I finally achieved my L1 today. I say finally, not because it's terribly difficult, but based on how long I've loved building and flying, I should have had HPR rating long ago.
I've been flying for about forty years, off and on. Most kids' "wish book" was the annual Sears toy catalog; mine was the Estes catalog. At about ten years old I mail ordered my first kit (Arcas) and I've been hooked since.
I started having fun with mid power in the mid 1990's with an Aerotech Initiator, but the events of Sept 11 made flying difficult, as did my move to a new job, new house, and having kids- all taking priority over any kind of hobby. About three years ago, while recuperating from surgery, I needed something to do, so started building again, joined the associations, but still no time to fly.
Finally, today, along with my two young boys, we flew with Tripoli Central California. My 38mm minimum diameter Blue Tube flew straight and high on a simple H123, and took me for a long walk on a breezy day under a Fruity Chute.
So, now with my L1, I will be having fun heading toward L2, doing my part to improve the economy by building and flying.
(Thanks to Jim for nice camera work.)