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My first model kits were solid wood ones made by Strombecker and Comet. All I remember (I was about 6 years old) was assembling them with Scotch tape and painting them with my mother’s nail polish. As the years went by, I built many airplanes - both flying and static - as well as HO trains and a few cars.

This went on until high school, and the usual detour was made.

After high school, I enlisted in the U.S. Army. I was thinking of driving a tank and getting stationed in Germany so I could enjoy Octoberfest and frauleins. However, the Army decided I was perfectly suited for the Army Intelligence Service and South Korea. The Vietnam War was just converting from an advisory mission to a full blown war. The Army was desperate to find out how to use our air assets to find guerrillas in the jungle, which was very different from finding armor and other things in North Korea (something we were quite good at).

So, I was packed on an airplane and sent to South Vietnam for the balance of my time in the Far East. Promotions were fast and furious there, and I found myself a 20 year old Sergeant at the end of my tour. I was sent to Ft. Hood, Texas and the 1st Armored Division for the balance of my enlistment. That is as close to a tank as I got - watching other guys drive them around.

Noticing the officers were doing rather well for themselves, and the only difference between them and me was a college degree, after my enlistment was up, I went from sergeant to freshman in 10 days and got a degree in business economics. After that I decided to go to law school. Not having funds for full time study, I obtained a job as an investigator with the Brooklyn, New York District Attorney’s Office and went to law school at night (a four year program as opposed to three full time). I passed the New York Bar Exam and was hired by the New York State Special Prosecutor, and a few years later moved to Maine (my family’s ancestral home) joining the Maine Attorney General’s Office, Criminal Division as a homicide prosecutor.

Right after law school, I was in a department store shopping for Christmas presents, and I wandered through the toy department where I noticed a Revell 1/32 scale P-51B Mustang. (Remember when department stores carried a good stock of models?) The wonderful box art pulled me in and I purchased it. And, I was off down the slippery slope toward many happy hours and days at the workbench and possession of what we refer to as a “stash” which only seems to grow.

I am mostly retired to the wonderful State of Arizona, where I still seem too busy to build some days. My main interest is aircraft, mostly W.W.II and Korean War in all scales, but I also love to build 1/35 and 1/48 scale armor from W.W.I to present.

I still hope to drive a real tank someday.

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