Tuesday, October 08, 2013
It's Real To Me, Dammit
When I was young, I went to the library all the time. It was a marvelous neoclasical pile of stones. In the basement, they had a children's library and a big empty room for whatever what-have-you the library might host. It was there that they judged the model contests.
No, not creepy toddlers wearing bridesmaid dresses and enough makeup for a Tijuana hooker; I'm referring to the scale models of cars and boats and planes that you purchased as a kit and assembled. It was the most common hobby of grade-school boys in America at the time, if the town I grew up in was any sort of barometer.
We had a shop in town that sold nothing but models and glue and paint, run by a very sketchy looking fellow that collected Nazi memorabilia for a hobby. I was too young at the time to be suspicious of such things, but with the halting wisdom of age, I imagine he was selling dope along with the dope, too.
I won that damn contest lots of times. I had the right combination of intelligence and moronic monomania that such things require. I learned to dip toothpicks in paint and paint the numbers on the car's speedometers by just touching the tiny raised bumps molded into the plastic. I made WWI airplanes and used my mother's thread to wire them with interstrut rigging, and did the same for the clipper ship Thermopylae. I'm fairly certain you'd be drugged into oblivion if you displayed this sort of behavior now.
Hot damn, we were all pikers compared to this guy.
Michael Paul Smith