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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Wednesday myself and my wife drove over to Tampa to visit our DIL and son and pick up their dachshunds for dog sitting for a week. On Thursday while they were at work we drove over to Tarpon Springs, where I was raised, to get some Greek food at the sponge docks and drive through my old neighborhoods. Also when I am over there I visit the House of Hobbies which was in Clearwater when I was growing up. A few years back he consolidated his Clearwater and New Port Richey stores into one store only a couple of miles from where I was raised. I've spoken to him before but yesterday he seemed much more talkative and we chatted for a few minutes as I was leaving. His name is Bob also and he has been in the business for a long while. I visited him back in the early '60s and told him I used to save my lawn mowing money for a trip to his shop when I was growing up. I told him about the one time I had saved enough so that I walked from the Maas Brothers, where my family was shopping, the 10+ blocks to his shop to buy a large scale WW1 triplane. He was rather impressed by that. He then told me this year would be his 50th anniversary of being in business. His store looks like a store that has been around that long and I noted that he has increased his stock of plastic and added a third aisle for plastic models. He keeps a reasonably well stocked store and I always enjoy going there. He does know the business and eBay and such though so you won't find any "deals" there. Still, I usually pick up a couple of supply items and always visit for the memories.
 

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Well, there's a first time for everyone!

wait. never mind.

Pretty cool. I tried to go back to the Seattle Village Shopping center where I was a kid in the 60s. Hobby shop was gone. So was Woolworths. There was a Starbucks gloating where the shop used to be.
 

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Bob is a much nicer guy now a days.I just visited them on mylast trip home.I have been buying from him and his wife since I was 8...he has quite a bit of vintage stuff as well....I remember the old Maws brothers.coachmen park stands on the property and if you had to make that 10 block walk today it would take you through the heart of scientology Hq.and as for tarpon.......I could sure use some saganaki from Bella's right now...I'm driving a semi now and I cant wait to get back soon.....glad you had a good time
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Where were you raised over there Nightsky? We moved to Tarpon from Ohio when I was turning 6 in '59. It is a totally different place now and all the woods we played in are housing developments, glad I they weren't back then. We ended up grabbing a small soft dip cone at the Dairy Rich in Crystal Beach before our planned lunch at the docks and it so filled both of us up that we drove around for 45 minutes to get our appetites back but still only split a gyro at Hellas. I always have to drive through Baywood Village where I grew up and I think I am going to drive my wife crazy!
 

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Bob can be really nice if you catch him on the right day or when hes not in the middle of something. He knows a TON about pretty much anything hobby related. I started going to his Clearwater shop in the early 80s and to the old New Port Richie shop occasionally. Apparently, both shops had moved around a couple times in the prior decades. I know the NPR shop used to be in town off US 19 but later moved around the corner and up on the highway for a few years.

Last time I was in his new store was last year but I found it disappointing. He had a lot of stuff but half of it had been in his old store 10 years ago (but he had updated the prices to current prices, if not higher). I really didn't see many kits that had been released in the last 5 years at all. Nothing in the way of armor from Dragon, Trumpeter, Tamiya, Bronco, etc. Just old Testors/Italeri stuff from the 80s with 2011 prices. It takes a couple of hours for me to get there now from where I live.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Another thing I've known over the years was his love for early BMWs, before they were so cool to own. He had a 2002 when they first were over here, the very boxy version of early BMWs. 2 or 3 years back I popped through with my older son and Bob heard my son owned a GTI and started telling him about how he could replace the computer to get more performance from it. Yesterday we talked about Moebius and also the upcoming IPMS Nats in Orlando. Now he told me Moebius has a factory in central Florida but they wouldn't let him in the place. I told him I knew Frank but didn't know about a factory, which I am pretty sure there isn't in Florida. Of course Frank is located in Deland and does have some warehouse storage there but factory, I don't think so. I didn't argue but did tell him that much of Frank's models are manufactured overseas. Anyway, it was the first time I did have a good talk with him and I enjoyed it. As Nick said, he had always seemed a bit stand offish to me previously.
 

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Where were you raised over there Nightsky? We moved to Tarpon from Ohio when I was turning 6 in '59. It is a totally different place now and all the woods we played in are housing developments, glad I they weren't back then. We ended up grabbing a small soft dip cone at the Dairy Rich in Crystal Beach before our planned lunch at the docks and it so filled both of us up that we drove around for 45 minutes to get our appetites back but still only split a gyro at Hellas. I always have to drive through Baywood Village where I grew up and I think I am going to drive my wife crazy!
I was raised in new port richey.Moon Lake specifically....dad retired from the navy and we settled there...I live (when I'm home) in palm harbor now not 3 miles from house of hobbies.......just recently bought my first real r c plane from Bob and he actually had the best price on it....got an electric 2.4 ghz piper j3 cub with a 32"wingspan...his price on kits is kind of high for the most parts but I did get a vintage aurora 1st issue black knight from. Him for $20....I spend my money there or at Phil's or Ralph's hobbies in pinelas park......sadly Phil passed away in december.
 

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Well the thing is you need to learn how not to antagonize him. DO NOT ask for discounts. DO NOT say something about prices being high, etc. Also paying with Cash is good. Don't work out a big deal then whip out a credit card, etc. Make him laugh with some good non PC jokes...
 

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Well the thing is you need to learn how not to antagonize him. DO NOT ask for discounts. DO NOT say something about prices being high, etc. Also paying with Cash is good. Don't work out a big deal then whip out a credit card, etc. Make him laugh with some good non PC jokes...
Now where is the fun in that?:wave:I'm glad I bought the plane from him he really helped me and I will continue to spend money there
 

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Well the thing is you need to learn how not to antagonize him. DO NOT ask for discounts. DO NOT say something about prices being high, etc. Also paying with Cash is good. Don't work out a big deal then whip out a credit card, etc. Make him laugh with some good non PC jokes...
You wouldn't be him would you?
 

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LOL I spent plenty of time in his old store looking through the piles of stuff to see how it worked. I recall too bringing something up to the counter once without a price. Bob was nice enough to me about it but blew up at the minions who worked there for not having a price on it.
 

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I don't want to hijack the thread, but I had a first hobbyshop I truly loved.

In the late '60's, Slot and Wing Hobbies in Rantoul, Illinois was a small store near the north gate to Chanute Air Force Base, and was owned and run by Captain Thompson, USAF, Ret. It had almost any kind of plastic kit you could want, along with all sorts of wooden gas-powered planes, not to mention Estes and Centuri model rockets. The main feature of the shop, though, was a huge full-size slot-car track. You could rent a car or bring your own, and buy time to race other customers on it. Many was the time I dodged a flying slot-car as it slid off the high banked curve and flew across the store. I saw the Revell 1/96th scale Saturn V there in the window for the first time in 1969, and bought my first Monogram 1/144th scale Saturn V there in December of 1968. It was a magical place and I miss it terribly. Capt. Thompson moved to a larger store in Champaign, Illinois in the 70's, after I had moved away from Rantoul in 1971. He passed away shortly after, I'm told. I don't know if his store in Champaign is still there or not.

Larry
 

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I still have dreams about hobby shops. Creaky wood floors, huge Tamiya racing car kits, big glass showcases and really big Dinky Toys. I think that North York Hobbies on Avenue Road (in Toronto, long gone) left quite an impression.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
When I first started going to House of Hobbies around 1965 or so he was on south Ft. Harrison in Clearwater on a corner in a relatively small shop. Sometime in the early '70s he moved further south into a store with more than four times the floor space and he absolutely filled the place up with hobby supplies. The plastic was so thick I always feared getting caught in there if it ever caught fire because there were nooks and crannies and dead end aisles you could get caught in if it did. He also had a store in New Port Richey and we had rocket club meetings there. The stores were about 40 miles apart. So a few years back when he moved and consolidated in the current store on US 19 just south of Tarpon I was very surprised. It was less than 2 miles from where I was raised and I would have been in there a lot more if he was there when I was growing up. This latest visit I told him that and how I bought other models and supplies from him. I bought a Centuri Mini-max rocket engine from him when I was in 12th grade and having no rocket to put it in I simply glued balsa fins and a paper cone on the nose and flew it from a rod stuck in the ground next to my house. I heard his daughter will take over the place when he finally gives it up but a shop like that you can keep running until you just can't get out of the house any more. I also heard at one time he had a huge warehouse of models and supplies but maybe that was actually his old store. Whenever I am over in the neighborhood though I always stop in. The geeky model aisle is actually well stocked compared to most other shops these days. But as I said, he knows his stuff and you won't find a musty old deal in there, if it is worth anything he will have it marked accordingly.
 

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In the pre eBay and internet you could get good deals at H of H. In the late 80s I walked in there and he had a stack of MISB Canadian or English issue Aurora knights in the thin boxes. I bought three for about $15 each. I also snagged a couple MISB Aurora World War I planes and 60s vintage helicopter kits off the shelves at various times. One day he had some old Aurora and AMT Star Trek Kits still MISB from the mid 60s. Starting about 15 years ago the good deals started to dry up. Still if you look around there is some ok stuff. I got an MISB Pyro Tyrannosaurus Rex there last year for under $10. Thats one of the first kits I ever had circa 1970 or 71.
 

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As a child of the 60's, Aurora model kits along with all comic books and Famous Monsters magazine also Mad, were sold in Variety stores. Hobby shops were rare finding one was like Shang-ga-la. My first was in 1969 on Woodland Av in southwest Philadelphia. But, in 1971, I found Quaker City Hobbies in downtown Philadelphia, with an endless (then) of Aurora kits. In the late 70's closed and razed, they moved to Pennsaulken Nj. 1980, I bought the three kits from Star Trek the Motion Picture, never again would i visit. Now, I have AAA Hobbies, for supples, I buy my kits online, but I still get the excitment when I walk into AAA or Cappellies in Phila, when I see reissued Aurora kits, like Superboy, on the shelves.
 

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Honestly...I love House of Hobbies.....will be back in town tomorrow to take my hazmat test.think ill stop by.....gonna start a new thread soon... about modelingnon the road in my;18 wheeler....plenty of room.at times.lots of downtime
 
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