Since 1955, Earl, Ken and Frank had been best friends, all enjoying the same hobby of control-line flying. Here's the story of their lifelong friendship and what they have done so they can all fly together for eternity.
Three Old Men And A Time Machine
Written By: Ken Cigler
"This story started back in 1955 when three young boys met in grade school. At the same time, all three discovered model airplanes and control-line flying. Soon, all three met in the same model airplane club and thus started a lifelong friendship that lasted over 63 years as the best friends...Ken, Earl and Frank. We went through school together and graduated in 1961. Afterward, we went our separate ways, but life kept putting us back together. The only constant in our lives was the love of building and flying model planes, which brought us into the same RC flying club in our adult lives. About ten years ago I started a "guys day out" for us. We go to a variety of RC events, aircraft museums, hobby shops, or swap shops about once a month. Thus began the adventure of finding a "Time Machine" in our travels. Our best adventure started out as a quick road trip to Carmichaels, PA. Thinking that it was a simple 1-1/2 hour drive from Northeast Ohio, where we all live, it turned out to be more like a 3-1/2 hours' drive to just south of Pittsburgh, PA. We were looking for Brodak Hobby Shop. By accident, we walked into the model airplane kit factory (Brodak Mfg. & Distributing) instead. We were greeted by the owner, John Brodak, who graciously gave us a nearly four hour tour of his facilities. What a wonderful treat! Now the Time Travel takes place: We were magically transported back in time, just looking at the hundreds of model planes hanging from the ceiling. It brought back memories of our carefree youth. Each one of us saw models that we had built and flown as preteens and teenagers. Except for school (and chores), all we had to do was enjoy life, no bills...no jobs...no worries. Just build and fly our airplanes, having a great clean youth. I'm sure it made our parents happy, because it kept us out of mischief. On the way back to reality in my car time machine, all we could talk about was our youth, and the great memories that were vividly brought back to three old guys (now in our 70's). The best trip ever taken by us! You can say time travel is impossible, but we disagree, because we have done it. Unfortunately, with the passing of Earl in January of 2018, this lifelong friendship is now down to two. After Earl passed, Frank and I decided to buy a memorial brick for Earl on the AMA Walk of Fame in Muncie, IN. When we learned that the bricks are put in place as each order is received, we decided we would also purchase our own memorial bricks, in order that the AMA could put all three of our bricks in line together. The three of us will now be flying together for eternity. You can find us lined up one over the other... Earl, Ken, and Frank."
If you would like to purchase a brick on the AMA Walk of Fame, you can visit our website HERE.