Holiday Contest Scoring

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Which is your favorite story?

  • Donaldsrockets (Entry into the hobby)

  • SecretSquirrel (Chocoholic Squirrel)

  • Tony William (Thanksgiving 62)

  • Daddyisabar (Christmas loot)

Results are only viewable after voting.
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Well-Known Member
Jan 17, 2009
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We have 4 entries in the Holiday Story contest. Those stories are now posted in a poll and we invited all to vote on their favorite.

The individual stories are reposted below for your examination. We ask that you only vote in the poll and not reply on THIS thread.
Dondaldsrockets Entry

I was 13 years old at the time and the Christmas of 1993 was when I got my first model rocket setup, rocket (Estes ARV Condor) Estes Porta Pad and Electron Beam Controller and a pack of Estes A8-3 motors. Needless to say, I was absolutely thrilled at the time. I had just flown my first rocket as a class project in my 7th grade Technology (Shop) class. We built these generic rockets on A8-3's. They flew very well considering they were made from this tape material used for the BT (we had to roll it ourselves), cardboard fins and chutes made from the plastic material used in the plastic bags you use for produce in the grocery stores. Good thing we were only using A motors. Anything more and they might have shredded.

What made this special is that it was the first rocket my father and I built together as I had just got into the hobby and could never have built this rocket myself as I had virtually no building skills whatsoever. We finished the rocket in about a week but because it was winter in NY, we had to wait until spring and until my father was in town as he was spending a lot of time between here and NY because he was in the process of moving my family and I here to FL for a better quality of life.

We flew the Condor and it flew pretty well for the most part although the gliders really didn't glide that well. Since then we built and flew more rockets together. The last few rockets he and I built together was the Estes Pro Series Impulse - a twin 24mm cluster rocket and the Estes Mercury Atlas. After that, I set out on my own to master the art of rocket building but I still fondly remember those first few rockets he and I built together.

I was glad to hear that Estes might re release the Estes ARV Condor and Saturn V. Now that my father has since passed away, I would love to build those two rockets and dedicate them to him. The next time I fly the Impulse, I plan to dedicate the flight to him. If it was not for my father, Donald Besaw Sr. - I probably would not even know how to properly use an Exacto knife much less build a flying model rocket.
Secret Squirrel Entry

Okay, this is as close to a rocketry related Christmas story as I can get.

We got our first pet squirrel, Rocket, in the summer of '91. Since he was an only squirrel, he was spoiled silly. He went everywhere with us, had run of the house, ate at the dinner table, etc. We even took him to the parks to play "wild squirrel".

When Christmas of that year rolled around, we put up the tree as usual. You could almost see the joy on Rocky's face as we set it up. "You brought one in the house just for me? And you decorated it? How cool!"

I forget where she found them, but Terri was out shopping and brought home some chocolate "12 Days of Christmas" ornaments. They were foil wrapped chocolate disks, each one representing one of the days.

After they had been on the tree a couple of days, we noticed we had only 11 days of christmas. There was a foil wrapper on the floor under the tree. The next day, we saw Rocket pull down another ornament and eat it while resting on a branch of the tree.

He continued to eat one ornament a day for a while when two of Terri's nieces came over. Terri showed them the chocolate ornaments and told them they could each have one. Rocket was furious! How dare these two girls eat his precious chocolate. He had no problem letting us know how unhappy he was.

The next day he settled back into his routine of eating one ornament a day until there was just one left. As it so happens, Terri's nephew, Eddie, came over that day. Terri pointed out the last ornament to him and told him he could have it. Rocket was resting on the arm of the sofa and saw Eddie head for the tree. Quick as a flash, he leapt up, raced toward the tree, climbed it and took the ornament just an instant before Eddie could touch it. Down the tree he went and back to the sofa arm. He just glared at Eddie, flicking his tail, barking and eating his prize.

I thought it was the funniest thing. Eddie was devastated and Terri was in shock. I had to run down to the local 7-11 for more chocolate.
DaddyisaBAR entry

After learning the in-laws were not going to give me rocket kits for Christmas because they are just a bunch of toilet paper tubes and don’t look good at the big unwrapping show on Christmas Eve, I decided to take things into my own hands and venture down to the Best Little Rocket Shoppe In Colorado. Apogee Components was having special customer appreciation hours, being open on Saturday morning! I picked up Grandma in my old truck from her little shack down by the river and told her we were going to take a ride down to the Springs, it was just like a real vacation. She changed out of her pajamas, turned off the TV and left the house for the first time in a long time. I told her we were going to get some German rockets from the only store in the Western Hemisphere that carries them. I think she was expecting a big box retail store with lots of parking and flashy neon signage.

We turned off on the funky Filmore interchange and went up the hill, then turned right at the Two Men and a Truck place. Winding on down the narrow road I pulled into the small parking lot amongst those wonderful industrial flex buildings tucked behind the ridge of the foothills. Walking in the door you are greeted by the dog and over 300 square feet of first class and packed in rocketry display, housing every rocket photographed on the website. Tim then greets you and I let him know that Grandma is an expert rocket duster, having dusted my old Estes Mercury Redstone for nearly 30 years while only braking off the escape tower once. Standing around about hundred or so dusty rockets he immediately offered her a job on the spot. WOW! a dream job any BAR would take in a heartbeat, but Grandma is too old and shaky to dust them now.

It was a busy day and Tim had to get a bunch of kits off to Santa, so we then proceeded into the warehouse section, the holy of holies. There you will find rows of tall shelves packed with all sorts of rocket goodies for good girls and boys. My daughters always say the best stores are Target, Children’s Place and Claire’s, well for Daddy, there is only one store I ever need to visit. Then, in the very back row, past the Dynastar and Zooch kits were stacked the new batch of kits just in from Deutschland. Like a kid in the candy store I picked up one each of the three Noris kits in stock. Leaving the store my pockets were empty but my heart was full of joy.

I knew that many hours of shear enjoyment working with vacuform and fallschirmhalterrungs lie ahead. Yes Mister Santa, bring me some toys! To market the Noris Vostok and Soyuz kits I would label them as Skill Level 6 and tout them as “No Girly Man’s Kit.” Build them and we will …clap…“pump you up to Skill Level 6.” Yes, there was a rocket under the tree for Daddy this year, and no one could read the funny language on the box. There were some who commented the green paint scheme on that Vostok was really ugly; they just can not appreciate the triumph of the Soviet Peoples and the wonderful beauty and utility of the R-7 booster. Now, I am taking back the third drill bit set I have received from the in-laws over the years and exchanging it at Lowes for some primer and superglue to be used on you know what.
....and voting is closed!

Congratulations to Donald, our winner! I'll let Mike and Uncle Mike's know you're the winner, so he can contact you regarding shipment of your Decim8.

Thanks to Mike for his generosity in donating a really cool kit! Donald? Our terms are pretty simple -- we want pictures. :D

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