The New Years Finds The Return Of My Old Friend The “Rocket”. (High Power Rocketry is back.)

Blue Thunder my level 3 certification rocket. Made from an Ultimate Wildman kit. All Fiberglass 12' long, 6' diameter, 64 lbs.

Blue Thunder my level 3 certification rocket. Made from an Ultimate Wildman kit. All Fiberglass 12′ long, 6′ diameter, 64 lbs.

Dennis & I.

Dennis & I just before my level 3 certification flight. Thank you Dennis.

With a new year comes change and one of this year’s changes is actually something that is not so new to me at all. 2014 is the year that I have resolved to pick up where I left off with my hobby of High Rocketry. Back in the early summer of 2012 I had to put my rocketry on hold due to a few circumstances beyond my control. Budget for one plays a big role in anyone’s hobbies and personal fun time. I had to choose between rocketry and photography and photography won out. To get to a point where I wanted to be with photography I needed to spend a lot of time reading and learning as well as doing. Also factoring in to the equation was the fact that I no longer had my wonderful rocketry workshop. I lost my workshop space back in 2009 when I relocated. My rocketry workshop was my heaven. Divided into three separate areas I had a place for general rocket building, an area for working with composites such as carbon fiber & fiberglass and I had a third area for the mixing and making of EX (experimental) motors. Complete with exhaust fans, a sink, television and music. Not fancy, but very functional. So losing the workshop really took the fun out of rocketry. Money became very tight and some things had to go. My life has gone through many changes both the personal and the business side. I separated from a girlfriend of many years, relocated 3 times personally and relocated my catering business twice. However photography worked; being a hobby where I could actually turn into a business and at times bring in a few dollars. Photography will always be here to stay and I would choose it over rocketry any day. But rocketry still has a place in my heart and in my life. Rocketry can be like “crack” it can get out of control real quick if you let it. Any level 2 or 3 rocket guy knows exactly what I mean.

I started with rocketry back in 1975 at the YMCA in Canton Ohio. I had moved from the rural farming life of New Jersey to the inter-city life of Canton Ohio. I made the best of it, I had a daily newspaper delivery route and I was able to get out and experience the city on a daily basis. I took a model rocketry course at the local YMCA at age 11 and was hooked ever since. I found my way into High Power rocketry around 2004 and took it to a whole new level (literally). I certified through the levels one, two & three. I have to say the day I completed my level 3 certification flight was a very nice feeling of accomplishment. My girlfriend was very supportive and it was a very memorable day in my life.

So what’s ahead for 2014? I still do not have a workshop at all, so small work will be done in the house and painting and epoxy work will be done outside when the weather warms. I have two projects that are very near completion. One is a scratch built 4” diameter mid to high flyer and the other is a mid-flyer 5.5’ diameter. Plus I still have my Talon-4 and others from my old fleet. I plan on attending 4-5 launches during the season, between Maryland & New York; it should be a lot of fun. Fun to see people I haven’t seen in a few years as well as seeing the wonderful launch fields and getting away for the weekend.

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