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The Model Citizen: Words Worth Repeating

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk


The Model Citizen: Words Worth Repeating

"For me, if it's no longer fun, that's the day the music died."

Tom Geiger
June 1998

My thoughts often drift back to a seventies book called "I Learned Everything I Need To Know In Kindergarten". The book had a list with such simple but profound statements like "Be nice to each other" and "Share your crayons with your friends". My favorite thought to live by was "Everyone should take a nap after lunch", but the corporate world has yet to embrace the concept.

With this in mind we introduce "Tom's Ten Rules To Model By". As Jeff Spicolla said in "Fast Times At Ridgemont High", "Read It. Learn It. Live it."

1. Never Ever Touch The Models

As our hobby attracts new people every day, we cannot assume that everyone is aware of the essential rule number one.

We must stress that our models are individual works of art with many man-hours invested. In view of this, kindly refrain from handling models other than your own unless invited by the owner. Even then, I usually "look with my eyes, not with my hands" since it would be just my darn luck to drop one.

I once brought a non-modeling, but interested, friend to a model show. He immediately began to pick up each model to examine it and try out the working features. This instantly drew the attention of the show staff. He defended his "right" to pick up the models because, "How else was he to see the whole thing?" He thinks I gave up modeling years ago, since I never invited him to accompany me to a show again.

2. Do Not Eat Or Drink Anywhere Near The Models

Just like drinking and driving do not mix, models and food don't belong on the same table. If you must eat or drink at a model show or club meeting, please do so far from everyone's models. I cringe when a model that I value dearly is directly in front of someone eating potato chips (and often chewing with his mouth open, causing scale acid rain).

If this is real elementary to you, keep in mind that I personally chased a buffoon who actually moved models aside so he could eat Burger King on a show table. He's probably still wondering what MY problem was.

3. Wash Your Grubby Hands

When abiding by rule number one and certainly after partaking in rule number two, it is advisable to cleanse one's dirty paws in anticipation of that invitation to pick up your buddy's model.

This will help avoid large, out of scale, greasy fingerprints on an otherwise flawless paint job. Also, please observe the above when handling old photos, magazines or other collectibles. Remember, someone went to the time, trouble and expense to collect these items. They did not survive intact for thirty odd years just so your could dribble on them.

4. Keep An Eye On The Kiddies

Bringing the kids to the show? Great! There's no better way to communicate with your kids (or somebody else's) than to share the hobby… hey, it's our future. As a bonus to this adventure, you can also share the concept of "admiring and respecting the other guy's models". Most kids beyond the age of reason are eager to be part of the "Big Boys Fraternity" and happily embrace rules one, two and possibly three as if they were taught the secret handshake. These are the little folks that we all love to pat on the head and give free kits to.

5. Never Make Fun Of The Models!!

It's just not cool. To live in harmony, one must respect the work of others. I think this says it all.

6. Don't Be Greedy

Nothing ruins human relations better than greed. For most of us, this hobby is a pleasant pastime and not a get rich quick scheme. For the life of me, I cannot understand why, the minute a kit is discontinued, it suddenly is worth $30 in the eyes of some sellers. Get real. In trading with others be fair and truthful. It makes for an easier life.

7. Avoid Club And Hobby Politics

See rule number six reference to "pleasant pastime". I don't know about you, but I've already got my fair share of grief in my real life. I don't need to come here for more. Politics have destroyed more organizations and relationships than need counting. I'd rather be friends with everyone I meet in the hobby than play king of the hill any day.

8. Avoid Ranting And Raving

It's unbecoming! See aforementioned references to "pleasant pastime" and "harmony". You're not achieving either. Whether it's about how you didn't win at a show or some other injustice you have suffered, give it a rest. Remember, each time you tell the story, it aggravates you a heck of a lot more than the people you're spouting at.

9. Have Fun

If you can't do this, it's over! Don't take yourself too seriously. This has to be a diversion from real life to be a hobby. Otherwise, it's work! For me, if it's no longer fun, that's the day the music died.

10. Build Something!

There's no better rush than finishing a model! You have the power to create this neato 3D image of what is in your mind's eye. Use it wisely and use it often!

After a hard day at work, nothing takes me away and totally engrosses me than working on my favorite project. It reduces my stress and my heart rate. It's downright healthy. Do it, Build something!

So, there you have it. "Tom's Ten Rules to Model By". Read it. Learn it. Live it.

Copyright 1998 by Tom Geiger, All Rights Reserved, Used with permission.

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