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Culture, Life, Technology

Hobby Shops, Models, and Sunday afternoon fun

Da Vinci's Catapult

On Sunday the 7th of April my two sons and I discovered that there is a new hobby store in town.  Well that’s not exactly true.  It isn’t really “in town” as much as in the closest town to us with a relatively large population.  We live in a fairly small town.  Also the sentence gives the impression that there are multiple hobby stores to choose from.  And while there is a Hobby Lobby not far from this hobby store, and many other shops that could be called hobby stores, I’m talking about the old school type hobby shop.  The kind of place I used to get my D&D stuff from when I was twelve.  A store with remote control air planes 5 feet across, not only models of every car, boat and plane imaginable but also models of machine guns to go with your little model army men.  Slot cars and pewter miniatures as well as mouse trap cars and racks of balsa wood line the shelves.

Unfortunately we got there exactly two minutes after it closed.  We didn’t know it was there.  Just happened to be in the shopping center and saw it there.  The open sign sat dark, no longer glowing in its neon glory.  So we were only able to peer through the windows at what was inside.  We returned a week later, being sure to beat the clock this time.  It was quite the trip down memory lane for me.  I had forgotten the kind of cool stuff there is to find in one of these stores.  After quite a bit of looking around my 8 year old decided he wanted to buy a model of a Da Vinci catapult.  To be honest I don’t think I ever knew he designed one.  It is a rather ingenious design though.  Working much like a bow, the turning of the main axel pulls on a rope (string in our case) and pulls in the arms of the “bow.”  When the catapult is released the arms pull back forcing the arm up and launching whatever you’ve armed it with.

When we got home the box flew open and we started putting it together.  All three of us, me and my two boys, working together just for the sheer fun of it.  There was no fighting, no jockeying to me in charge, none of the strife that can come from two boys both wanting to do the same thing.  We just wanted it done.  Soon we were launching the ammo it came with, tiny figures, just about anything, down the hall.  My younger son was so excited he couldn’t wait to bring it to school for show and tell.

It was a great afternoon (finished off with a great bar-b-q for dinner).  And best of all it created memories for the boys to hold onto for years to come.  I think we’ll be paying more visits to that hobby store.

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