As a calling (vocation) I am a missionary; from my youth I always wanted to be a flying
missionary to Japan-my wife says I have become one.
Theology, philosophy, and missiology
were my majors: HSG, BA, MA, MDIV, DMISS; the degrees belie the little boy in me who still
proclaims to hate school (but loves larn'n) and now I are a president of one. Go figure!?
My AVOCATION with aero-aficionado Snoopy of Charlie Brown fame has been birds and feathers and anything that flies: eagles, hawks, albatrosses (crows and buzzards, too), Woodstock, airplanes, and particularly gliders--fly fishing and High Sierra backpacking are parallels. I have been an aero-enthusiast from the time I was three, remembering a boy's bedroom hung with penny gliders; at five, I cut out the basic parts for a P-40-looking model from plywood, with a jackknife and somehow got it together-the days of Jimmy Allen. Then there were the years of sticks and tissue, Comet and Cleveland, followed by ten-cent Struct-O-Speed-Wow! I could actually get one of those things together! though I never could afford the Monogram 75-cent Mustang on a ten-cent a week allowance. Spitfires landing at Dayton, dog-fighting overhead and an early trip to the old Smithsonian in D.C. at nine-and it's been a fever ever since--The Spirit of St. Louis and the Wright Brothers' replica were awesome! A visit to the Air and Space Museum is only more awesome today: touching the moon stone, seeing The Spirit of St. Louis, the real Wright Brothers' airplane, the Voyager, Glamorous Glennis and so much more.
Anyway, I never finished becoming a pilot (I did jump OUT of airplanes for "Uncle"-as a Green Beret for three years), but I have remained a hobbyist over the years. While in college, I started flying gliders at Les Arnold's gliderport in Centerville, CA (Freemont-Hayward), flying off the Mission San Jose ridge. Lessons from Les in his ole' TG-3 and Super Cub tow-plane (after tow) are special memories (an afternoon in a Pratt Read G-1--Sky Pilot buckling-up in, circa 1960, Fremont, CA); I was his "gopher." There I learned about Torrey Pines, which in recent years I finally got to visit for RC soaring. Middle-aged here in Japan, I started getting into RC power for/with my boys, but my interest remained in gliders. Our river levee above the power site always fascinated me with its possibilities for slope flying something--and then I came across one of Bill Forrey's Model Builder columns on the Riverside, California, ISS RCHLG contest and I have been into RCHLG ever since.
I am writing a "light" history of RCHLG to be titled "The First and Last Chapter on RCHLG." [Make note to see projects: RCHLG History] I am especially interested in receiving any help or anecdotal information on RCHLG from its pre-history, inception/conception, and up through 1993, the "first chapter." The "last chapter" is from 1994 on, the ongoing chapter since RCHLG went high-tech.
There is an occasional/rare Sky Pilot newsletter sent to friends in the modeling community. In time, hopefully, the memories of my 1995 "Never Ending Soaring Summer"--which covered 28 states and began with 60" slope races at Torrey Pines, F3J Day at the AMA/LSF Nats, the DARTS Ohio Cup, the Visalia Fall Festival (Joe pictured with Aftershock), Oshkosh '95, Reno Air Races '95, Soar Hawaii (real soaring) and a visit to Charles A. Lindberg's grave on Maui--will be recorded for print. (I had a camera lady with me, my wife, Rickie, but no video camera.) I have had articles and pictures appear in RCSD (November '97 carried the 3rd JW RCHLG CF; the announcement of the new Mosquito Class appears in the January '98 issue) and, before Model Builder became extinct, I had pics and information in it. Hidden in the pages, 174-75 of the Northeast Sailplane Products, Vol 6, bible on rc/soaring (it missed the table of contents) is my "Joe the Champ" article.
Besides RCHLG, I do light slope and am interested in PSS-had my Russian Mystic M-17 lined up for publication in Model Builder--but stay in condition with and for RCHLG, diet and exercise. Other flying is spasmodic.
I enjoy designing and scratch-building, but up until getting #2 son Jonathan off to college, I spent most of my time keeping him flying. Since then work has become stress-intensive and my flying in recent months has been working on my thermaling skills under intensive high humidity, high thermal conditions, i.e. out of reach-Oh! I do have a Zagi that is a fright on the levee.
Over the last few years, through travel (business) and RCSE, I have made host of friends in the RC soaring community around the world; here in Japan I have long promoted RCHLG and take pleasure in being an accomplice to Nobusuke "Buzz" Tokunaga's efforts. I am ready to help make soaring contacts in Japan-the land of the Annual Joe Wurts RCHLG Cup Fly, fifth annual/December 5, 1998. CU there! and, ala' Buzz, the land of the new Mosquito, 0.75m RCHLG class.