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Starting Line for February

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  • Member since
    October, 2008
Starting Line for February
Posted by oldcarguy on Sunday, February 18, 2018 7:14 AM

Hello ;

 I thought hard and long before I decided to write this . My military Service gave me a small amount of Anger Management issues . Now that said . Three Tours , " Boots on the Ground  " as a Marine taught me to be sharp . Or so I thought .

 I was in an aircrash coming home and walked away . Years later , as a operator of a business , I experienced an incident that left me with the possibility of not being able to use the left arm and hand ever again !

 Enter my Wife  , who felt me building models was better than me being in the local Honky-Tonks till closing . Enter an old box of model cars . God knows where she got them , But they were all the same . A box of 57 Chevy hardtops by AMT .

 The box looked like it had been submerged in the Arkansas River for about a year or so . In other words Almost ruined . The cars ? Fair to good . Decals were toast , but the cars were buildable .

 She put my left hand on the kitchen table , spread my hand flat , palm up and put a car body in it . I promptly reacted to the burning sensation and crushed that puppy !

 I got down to about four before I could control that hand . She said the therapy was B.S. and according to what she had read in the AMA journal this was better . ( She was in the second year of Medical school .)

 She was right . The last car was very  acceptable to me . I could control my hand and move my arm a little better than in the beginning .  She came home from school one day lugging AMTs 1/16 Chevy ( the 57 Two Door hardtop .)

  She looked at me and said " Okay bud , get busy" !  She told me what color and features to put in it . I thought She had lost it ( Too many hours studying ).

 A full year later , Beautiful " Fire Orange " paint  ( Best paint I have ever done ), full detailed interior with readable guages and radio . Opening trunk . Wheel lugs . With nuts , jack and spare , tinted glass and fully detailed engine compartment including shift linkage , carb linkage and A.C details , it was done . 

 The finished model surprised me . And her . I figure because of my Fear ? of HER wrath more than the therapist , I better do it right ! I got the gold in two contests ( local ) and am now to this day Building models on contract for Lawyers and anyone else who wants a superdetailed Ship .

 Yes , Ships ! They have always been my prime interest . I  build and push the envelope on cars  though , for me . Not the world out there . As she looks over my shoulder from her cloud station above  , I am sure she,s smiling a big golden smile .

 Me , I still have twinges in the hand , but I don't notice them now . Models for therapy .You bet !! In Martinez , Ca. They have a V.A.. Facility . They even allow outsiders to come in and interact with the vets . I did recreational Therapy  as a lay instructor   . Subject ? Model Cars of course !

 The pride on my face must've been evident . I graduated about forty guys and ladies back to full function . Many with Prosthetics ! I refused to take " I can't  "as an excuse ! There were some model Boats and Armor in there too . Much against Pschycology Dept  decisions . They said reminders of what the Vets did would set them back . Can you say Big Sugar ! 

 It got to where I had my " Students " coming to recreation early , so as not to miss the class . I forgot all about me and concentrated on them . I am glad . I have often wondered if I had refused what my wife tried , where I would be today ? Thanks Ginny !

 The Veterans ? With my supervisor's knowledge but not mine .They sent a model plane of mine to the National Veterans Creative Arts contest! ! I didn't notice it even missing from the case where I had put some models in there as a " here's what you can do " thing . They sent a truck too . I won Gold and Silver medals on a national level .

 Embarassed , when told about the presentation ceremony I consoled myself with about a gallon of Starbucks coffee ! . I stepped up and recieved the Medals with a lot of Humble Pride ( Is there such a thing ? ) Because ALL my students , Present and Past were there to witness this .

 Where is all this going ? Proof positive that Model building , Especially super - detailed cars  , IS therapy . No , it doesn't have to be super - detailed , but why not shoot for your best ? They did ! See there is Healing Power in model building ! So There !!


  • Member since
    February, 2017
Posted by JohnDB on Sunday, February 18, 2018 7:35 AM

Great story. Thank you for your service. Keep up the great work with the veterans , very inspirational.

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Sunday, February 18, 2018 11:16 AM

A great and inspirational story, OCG. At 52 years old I am fortunate to not have incurred any physical disabilities, though a cereer as a milwright is starting to manifest itself as as potentially debilitating arthritis in my hands. Nonetheless, I have often considered the theriputic qualities of model building. Your post proves the the feasibility of the concept. I am very glad to hear that this has not only worked for you, but also that you gained a fantastic hobby along the way. Big kudos to you for spreading the word and helping others to overcome their physical issues. It is a good thing you have done. Cheers.

Power matters in the straights.
Lightness matters everywhere. - Colin Chapman


  • Member since
    August, 2016
Posted by mini man on Sunday, February 18, 2018 4:59 PM

An inspiring story,I have had 2 strokes - right side and am right handed !! plus severe arthritis in my spine and neck,plus I have taken a few hits oer the years....

Will build most anything,love American cars muscle etc.Britishvehicles are a buzz too,trucks are great - want to do a jet truck,building parts up...


P.S.N.I. Officer.


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