As 2014 Winds Down…

Here we are on 20 December – only 11 days left in the year.  Where did it go?  I clearly remember eagerly waiting for outdoor flying season to start – it doesn’t seem so long ago.

I haven’t posted for awhile.  November was a busy business month with just under 90 orders received.  That kept me hopping, I tell ya!  It stalled my building, that’s for sure.  I had/have great plans for new ships over the winter, but I am already behind the curve on that schedule.  I’ve got to get back on track!

Also in November, my “local” club, the Cloudbusters wrap up the flying season, in a way.  They have a meeting where various club awards are awarded.  I diligently strive for the Top Gun award by recording and submitting all of my 1st, 2nd, and 3rd placings at contests throughout the year.  It seems I am always getting beat by a guy with the appropriate name of “Winn Moore” (yes, that’s his real name).

I cannot attend the regular Cloudbuster club meetings as I live about 2 hours from the meeting location and it would require a 4 hour round trip in a weekday evening just for an hour or two of meeting and socializing.  Well, I guess “can’t” is not the right word – I choose not to do that.

Club President, Mike Welshans, called me after that November meeting and congratulated me for winning the Bill Adams Memorial Trophy – for Service to Model Aviation.  I didn’t even know that I had been nominated!  At the annual Holiday Party that Mike hosts, he presented me with the trophy, which I am to keep for a year and return to the club so that it may be awarded next year.  My name has been engraved on the trophy, along with the names of all previous winners.  This club trophy goes back to 1965 – that’s 50 years.  I’ve been flying with the Cloudbusters since our move to Michigan in the mid ’90s (excluding that 10 year break I took) and I am humbled that they have seen fit to honor me and what I do – and they have preserved that recognition for as long as there will be the Cloudbusters Club (75 years so far!)

People might ask me (I have asked myself) “why do you run the business?”  Well, I struggle to find an answer for that.  I certainly don’t do it to collect trophies or other accolades – I always feel awkward when receiving such praise.  I don’t do it to make money, but the money does allow me to participate more actively in the hobby.  The only answer that seems to fit is that I do it because I enjoy it.  I don’t “enjoy” packing orders in the evenings or restocking supplies, or any of that – I enjoy the hobby.  Coming back after 10 years off, I realized that I truly missed building and flying.  I am not a very social person and I don’t do a lot of things outside of work and family.  I have tried some other interests and hobbies, but when I came back to Free Flight, I really, truly appreciated its place in my life, the activity it provides, and all of the camaraderie with all of my flying friends.  In this way, running this business is a way to “give back”, I guess.  It is something that I can do to show MY appreciation to the hobby.  I appreciate the trophy (thank you Cloudbusters), but I appreciate everyone involved even more.


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