18 years ago
around to it. Then about 2 weeks ago, as we were planning to finally begin
the 3 stage Saturn V, Verna and I were discussing the current situation with
the hobby. As I tend to do, I began way back when were in elementary school
(62-70) and I related to her a brief history of the hobby and the way things
have gotten to where we are today. The one thing that kept coming up, was
where would the hobby be without the NAR? What if the NAR had never existed?
I thought about that for a while.
No matter how anyone may feel about the NAR at present, it's for sure that
without the organization, the hobby would not have enjoyed the fantastic
flight / safety record it has, for so very long. IMHO, the hobby would not
have grown to the level it has, at least not for the average enthusiasts and
most likely, HPR may have never come about, since most of the HPR people
I've talked to, started as Centuri / Estes hobbyists.
My wife has a way of looking at things that tends to make you really think,
and the one thing I discovered after talking to her about this, is that
since 1968, I've benefited from the tireless and I'm sure at times,
thankless efforts, of an organization that I've never really fully
appreciated or contributed to. I never stopped to think of how many ways the
NAR has fostered a hobby, that we all love so much and how much I have
enjoyed the fruits of the laborers, of the past and the present. To give
credit, where credit is due.
I can remember when the only place to purchase rocketry items, was the only
local mom and pop hobby shop in town and most people didn't have one of
those. You had to be in a relatively large town to have a hobby shop back
then. Most people, if they were lucky, had to order from a Centuri catalog,
IF, you could find one. The kid with a catalog in our neighborhood was KING!
There is no doubt in my mind, that the reason you can go almost anywhere
today (Wal-Mart, Hobby Lobby, Michaels, etc.) and easily find some form of
rocketry, is related to the success and standing of the NAR.
So, last Tuesday I decided I would be a freeloader no more and we faxed in
our applications. Friday, we got our numbers and reply packet in the mail.
Pretty fast service in my opinion. Even got consecutive numbers.We also
joined HARA at the same time and hope to be (work schedule permitting) at
several HARA launches this season. I was able to attend a HARA launch back
in 1999 and saw George fly his X-1. It was really impressive, the people
were great and they're only 90 minutes away. I don't think we'll be able to
make it to the SEARS launch this month but we've got the March launch on the
calendar. Come on, good weather!
The NAR and HARA grew by 2 members last week. That may be insignificant in
numbers but it was important to us that we try to do something more than
just talk and complain about the way things are at the moment.
Can't wait to order our tags next week to help restore the Saturn V in
Huntsville. : )