Big Bertha and Fat Boy
Life News

The Saga of Fat Boy and Big Bertha

Jared and the Silver Rocket by Estes
Jared and the Silver Rocket by Estes

Over the past several years, my son and I have been building model rockets and launching them towards the end of their time spent with me during the summer. Last year, we did not get around to launching any rockets, settling instead with filming a short movie titled “Plumbers, Androids and Chickens”, from a screenplay my son had written one feverish June morning in 2006.

In what can only be described as ‘sheer genius’, one of Jared’s 2006 Christmas presents was a rocket launching kit, containing a rocket launching stand, two simple and easily built rocket models, and miscellaneous hardware. This meant that we did not have to rely on my long-time high-school friend, Steve, to provide his own launching kit so we could set our own rockets ablaze.

This summer would be the inaugural launching of Fat Boy, the traditional short, stumpy, but-powerful Estes model rocket that so many other rocket enthusiasts have already sent straight into the sky. Jared had designed his own painting scheme for Fat Boy, deciding to drop the fin decals and settling upon a hot-pink and black color scheme that really sets the model apart from the others.

Big Bertha and Fat BoyFortunately, we did not have a single traumatic event as have traditionally had in the past. Last year, we lost two rockets. One of which pile-drove itself into the grass. The second simply broke into two pieces mid-flight and became lost behind a row of nearby houses.

The only problem this year was a lack of wadding in the three-year-old Big Bertha, which caused several of the parachute lines to break. This lead to a rather speedy decent to the groud after the ‘chute deployed. Fortunately, the long football field grass prevented Big Bertha from breaking a fin.

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