Myron Firmin and I started our journey on Sunday June 8th, 2014 at 7 AM New Orleans
time. The first day was spent on the
road smoking the interstate, talking and listening to the radio. Our first day ended in Bristol Va.
Early Monday we started after a breakfast at the motel
continuing to Carmichaels Penn.
We arrived about noon and went straight to the Brodak Café. When we arrived we were surprised to find
that the café was located inside the Shop-N-Save grocery store. They have a deli counter that sells complete
meals for $5.99. This included a meat
and two sides with the drink extra.
There is a section that has seats and booths where we could eat. Myron ordered hamburger steak (2) with
potatoes and corn while I ordered two pieces of fried chicken and double mac
Finishing the delicious lunch we learned that the hobby shop
was located in the same building. When
we entered the shop I thought that I died and went to heaven. There was Brodak models hanging from the ceiling
and kits for sale from here to there.
Each model was more beautiful that the other one. Every shelf was filled with kits or
parts. There was everything from engine
parts to canopies.
I immediately grabbed six cans of dope. I had orders for two cans and I needed four
cans for my own projects. We also had
the pleasure of meeting Patti and Cheryl.
They are the people who answer the phone, take our orders and fill
them. They also helped me to some Fox
engine parts that I needed.
After bending my credit card we left the hobby shop and
followed the well marked signs to the Brodak Flying Field. The area was on two rolling hills with four
circles on one hill and two circles on another. The area between the hills was the parking
area. Brodak’s house was located in
front of the big hill on the left. The
left hill had four circles and the right had two.
After parking the car
Myron and I walked the left hill that had the stunt and combat areas. Between the two hills there was a large area
of canopies in rows that formed an L.
All four circles were filled with pilots practicing the
stunt pattern. We found out that the
two other circles were dedicated for Carrier and Scale. The Carrier section had a carrier deck and
the Scale circle had cement about 12 feet wide and went full circle, We walked the left area and met John Brodak
and his friend Pete Klipsic riding around in a golf cart. When Pete saw my Ring Masters Club shirt
from New Orleans
he stopped and we were introduced to Mr.Brodak. He is a very friendly man that has had a
recent bout with cancer. He informed us
that he is presently cancer free but is scheduling the closing of the Fly In in
two years. That will be the 20thanniversary of the Fly In and he hopes that he will be able to have someone
take it over from him. He said that the
program is very taxing on him. After
talking to these two we continued on to the carrier circle.
There we met a group from Maryland
called the Sky Lancers, Washington
DC. The group consisted of Timothy and Kathleen
Le Nore, George Maronkla, and Shirley and Bub Reese. They are avid carrier and scale flyers and
we stayed around them most of the time.
Because I am a scale nut I did not have a problem staying in this
area. Myron had never seen a carrier
event and he found this fascinating.
While hanging around the carrier I met Joe Eiben. He was working on his AT-6 Texan profile. He also had a beautiful Wildcat . Each one was rigged with electronic controls
that operated both wheels and flaps. He
told me that he wrote an article about the system in the January 2008 issue of
Control Line World (page 72) about the system and said that the e-mail address
of the designer was on Page 71. The
designer is Will Hubin in Kent Oh. His
e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I wrote Will the minute I got home he
answered the next day. When I mentioned
that I spoke to Joe at the Fly In he said that he was there too covering the
event for Flying Models. I got to see
the rig work on Joe’s plane and ordered my own set of controls. I also sent the e-mail to our club members
and Ed Shearer ordered a complete
Timothy & Kathleen were newly weds and Kathleen was
really interested in flying. So much so
that she bought a profile stunt from someone.
Tim immediately rigged the model with an engine and tank so that she
could take to the air. Kathleen proved
to be a quick learner and soon was turning the circle with the best of
them. After the contest she and Tim and
George were in the circle at the same time.
The second day, Tuesday, we arrived early and watched the
stunt contest. I did not get a schedule
or entry blank so I can not tell you if we were watching a contest or practice. I can say that while maybe watching rookies
or experts all of them flew better than me.
The best thing that happened to me Tuesday was lunch. There was a lunch trailer on the side next
to a large tent that had the sound system.
They sold either “naked” or “dressed” hot dogs. The naked dog was plain on a bun while the
dressed dog had sauerkraut added. All
for $.50….Fifty Cents!! I always bought
two. That’s not the best thing that
happened. When I walked to the trailer
one of the preparers looked at me and shouted that she wanted to give me a
hug. Then she ran from the trailer and
hugged me before I could get the cameras from my chest. I said that I appreciated the greetings and
I did not know who she thought I was but please be happy that you got hugged
back by a ‘coon ass from New Orleans” and she immediately replied back “New
Orleeens well welcome to Penn”. And you
said that Yankees are not friendly.
After that I always felt that I got extra sauerkraut on my dog.
Back to the contest.
The only contest we did not concentrate on was combat. They were too noisy and too fast to try to
photo although I did try video.
Wednesday was more of the same.
We watched Stunt after Carrier was over and walked around the fields
looking at all the beautiful models. Wednesday
afternoon was the static judging for Scale.
This was in Brodak’s garage. To
my hearts delight there were two
B-17’s. There was
also a lot of ½ A scale models on display for judging. Again I say that we did not know the rules and
we saw a lot of profile models. Mike
Kottemann would have done well at this contest. Right behind the garage was John
Brodak’s work shop.
After viewing the scale models Myron and I visited the
Brodak factory and we were amazed to see their operation. We met Jan, chief cook and bottle washer of
the factory. I took a lot of pictures
and we were treated as important guests everywhere we went.
Since the factory is around the corner from the hobby shop
we were forced to visit it again. This
time Myron bought a 38 Special Bi-wing.
He said that he always wanted a bi-wing and by doing this here he saved
the freight, plus got a 10% discount.
Smart move. I also called Ed Shearer and he wanted me to bring him some
plastic canopies (6) thus saving the freight plus the discount.
Thursday was the scale flying that continued on Friday
morning. I got some really good shots
of the flying especially the two B-17’s.
One 17 was owned by George Marenka and he said that he would not win
because his model was old and looked bad.
Compared to his model my B-17 looks like it has had 87 missions over Germany. I did see Joe Eilen’s AT-6 fly with the retractable
wheels and flaps. Another treat was
they flew a Dyna jet powered stunt model.
I thought the combat contestants were load. The Dyna Jet powered ship was able to fly
the stunt pattern with the pilot holding on for dear life.
Friday morning John held a beautiful memorial service at the
flag pole. There are plaques naming
those who have passed. He said that he
has to get another plaque because more people have passed than he has space
Friday evening they put on a bar-b-que for all
attending. They served a delicious
pulled pork sandwich, Potato and macaroni salad and cups of veggies. Just when I thought it was over it got
better. They started the Junk Yard Wars. Now the Junk Yard Wars consisted of groups of
flyers who used scrap wood and a staple gun to fashion a model and fly it for
10 laps. After the laps they can do anything
that they want for extra points I took
a lot of still pictures because the video was too far away in the car. The video would have been wonderful but
the still camera came out great. I did
try to take video on my still camera but it is too hard to hold without a tri
After the race we said our goodbyes to our new friends and
went back to the hotel. We got up early
ate breakfast and drove to the AMA Museum in Muncie,
Indiana. I will not bore you with this part of the
trip. All that I will say is the Museum
was great but we should have stayed in Carmichaels
for the award ceremony.
I know that this is a long dissertation but it only shows
the we had a great time and hope to make the trip before the contest closes in
two years. I can also kick myself for
not doing it sooner.
For some live action go to Junk Yard Wars 2 at U-Tube