If you were ever looking for a group of people who were fanatic about one particular aircraft, the crowd at “Cub Nuts” was just that group. People from all over the state of Oregon who share a passion for model airplanes, (Cubs especially) gathered in the small town of Mollala to witness a huge variety of their favorite planes filling the sky. It was their passion for the hobby, along with the fiery devotion of a local hobby store owner that drew the attention of Hobby Lobby, all the way from Brentwood, Tennessee out to the far edge of the West Coast.
I got a feel for the industry on the West Coast when I had a chance to talk with Russ Holst, owner of Coyote Hobby and organizer of the Cub Nutz event. Russ has been running this event for about six years, and each year the event drew nearly fifty pilots. Here, you could be sure to see Cubs that ranged from ones you could hand launch to 40% scale models that would tow massive gliders hundreds of feet in the air so you could watch their graceful descent.
When I had a chance to pull Russ away for a sit-down chat, he had a lot to say about how the economy has taken its toll on larger hobby distributors and their ability (and sometimes willingness) to contribute to the hobby community. Russ didn’t want to ungrateful by naming names, but other big distributors didn’t come through for him this year, claiming things like, “It’s a tough year, Russ…” or, “You know how it is.”
Hobby Lobby, however, couldn’t wait to support the event, sending hats and some of their people to cover the event, but also donating the event’s first place prize – Hobby Lobby’s Pilot-1 PA 12 Cub.
“It was only right that the winner of this year’s ‘Dead Nutz’ competition would take home a brand new, fresh in the box, Pilot-1 PA 12,” said Mark Cleveland, owner of Hobby Lobby and a big fan of the Cub model himself. Needless to say, people who were already steady fans of HLI became fanatics by the end of this event.