Starting off...

This is one of the very, very few pictures I have from my life as a Boy Rocketeer. Taken ca. 1967, that's me sainted Mother serving as Launch Control Officer. The rocket is unidentified, though probably a Centuri kit, as I preferred them to Estes by a pretty wide margin.


I got back into rocketry in the mid-eighties. My son, 7 at the time, ran across a display of Estes rockets at a local discount store. He tracked me down in the store, and practically dragged me to that display! Of course, I puffed out my chest, and began with the "Why son, back when I was a boy.." speech. IOW, I fell right into his trap. We walked out of the store with a starter kit, a couple of bagged kits, and extra engines, too. ;-)
The mass picture was taken well under a year after my emerging as a Born Again Rocketeer (BAR), from the chrysalis I entered at age 16, when I abandoned rockets for cars and girls.. Not necessarily in that order! We didn't waste any time in building up a substantial arsenal!
The second picture is an early exercise in rocket design, cutting real close to the limit of how airplane-like a rocket can become before instability sets in. Some RSO's (Range Safety Officers) have wanted to refuse this one permission to fly, except that the condition of the rocket made it clear that it'd been flown a LOT. My son really loved this one, and we flew it 10 or 12 times a week during his summer vacation.. maybe more!

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