From: Depot HQ - Virginia
It seems like just yesterday I finished the model kit of the Japanese battleship "Yamato" (the motorized version), but it was probably 1967 or '68
I took it to the water hazard on the first hole of the golf course in Forest Park (Queens, NY) turned it on and launched it. It sailed perfectly, building up a good speed as it circled out in the middle of the pond. Then, my buddy David and I got out our slingshots, and a supply of "ashcans" (large firecrakers with waterproof fuses), and started "shelling" it, while my other buddy, Robbie, filmed it with his Dad's 8mm camera. It took about a dozen shots to get the timing right. Most of them were not even close, and the ones that were took time to go off, while the target sailed out of range. They did make excellent explosions though, throwing water 15 to 20 feet in the air. Finally, David managed (and I still don't know how it could have been anything but a lucky shot, though he insists otherwise), to "skip" one ashcan across the pond and landed it directly between the stacks of the model, sticking there. Half an eyeblink later it went off, and the resulting destruction, captured on film, was awesome. I don't think Hollywood could have done it any better. :)
It wasn't very long after this that the group of us got involved in wargames. We set up a sheet of plywood on horses in Robbie's garage, and for the next few years this was our CP for many a great battle. We played them all, everything in the Avalon Hill catalog. And talk about realisim? In the winter of, I think it was '72, we played the Bulge in that garage... with 28" of snow on the ground outside, and temperatures in the single digits, and this was an unheated garage! We froze our butts off out there, playing until our lips turned blue, before rushing into the house to warm up for 10-15 minutes, then back out to the garage.
I miss that garage sometimes, and I miss my old buddies even more. Robbie is a CPA now, and no longer plays wargames, which is probably a good thing, since I don't think I ever beat him in any battle. David moved to Florida with his family in '75, and the rest of the gang just slowly grew apart over the years.
But... Now we have places like this, the Matrix Forums. The temperature is always just right, your opponents can move to any corner of the globe and still play against you, and no one ever knocks the plywood off the sawhorses reaching for another slice of pizza. :)
What, me worry?