Not too many decades ago, I used to be fanatical about building models, particularly World War II airplanes. It was a wonderful hobby that sadly has fallen the way of records and video tapes. Most of my models are now long gone, but the memories of building them remain clear as day. One of my greatest achievements was a model of a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, a workhorse of a bomber during World War II. As it turned out, as I was constructing the model everything went south. Pieces broke, the paint job sucked, and my frustration and anger spiraled out of control. I wanted to huck the entire mess against the wall. Not pretty was I as a child!
Then my parents reminded me about the school model-building contest and my desire to enter. And that is where the story takes a turn for the better! I decided to destroy the plane even more, using it in a diorama of a crashed plane. I had to imagine what the plane would have looked like after slamming into the ground, and with survivors surrounding the outside the plane. It was quite a creative endeavor and in the end, I won the contest. Even more, I learned the importance of finding a way to turn tragedy into triumph.
Last month we took some friends to the Tillamook Air Museum and to my surprise, there on display was a B-17! All the memories came flooding back and for a short time, it felt good being a kid again.