Theodore "Ted" Baxter by Bill Carraway
From the standpoint of airplane
modeling, particularly R/C, Ted's experience goes back to the days of vacuum
tubes, escapements, and large battery packs. These are all primitives by today's
standards. He built beautiful and great
flying models; and if he produced one that he felt did not fly well, he would
test it into oblivion. One such test was to fly out to safe distance and to
a great height. He would then dive straight down at full bore, ending with quick
pull-up. If the model survived, it was deemed structurally sound and worthy
of further flight. If it did not meet the test, it was back to the drawing board.
Not only was Ted a great model builder, he was also an accomplished photographer.
In fact, over the years, a number of model pictures were featured on the covers
of several model magazines. His photography interests included wildlife subjects
as well, particularly birds.
My earliest recollection of Ted was of walking
along National Avenue, hanging on to my Grandfather's hand. We stopped to watch
as Ted glide tested a large trihedral free-flight model from the front porch
of his home. I can still see the beautiful flat, slow, and steady glide that
it made, skimming on to the land. He
jumped down, retrieved the model, and then stopped to talk to us. What touches
me today, is that as a young adult, probably in his middle teens, he took five
or ten minutes to answer questions and offer details to a four or five year
old boy. Me! The experience that day
lit an interest in me for all aspects of airplanes and flight. The result was
a career in aviation and a love of modeling.
Ted, like all of us, was no doubt viewed differently
by other people, but my memory of him is one of an all around congenial person.
To me, he was always a gentleman, and a gentle man. He was free with his modeling
knowledge and experience by helping anyone interested in the hobby. Sadly, towards
the end, his eyesight failed to the point that his modeling activity was severely
limited. Ted is missed by those modelers who knew him, and it is regrettable
that all the current Aeromodeler Club members could not have known him personally.
It is appropriate at this point to mention the
loss of Bob Myers who passed away Aug 6, 1999. Bob, like Ted, was a good friend
who loved the hobby. If Bob were with
us today, he would say "to whom it may concern, QUIT SMOKING"