This spring everyone is building a favorite balsa kit airplane. We often hear about someone dusting off a project they intended to start a long time ago, but this story is about discovery of a classic TELEMASTER kit that Leo Seicshnaydre thought enough about – to save.
Leo’s first e-mail was almost overlooked and we’re so glad our President, Kurt Cleveland jumped into the discussion. Here’s the email string:
Leo: “Dear Hobby Express
I found a rare “Deluxe Junior Telemaster” ARC in the box and I’d like to send you a few pictures to see if you guys are interested in having it for your archives. See attached.”
Kurt: “Hey Leo, this is an intriguing item. One of my enthusiastic employees sent a message suggesting the company would not be interested. It is actually something worth discussing further with you.
I am relatively new to the business and did not realize that there was a Czech Republic version of the TELEMASTER in an ARC format. When was it purchased? Sometime in the 1980′s I guess – Are you pilot too? I think the novelty of it is interesting. How would you like to arrange for us to have the opportunity to archive it here?”
Leo: “Thanks for your replies Scott and Kurt, I thought the Czech version would pique your interest!
Here’s the story: The late Dr. John A. Fox operated Creative Sources and later The Model Source from the late 1970s until 2012. His store was the local hobby shop in Oxford, MS. I met Dr. Fox in 1994 and we became fast friends and that’s when I began flying R/C. He died in September 2013 and his family, who live in DC, asked me to clean out his house and liquidate the remaining stock. From what I can tell, he did lots of business with Hobby Lobby International since the beginning, so when I come across items that I think are super old and rare, I’ll send you pictures. I’ve got (2) 10×20 storage units full of planes, trains, and boats.
As for the “Deluxe Junior Telemaster”, I don’t know when it was purchased, but I speculate the 1980s since Almost Ready to Cover was popular then.
I would be happy to get the plane boxed up and shipped to you guys. I won’t be heading over to the storage units until the end of the week, but I’ll shoot y’all an email when I get my hands on it.
Yes, I’m a pilot. I actually maidened a modified ParkZone Super Cub at lunch today! I also fly Tricopters, Quads, Helis, and a bunch of planes.”
Kurt: “I am very sorry to hear you lost your friend. Clearly his family chose well when they asked you to work through the details.
I appreciate attention paid to the history of the hobby. We’re working out an agreement with the local library to hang many of the TELEMASTER family of planes as a static display of the history and art that is represented in model aviation. Today, we have ARF versions made in China, but in 2013 we brought the TELEMASTER back to Tennessee for KIT production. The newly reengineered kits are so advanced you can’t build one poorly. Laser cut, super high quality and easy to build kits that now come from the USA! We are rather proud of that little fact.
Your maiden flight sounds like the best way to spend a lunch time! I will send you my contact information by text and then send you the FedEx account number you can use to send things back to us at your convenience. I am very grateful for your historical view. Would it be welcome to have a note on any products that we display, thanking Dr. Fox? ”
Leo: “Another interesting fact about Dr. Fox was was that he was the head of the Department of Aeronautical Engineering at Penn State in the late 1940s as well as chair of the Mechanical Engineering department at Ole Miss. He drew up his own plans for planes that he wanted to build. I think it would be fitting to have a note about Dr. Fox on the things I send.
I finally made it to the storage shed today and picked up the plane and another Telemaster 66. I’ve attached pictures and you’ll find that the Deluxe Junior Telemaster has a plastic fuselage, COOL! Let me know if you guys want me to also send the Telemaster 66.”
Kurt: “Yes, we want it. We hope others will find and build their oldkits, or capture the inspiration of this story and let us featurethem as hobby history.Our first act is to share this story. We want to recognize andthank Dr. Fox for all the business we did over the years andhis dedication to the craft. We are excited to get these kits inhand and then on display.”