You must try to generate happiness within yourself. If you aren’t happy in one place, chances are you won’t be happy anyplace. —Ernie Banks
Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks, passed away recently, and the first thing everyone said about him was how great his attitude was in all places and situations. He also was nicknamed Mr. Sunshine. Ernie Banks, the National Baseball Hall of Fame slugger and two-time Most Valuable Player, never lost his boundless enthusiasm for baseball, despite years of playing on losing Chicago Cubs teams.
Tom Ricketts, chairman of the Cubs, wrote in a statement released by the team:
“Words cannot express how important Ernie Banks will always be to the Chicago Cubs, the city of Chicago, and Major League Baseball. He was one of the greatest players of all time. He was a pioneer in the major leagues. And more importantly, he was the warmest and most sincere person I’ve ever known.
“Approachable, ever optimistic and kindhearted, Ernie Banks is and always will be Mr. Cub. My family and I grieve the loss of such a great and good-hearted man, but we look forward to celebrating Ernie’s life.”
Ernie hit 512 home runs during his 19-year career and was fond of saying, “It’s a great day for baseball. Let’s play two!” That finish to his famous catchphrase adorns his statue outside of Wrigley Field.
We fly model airplanes, helicopters, and multirotors. You say, “This isn’t about baseball.” No, it’s not about baseball, but it is about doing what makes you happy.
We make choices in our lives, such choosing a hobby, based upon the happy factor. I think Ernie Banks would have been the one at the field who never wanted to go home and always tried to put up one more flight. When it rained, he would just smile at the opportunity to be outside with friends.
His quote tells us a lot about our hobby. We’ve probably all heard people comment, “If I just had [this or that], life would be good.” Maybe happiness is where you are, with what you have, and doing what you enjoy.
I’m always fascinated by our members and the model aviation community. People find their personal happiness in many ways we probably haven’t thought of, or maybe just forgotten about. I received such a note from a woman who attended AMA Expo 2015. It’s her happy place.
“My name is Brenda Lombas and I’ve been in California for about four years now. I’ve been building and flying model aircraft since the 1970s. The very first plane I ever made was the Comet A-26 Invader that I flew almost every day back in Texas during the late 1970s. I can still recall going to Hobby Hub in Arlington to buy it.
“A few months ago after I retired, I decided to get back into building and flying balsa aircraft. To my local hobby shop I went (PCH Hobbies in Torrance). They told me balsa/dope planes where no longer being made and I would have to buy one of their foam toys or quad rotor things. I found the last Guillow’s kits they had in shop and bought them all, fearing that there would be no more.
“I searched the Internet and found my beloved Comet was no more, but Guillow’s was still there. I tried to get my local shop to carry the brand, but no joy. I was stuck with buying kits and supplies off the Internet. I thought I was the last builder … ’til I went to AMA Expo.
“I saw many a kid with parents flying rubber ships. Oh the joy! I spent more than two hours watching kids build at tables (every table was full), then the kids would fly their creations right then and there. So many smiling faces it was hard to count. I spoke with some of the men there and got many ideas and helpful information. One member even showed me his newest creation of balsa cross-sheeting that was strong as ply, but as light as normal balsa. I was amazed at the number of planes and people flying.
“The builders steered me over to Smith Brothers Hobbies. Now I felt like a kid again. They carried dope in every color, wood glues for aircraft, and kits from Peck, DH, Guillow’s, the works. I wish my local shop would be more like Smith Brothers.
“Thank you for letting me be a kid again.”
I don’t think Brenda owes us thanks, but should be celebrated for her ability to recognize and find happiness!
I know another happy person who is also the president of the club I fly with. Our club is fortunate to have a special place to fly, and he refers to our field as his “happy place.” No matter what happens during his day, he can always think about flying at our club field and smile. He says that even in the dead of winter he can close his eyes and imagine himself on that flightline.
Find your happy place! Then, as Ernie Banks suggested, you can be happy anyplace.
Fly and have fun!