Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I Found a Friend, In The Gazoo

Neat story in the Gazoo today about an old friend of mine that I haven't seen in a long time. Link on title, go check it out.

Rick Bender, formerly of Roundup, travels all over the country to teach kids why not to chew tobacco. The last time I talked to Rick was a few years ago at a gun show. Him and his son Chris were shooting in an archery competition, (they do everything together, or at least they used to, I hope that they still do).

Years ago, I forget how many, Rick and his son operated F&S Hobbies (short for Father and Son) in Roundup, specializing in radio controlled cars. It was an excellent business, the best of it's kind in this area at the time for sure, with an indoor onroad and outdoor offroad RC car track, all complimented by an excellently stocked RC Pro Shop. I bought a bushel basket of goodies from them, including my RC12LS, all at extremely competitive prices too I might add. I competed on their tracks twice, once at an indoor onroad race where I finished first with my 1/10 scale Trinity Street Spec, (I didn't have the 12th scale at that time, Rick sold it to me later) and once at a two day offroad competition where I think I finished 4th or 5th overall with my RC10 out of about 20 or so competitors. I probably would've placed lower had I not accepted Rick's invitation to come up and practice with him and Chris the weekend before, and had the benefit of Rick's coaching. I have to admit, his outdoor track was small but it was by far the funnest track that I ever raced, all about rhythm and smooth, consistent lines. The straightaways were just too short, the jumps just too long, to rely on muscle alone. That track required finesse, it was hard to race it without a grin on your face even if you were losing.

Fun was had by all at both events, everyone was made to feel welcome, and Rick was an outstanding host, going far out of his way to make sure that fun was had by all. Rick is a great guy, with a great family, and I'm glad to see that he's still doing well. If he talked to your kids at school, they're better off for it, believe me. This guy really cares, and it's obvious to anyone that meets him. Thanks Rick, glad to see you're still out there making a difference.

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