The Vintage RC Society - a brief history
The Vintage RC Society was born in 1989, initially as an idea by Bill Winter, resulting from discussions with Hal “Pappy” deBolt, as to how the history of R/C could be recorded and preserved. Further discussions got Joe Beshar, John Worth, and Art Schroeder involved.
Hal deBolt contacted Joe Beshar and asked if he would consider founding an RC Society since Joe had succeeded as president of the Society of Antique Modelers, building it from less than 200 members to over 1800. Joe agreed and proceeded to seek modelers interested in a vintage organization, using the Golden Age column in Model Airplane News as the vehicle and published a simple request for response, with the name and address of any modeler interested in a vintage society.
This produced a list of potential members and Joe made a mailing to each of the respondents, requesting $ 15 initial dues. The receipts were sufficient for Joe to develop the present VRCS logo and he contacted Art Schroeder who agreed to do the newsletter. Joe also contacted John Worth to become President. Joe acted as Treasurer for a few years and then turned over the responsibility to Bill Poythress. Thus VRCS was founded.
This founding group quickly agreed that to make the society function a newsletter would be needed, to serve as a means of communication among all interested parties and to provide the basis for historical documentation. With Joe Beshar’s prodding, Art Schroeder accepted the editorship responsibility for producing the newsletter, with John Worth agreeing to serve as the initial President, whereupon Joe signed on as Secretary-Treasurer. The organization was established informally, with decisions by unanimous agreement of the three officers.
The first issue of the newsletter was issued in July 1989, with a production goal of quarterly issues. That first issue promoted the idea of the organization being more than just a “tell it like it was” forum. It generated the idea of annual get-togethers where the theme would be “fly and tell”, featuring demonstrations by prominent RC’ers flying original or replica models of vintage R/C designs.
By the end of 1989, with 220 members, the “fly and tell” concept was established with the first reunion scheduled for the 1990 Labor Day weekend in September at the airport at Selinsgrove, PA, site of earlier R/C events. Following a very successful first VRCS event that year, the annual reunion continued regularly on Labor Day weekends until 1996, when the location was changed to the Lums Pond State Park near Newark, Delaware.
In 1999 the reunion moved once more, to Sayre, PA under the direction of Bob Noll. Thus, for ten years the annual reunions have continued, supplemented by additional get togethers at Muncie, Indiana and Spring Hill, Florida.
In 1993 the VRCS established the VRCS Hall of Fame, in conjunction with the annual WRAM (Westchester Radio Aero Modelers) show in White Plains, NY. It was based on the premise that, automatically, anyone chosen by the WRAM club to receive the club’s annual prestigious Howard McEntee Memorial Medal would be inducted into the R/C Hall of Fame. This also included all previous McEntee Medal recipients, in addition to the current selection.
In 2002 the Executive Council decided that selections for the VRCS Hall of Fame did not have to be the same person who received the Howard McEntee award.
VRCS is a Special Interest Group of the Academy of Model Aeronautics.