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2008 Review - I am glad to see 2008 go. There were a few great things, but it was a very bad year personally. My mother died of lung cancer in February, I had to move (not far), and have a number of life pieces yet to pick up. But enough of that.

On the plus side personally, I have a lot of great friends in the Birmingham Rocket Boys, who helped me out when my mother was sick, and after she died. As well as help from her longtime best friend, Sally.

Biggest thanks of all to Ron Witherspoon, founder of BRB, for all that he personally did to help. Thanks can never be enough.

Rocket-wise, BRB had another great Blast Off Launch in April. BRB did a lot of outreach events, such as 270 students flying models at Bragg Middle School, and Miss Alabama happening to be in attendance when 122 girls and boys built and flew models for a Science Fun Day Camp. We gave her a model, and she pressed the launch button.

The only major new models I made this year were the R/C Astron SpacePlane 2X and 4X. Those worked out nicely in tests at BRB launches, and I flew them at NARAM-50.

NARAM-50 and ORR were great. Best of all to be flying with my teammates Ed LaCroix, Terrill Willard, and Ryan Woebkenberg. And to see other friends like Jay Marsh, Chad Ring, Dr. Bob, Chris Taylor, and my mentor in contest rocketry Terry Lee.

The highlight of the year was the 2008 WSMC in Spain this year. For awhile it looked like I would have to drop off of the team. But I did make it. Using old, but good, models from 2002, and some good luck, I got a Bronze medal in S9A (Copter), and by realizing a unique strategic golden opportunity for S8E-P R/C Rocket Glide due to high winds in round 3 (ignore the landing score, keep it in the air), was able to win a Silver medal. I have to thank pretty much all of the US Team members who helped me one way or another. But the biggest thanks of all for my even being able to go, are to Trip Barber, John Langford, and Mark Mayfield of LAUNCH Magazine.

The big non-rocket highlight of the year was to finally go see a race at Talladega. I watch the NASCAR races on TV all the time. But had never gone to any NASCAR race. Ron & I talked about how "someday" we'd like to go. So, on Oct 5th, we did, along with Ron's wife Carol, and other fellow BRB Members David Rowe, Richard Fernandez, and his son Eddie. I put together a web page of photos from the race. It was great to finally see a race in person.

At NARAM-50, an X-wing was put up for auction. Ron's first ever model rocket kit was an X-wing Starter set. So, I knew I had to get that for Ron as a Christmas present, and won the auction for it. Fortunately I was there when he opened it at their family Christmas Eve party that Carol and Ron invited me to attend.

Feb - Bragg Middle School
270 student rockets flown
(more pics at BRB)
BRB 2008 Highlights


Birmingham Blast Off - April
(more pics at BRB)

June - Miss Alabama
Amanda Tapley & Rus Hardy
(more pics at BRB)

Randy DeArman's Model
at August Night Launch
(more pics at BRB)
Steward Jones
at Night Launch
Steward's model had 7
separate white LED's
Miss Alabama
Launches a rocket