What started a young kid going was in fifth grade when the little ship class was already teaching us to learn to draw oblique drafting of simple stuff like cubes and then advancing. Next school to finish up 7th and 8th grade also had small shop classes for the boys and the girls had cooking classes. By the time I took up drafting in night school I had a good start – and good teachers in pattern making shop, machine shop, and electric theory shop. I just passed because I made an electric bug killer??? What all these shops did was to learn to use your hands with your brain. I passed on auto shop as the guys in that shop always looked dirty. HA!

I was tying fishing flies when I was 15 and my barber was selling them to make some change for me. Later I made my own glass rods (assembled stuff to what I liked for balance). I made muskie plugs and spoons and bucktails. Every hobby moved to another one. After we were married I got into HO trains and in 1958 won 3rd place for structures in Railroad Model Craftsman contest. I picked up on photography shooting the steam engines that were still running. I picked up a lot of carpentry from watching our trimmers on rainy days. I built a gun cabinet and then my prize boat, the STINAREE runabout with split chine up forward and fins in back like a Cadillac. I glassed the whole thing as one of the laborers gave me a roll of automotive glass cloth to use. I had that beauty for years until in the garage too long and Maria wanted her car inside. So I traded it for a couple new guns and cash from the bosses’ son.

The crystal mineral collecting started fifty or sixty years back when I started reading Rocks and Minerals magazine in the school library. Fossils – we have the old strip mines 60 miles south in Braidwood and Coal City. Mazon Creek fern fossils in ironstone concretions are the finest in the world due to their being instantly preserved by very fine silt in the Pennsylvanian era when the coal layers were put down. They are so good the hairs on the leaves show.

Philatelic hobbies take in everything except stamps. From early space shots, recovers ships and tracking stations to RPO, Navy first flights, machine cancels, local posts, MPPs, censored stuff, commercial documented submersibles, etc.

In between all this I was building models since I was ten. Now the most fun with my plans going to 12 countries.

Probably forgot some stuff but the important thing as I mentioned is getting good instructors early on to teach the correlation between brain and fingers. One hobby moves into another as the brain gets hungrier and hungrier.

Picture of Gene Falada and his family

Picture of Gene Falada and a totem pole he created