become close friends, and I often remind him of that flight, and especially that wingover corner. He seems to enjoy that story each time I tell it.

The back story of Jim’s win is quite amazing. It seems that the night before the Junior Stunt event was to be flown, Bill Werwage, and Ron O’Toole watched one of Jim’s practice flights and saw that the stabilizer was flexing badly. Jim had used a piece of 1/4-inch thick balsa for the stab on the Airon, and had sanded that down to nearly 3/16-inch. Jim always cornered hard, and the stab had flexed enough times to have a stress crack forming. Bill and Ron strongly advised Jim to fix that problem before the next day’s flying and offered to help him make the repair. And so Bill, Jim, and Ron cut into the Airon that evening and pulled out the faulty stab, replacing it with a new one made from 3/8-inch balsa. Jim fortunately had brought some touch up paint and it was enough to cover the new stab. Early the next morning they went to the field and Jim took a practice flight. The ship performed as well or better than before, and Jim went on to win the Junior crown. These back stories are to me the most interesting part of the Stunt saga.
   
The Senior class winner at the 1961 Nats was Bill Werwage. Bill was flying his legendary Ares design. Bill seemed to be flying with a pronounced chip on his shoulder. I didn’t know what at the time, but found out many years later in a discussion about that Nats with Bill that he was furious over the treatment he had received the previous year at the 1960 Nats in Dallas, Texas. I won’t go into detail about Bill’s reason for his outrage, but suffice to say, it certainly motivated him to perform at a very high level at this Nats. I first met Bill at the ’61 Nats, but I’m certain he doesn’t remember me coming up to him and introducing myself. He was a man on a mission all week, and his focus was obvious. I pretty much stayed out of his way.

Another vivid memory from that Nats was the performance of Hank Spielman. Hank was, I’m pretty sure, from Maryland, and he was famous in those parts for his original design Stunt models. They were very sleek, flapless, had very high aspect ratio wings, and were powered by Johnson 35 engines running at full tilt. They were fast and impressive. The day before the Open Stunt event was to begin, Hank lost his front line model and his only back up model was a Hi Johnson-designed Stuka. The Stuka was also flapless, and it was also powered by a hot Johnson 35 engine. It was fast and loud, and extremely impressive. I remember standing with Larry Scrainzi and a few others as Hank prepared for an official flight. All I can remember is how that model just thundered through round maneuvers. Again, a vivid memory.

The most significant thing that happened to me at the 1961 Nats was watching an Open class Finals’ flight of Bob Gialdini. As I wrote earlier in the section about Larry Scarinzi, it was his flights with his original design, Gay Devil in 1958 that made me want to fly Stunt. It was, however, Bob Gialdini’s flight with his original design Olympic MkIII at the 1961 Nats that defined for me just how I wanted to fly Stunt.

Bob had approached CL Stunt with the thought that it could be perceived as a professional sport, perhaps like Golf, or big-time professional sailboating (at which Bob was an expert). And just as the practitioners of those sports put forward a clean and business-like persona, Bob did so with his appearance and conduct around the Stunt circle. His models were some of the first to be painted all white with minimal color trim, giving them a very clean and professional look. He dressed in all white as well; white shirt, white slacks, white socks and white deck sneakers. He certainly stood out from all the rest of the competitors who dressed more conservatively. Many years later he took a lot of kidding about his attire, and was called the “Good Humor” man of Stunt for years. Bob had the last laugh, eventually, winning two Nats crowns and a berth on the United States F2B World Team in 1964.

I stood and watched one of his finals flights in complete awe. The Olympic scribed seemingly perfect maneuvers, and had that “turning on rails” appearance. It really did seem as though there was an invisible track in the sky, and the Olympic just glided along on that track, smoothly and very precisely. Yes, this was definitely “how” I wanted to fly Stunt at some point in my life.
 
Years later Bob and I became close friends, and as this is being written we still keep in touch often. And I have often related to him the above story about the 1961 Nats and how much of an inspiration he and the Olympic were and still are to me. That seems to please him greatly…
 
The 1961 Nats was without a doubt the turning point for me in the hobby/sport. Until I attended that contest I just envisioned model airplane flying as an enjoyable pastime. Having seen just how seriously and professionally it could be done set me on a life path that from that point on was irreversible, even though I didn’t consciously think of it in that manner at that time. Stunt was now both in my mind and in my heart.

Bob Hunt

Offline Serge_Krauss

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Re: Bob Gialdini
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2020, 07:46:44 PM »
I am again very saddened to hear of the passing of one of our greats. As a kid, I knew about Bob and followed all the top stunt fliers at the nationals in the major model plane magazines. Later in life (nearly forty years after I'd last flown), I stopped on the way back to Cleveland Heights from Ann Arbor and racing at Flat Rock to make one of my infrequent model plane magazine purchases and saw the familiar "Olympic" in a Brodak ad. At that point, I hadn't realized that CL was still  going and that I lived near many top fliers. So it was Bob's iconic plane that hooked me back into the hobby. It's often painful to be this age, and we really need to value and care for one another, despite differences.

SK

Offline RogerGreene

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Re: Bob Gialdini
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2020, 08:11:38 PM »
I too am saddened at the passing of Bob Gialdini. My wife and I were two of the judges when Bob was in charge of the stunt at the two years when the nationals was at Lake Charles, LA (I forgot the years in the '70s). Also, Bob was in charge of the FAI qualifications at Atlanta, GA, and Dayton, OH where I helped judge. He was an inspiration to all the flyers and us judges. I learned a lot from him.

Roger
Fly Stunt <><
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Offline RogerGreene

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Re: Bob Gialdini
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2020, 08:19:46 PM »
Bob Hunt,

Thanks for the 1961 Nationals. I was there too and have some photos (slides) of the planes you mentioned. Sorry that some are not in the best color, kinda red.

Thanks  again,

Roger
Fly Stunt <><
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Offline Larry Renger

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Re: Bob Gialdini
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2020, 10:17:26 PM »
I only met MR. Gialdini once when Cox staged the infamous Me109 stunt challenge at the ‘74? Nats. I still have a photo of me with him. We were both looking quite sweaty there in Lake Charles. But a good time was had by all. The culmination was all the survivaling models were started and flown at the same time which was fine until one guy, who will remain nameless, decided to flip inverted and created a plastic thunderstorm. (Much to my dismay, I wanted these guys to take the models home to show lesser folk) there wasn’t much left but crumbs.😩
Think S.M.A.L.L. y'all and, it's all good, CL, FF and RC!

DesignMan
 BTW, Dracula Sucks!  A closed mouth gathers no feet!

Offline dave siegler

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Re: Bob Gialdini
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2020, 03:52:30 AM »
Bob was a member of our club and would show up occasionally.  He didn't have a computer, so was keeping up with him was not easy.   

He touched us all.  He ran a popular hobby shop in Milwaukee for many years. 

Here is a short video of Bob at the dedication of our field in 2015.  Always dapper, a gentleman and advocate for the club and hobby..   

https://get.google.com/albumarchive/113439107770799242330/album/AF1QipNbUPe_pOh5hbOHQY2vy6pAb_vpzY7HcerhjJIP/AF1QipOcC3yfs4viAc0CCgQtFUfZMFq6OeJf0smQP0X5

Some of his older air frames are in club members hands undergoing restoration. 
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Online C.T. Schaefer

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Re: Bob Gialdini
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2020, 04:09:13 AM »
Great story Bob.  Also a great tribute to Mr. Gialdini and how he fit into the stunt scene of 1961. I was just starting to get my chops then and my folks took us to Willow Grove for a day. I wanted to see everything so the memories are a blur now but the work hanger stands out. Guys busy with their planes and some of them sleeping under the benches.  Just a one day visit was good enough to cement (Ambroid?) my passion for building and flying that continues to this day.   TS

Online Terry Bentley

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Re: Bob Gialdini
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2020, 04:45:09 AM »
I am deeply saddened to hear that Bob passed . He was an idol to me. I got to see him develop The Olympic when I was 12-13 growing up in Milwaukee. His planes were amazing to see and watch how well they flew. He will be missed.

Online Bob Hunt

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Re: Bob Gialdini
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2020, 07:53:20 AM »
The following is what was posted by the funeral home about Bob. If you want to donate to a cause in Bob's name, or send flowers for the Friday memorial service, simply Google Robert C. Gialdini obituary and it will take you to the funeral home's site.

Here's what was posted there:

Robert C. Gialdini

Age 87 years. Born to eternal life Dec. 13, 2020. Preceded in death by his wife Joanne "Jo". Beloved father of Genell (Pablo) Cardona and Dennisha (Kelly) Becker. Dear grandfather of Gina Cardona, Anthony(Joelle) Cardona, Andrew (Chelsey) Cardona and Faith Becker. Loving great grandfather of James, Harper, Gael, Arthur, Eloise and Drew. Brother of the late Thomas and the late Richard (Betty) Gialdini. Further survived by other relatives and friends.

Family Services will be held Friday, Dec. 18 at Community United Methodist Church Church 14700 Watertown Plank Rd. Elm Grove at 10:00 AM, To access the Services from your home please join at:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84726881791

Bob was a world renowned model airplane flyer, avid sailor, and Harley Davidson cycle rider. He was a lifelong member of the Milwaukee Yacht Club. Bob was also a member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) and the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA).

Offline Randy Powell

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Re: Bob Gialdini
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2020, 09:18:56 AM »
I met Bob at VSC a number of years ago. Very nice guy. I used to hang out with Don Shultz and Bob was his hero. Don talked about Bob a lot.

He is missed.
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 Randy Powell

Offline john e. holliday

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Re: Bob Gialdini
« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2020, 01:14:30 PM »
Another hero gone on.  I was very fortunate enough to meet him at a VSC.  A real class gentleman.
John E. "DOC" Holliday
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Online Jim Kraft

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Re: Bob Gialdini
« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2020, 01:35:01 PM »
I got to meet Bob at VSC along with many other men of talent. I found out Bob had worked for Harley and since I have been a Harley rider since I was 14, we had a good time. I am sure he will be missed by many as he was a fine gentleman.
Jim Kraft

Online Bob Hunt

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Re: Bob Gialdini
« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2020, 04:46:49 PM »
Bob's daughter, Genell sent me this link to the funeral home. There is a great tribute piece there and some great photos as well. Here's the link:

https://www.jelacicfuneralhome.com/obituary/Robert-Gialdini

Later - Bob Hunt

Offline MikeyPratt

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Re: Bob Gialdini
« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2020, 05:56:42 PM »
I’m sure your just as shocked as I am.  With a very heavy heart we have lost one of the nicest people in the modeling world.  Fair winds My Friend and sail for blue water.

Offline KEITH McCRARY

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Re: Bob Gialdini
« Reply #19 on: December 17, 2020, 01:25:21 AM »
Here is a nice interview of Bob Gialdini .     

Starting at the 3:50 mark.


Offline Paul Walker

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Re: Bob Gialdini
« Reply #20 on: December 17, 2020, 10:04:01 AM »
Another one of the GREAT stunt community has passed.
I was from a different corner of the country so I never interacted with him much. But what I did showed me what a great person he was.
Rest in peace Bob.

Offline De Hill

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Re: Bob Gialdini
« Reply #21 on: December 17, 2020, 11:51:28 AM »
I spent an enjoyable evening many years ago at the VSC with Bob Gialdini and Mario Rondenelli. I wish that I had a tape recording of the evening. I had given Bob a plaque that year that had a Forster .35 mounted on it with the correct prop and fuel tank. The tank was cut down to one ounce so it would fit on the metal motor mount behind the engine.

Bob Gialdini started the pretty airplane /matching clothes movement. The story I was told was that  After a AMA nationals in which He received no appearance points for his airplane, Bob studied how to win the Nationals. The next year at the nats he had an airplane which was beautiful, and matching clothing for made by Bob's wife for herself, Bob, and Mario Rondinelli.  Her outfit was a matching top, and white short shorts. Bob and Mario had white pants and a matching top.

Bob's airplane had a Forster .35 for power. He and Mario had practiced starting the Forster .35 to where Mario would fuel it up with a rubber bulb, and touch the fuel tank vent to prime the engine at the end of the fueling process, and connect the battery. Bob would hold up his hand to signal to the navy judges for engine start, and would bring his hand down rapidly to hit the prop and start the engine.
The engine would start on one flip, and Bob would immediately stand up and walk out to the handle.  He won that Nats. Bob had a good looking wife, and the joke was that the Navy judges judged Her instead if the flight!

Bob's nickname (which He hated) was " Mister Clean" .

Bob Gialdini was a nice Guy, a fabulous modeler, and a class act.

Farewell, Bob, you were well liked and highly appreciated.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2020, 09:23:19 AM by De Hill »
De Hill

Offline Ted Fancher

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Re: Bob Gialdini
« Reply #22 on: December 17, 2020, 12:15:22 PM »
Oh, my.  Just read this and my heart feels numb. 

Like so many of late, the loss of Bob will remain an indelible part of Shareen and my many years with the stunt community (oh my: "Community" a word so often used excessively nowadays, yet so perfect with respect to our event and the special people who inhabit it).  Bob has always held a special niche in our hearts for many, many years.  Although geographically separated by hundreds of miles, every opportunity to spend a moment with Bob and his lovely wife Joanne was a joy to be cherished for us.  That those opportunities have now been lost leaves holes in our heavy hearts.

Class beyond class, skills beyond skills and grace beyond grace...oh, my.  We've lost yet another great one.  God bless and keep him.

Ted and Shareen
« Last Edit: December 17, 2020, 12:36:12 PM by Ted Fancher »

Offline Ted Fancher

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Re: Bob Gialdini
« Reply #23 on: December 17, 2020, 12:27:32 PM »
I met Bob at VSC a number of years ago. Very nice guy. I used to hang out with Don Shultz and Bob was his hero. Don talked about Bob a lot.

He is missed.

Ah, yes, Randy.  Bob and Schultzy!  Strange bedfellows for sure but two of a kind when it came to goodness of heart.  Glad you put the two names together.

Ted

Offline RogerGreene

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Re: Bob Gialdini
« Reply #24 on: December 18, 2020, 08:11:10 AM »
Hi All,

Here is a photos of Bob. This was taken at one of the FAI eliminations in the 70s. I don't remember if it was in Atlanta GA or Dayton, OH.

Roger
« Last Edit: December 18, 2020, 08:32:18 AM by RogerGreene »
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Online Bob Hunt

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Re: Bob Gialdini
« Reply #25 on: December 18, 2020, 08:48:12 AM »
Hi Roger:

That is a great photo of Bob with the Eclipse. I vividly remember watching him win the Walker Trophy Fly-Off with that plane in 1965 at Willow Grove. Amazing how such things just stay so vivid in your memory...

Bob Hunt
« Last Edit: December 18, 2020, 02:57:13 PM by Bob Hunt »

Offline RogerGreene

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Re: Bob Gialdini
« Reply #26 on: December 18, 2020, 09:11:08 AM »
Here is a photo of Bob's  ECLIPSE.
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Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it. FAA #FA3RFLPAN7

Online Dennis Adamisin

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Re: Bob Gialdini
« Reply #27 on: December 18, 2020, 12:55:54 PM »
Bob's Olympic Mk VI article was published in 1963, same year that my Dad and two older brothers started to fly in competition and I learned to fly.  My oldest brother Arch, all 14 years old of him, wrote a letter to Mr. Gialdini c/o American Modeler Magazine.  To my surprise my brother soon got a letter back, thanking him for writing then answering all his questions.  Arch was compelled to redesign his then active build into a facsimile Olympic.  After thrashing around a couple names (Mini Olympic, Lil Olympic, Olympic Jr, etc.) Arch settled on "Lympette" shown below.  You do not have to squint too hard to see that the wing & stab are out of the Ambroid Stuka Stunt Arch was then building! A few more letters scored a couple pix of Bob's new (in painting) design that was the Sting Ray with which Bob won the NATs in 1964.  I still routinely read the Olympic and Sting Ray articles, not just for the insights into his design choices, but, at a deeper level, to witness the level of commitment necessary to reach the top.  Finally got to meet Bob in person at the 1965 NATs, where his total performance with the Eclipse was the single most dominant win I have ever seen, before or since; like Secretariat winning the Belmont by 31 lengths.

However, I remain in awe of the gentleman who at the top of his game, took the time the respond to my big brother, a 14 year old kid from nowhere.  God Speed Bob.
Denny Adamisin
Fort Wayne, IN

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Offline Frank Imbriaco

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Re: Bob Gialdini
« Reply #28 on: December 18, 2020, 03:57:24 PM »
Imagine what it was like being at the 64 Dallas NATS watching Gialdini fly his Stingray and Scarinzi flying his third place finishing Blue Angel.
 The closest I experienced  to that was watching Dave Gierke with his NOVI and Jim Kostecky with his Formula S at the 68 Olathe, Kansas NATS. Super cool ships.


Offline Skip Chernoff

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Re: Bob Gialdini
« Reply #29 on: December 20, 2020, 11:11:26 AM »
Bob thanks for sharing your story about the 61 Philly Nats. RIP Bob Gialdini ,Be safe all.

Offline Ted Fancher

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Re: Bob Gialdini
« Reply #30 on: December 20, 2020, 11:29:39 AM »
Bob's Olympic Mk VI article was published in 1963, same year that my Dad and two older brothers started to fly in competition and I learned to fly.  My oldest brother Arch, all 14 years old of him, wrote a letter to Mr. Gialdini c/o American Modeler Magazine.  To my surprise my brother soon got a letter back, thanking him for writing then answering all his questions.  Arch was compelled to redesign his then active build into a facsimile Olympic.  After thrashing around a couple names (Mini Olympic, Lil Olympic, Olympic Jr, etc.) Arch settled on "Lympette" shown below.  You do not have to squint too hard to see that the wing & stab are out of the Ambroid Stuka Stunt Arch was then building! A few more letters scored a couple pix of Bob's new (in painting) design that was the Sting Ray with which Bob won the NATs in 1964.  I still routinely read the Olympic and Sting Ray articles, not just for the insights into his design choices, but, at a deeper level, to witness the level of commitment necessary to reach the top.  Finally got to meet Bob in person at the 1965 NATs, where his total performance with the Eclipse was the single most dominant win I have ever seen, before or since; like Secretariat winning the Belmont by 31 lengths.

However, I remain in awe of the gentleman who at the top of his game, took the time the respond to my big brother, a 14 year old kid from nowhere.  God Speed Bob.

Hi Denny,

What a wonderful story about a wonderful modeler and friend.  Shareen and I could both feel the Gialdini empath seeping out of most every word.  "Yup, that's the Bob we knew and cared deeply for".

Thanx my friend.

Ted Fancher

p.s. Your post got me digging through my fairly complete collection of stunt articles from my "early" years.  Had to read it again...and it takes a while to do so!  10 full pages in the 1963 American Modeler Annual; close to dwarfing my "longest ever two part article on how to build a profile Imitation duo!" (per Billy W!)   Thought about scanning and posting it but not sure I know exactly how to go about doing so.

Offline Elwyn Aud

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Re: Bob Gialdini
« Reply #31 on: December 20, 2020, 12:20:21 PM »
Condolences to his friends and family
Claire Sieverling and Bob Gialdini trade stories at VSC 16

Offline Les McDonald

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Re: Bob Gialdini
« Reply #32 on: December 21, 2020, 07:22:07 PM »
Bob and I spoke on the phone once or twice a year ever since we reunited at the 2010 VSC. We had become friends during the 73 Oshkosh Nats and for many years he stayed with Nancy and I in Miami during his trips to the Bahamas. Five or six months ago Bob left a cryptic message on my recorder and stated that he had been moved from his house and transferred to some nursing home. He was upset because his message added that he could no longer call out and I would be unable to reach him. He rehashed a few of our memories and said goodbye. I tried calling that number for months and finally gave up.
He lived a good life, did everything with style, class and dignity. It is an honor that he considered me to be his friend.

 
You can only be young once, but you can be immature forever!


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