Model Engine News: December 2013

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   Auf Wiedersehen

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Good Grief (Charlie Brown). It's more than half way through December and still no MEN. When you decide to ease off, Chernich, you really ease off! But never mind. A full December will emerge, much like the November 2013 issue—which is to say, as a series of Bis releases until I decide it's done. We can start with a few cool things Adrian and I have had in the pipeline from November, plus a few words from Mr Engine Of The Month about how he came to appear in these pages. I think it is a fitting closure, so it is the Last Item, for the month; the year; the oeuvre; everything, really.

I could not even begin to tell you about the response to our announcement last month. The genuine warmth and appreciation expressed by people all over the planet is very humbling. I really don't think I deserve it, but then again, I'm not about to argue with so many euridite, appreciative, and generous folk! Ruthie and I want to sincerely thank all of you who wrote, or donated to The Cause. Be assured, the MEN website is rock solid for a year or three. Although there will be no more monthly editions, there are knobs to twist and levers to pull which will improve the existing presentation, and I mean to twist and pull with a critical eye. And, With no monthly pressure hanging over my head, I find I'm quite looking forward to the exercise.

More, as we say, to come.........

Auf Wiedersehen

Well, here we are at the end of an era; the final edition of Model Engine News (MEN) for which our good mate Ron will be responsible. I couldnít let this occasion pass without adding my voice to those of the many who have expressed their appreciation for what Ron has accomplished with MEN. Since it first went on line in June 2002, this site has become without question the single most important resource for model engine aficionados worldwide. What an achievement!

When I first started collecting model engines (years before I or anyone else realized that I was doing so, as Ron once said!), I was driven by a simple interest in the engines themselves. However, as time went by I became increasingly interested in the background to their development as well as their production history. I began to research these matters quite early on, accumulating a good number of historical summaries as a result. My appreciation of the engines in my collection was greatly enhanced as a result.

However, knowledge gained is one thing; knowledge shared is quite another! I became ever more conscious that by far the best way to promote ongoing interest in these little mechanical marvels and thus ensure their preservation was to share the results of research like mine as widely as possible with other kindred spirits. Problem was, how to accomplish this?!?

It was in July of 2007 that one of my periodic trolls through the Web looking for model engine information turned up this truly wonderful site called Ronís Model Engineering and Model I/C Engine Projects, more familiarly known as MEN. I felt as if Iíd stumbled into Ali Babaís Cave!! Here was a site that was tailor-made for someone like me who was interested in all aspects of model engines, including their restoration and documentation.

I immediately took the plunge by writing to the Editor, one Ron Chernich, offering to provide some additional information to complement that which already appeared on the site. A friendly and enthusiastic response came back right away, confirming that my input would be most welcome. Such input was duly provided, in quantities probably far greater than Ron had bargained for! Even so, he never complained about the deluge of new information, continuing to encourage me all the way. The first tangible results of our evolving partnership were the reviews of the Elfin 50 and D-C Tornado which appeared in the October 2007 issue of MEN. The rest is history. With a couple of exceptions due to material becoming available from other sources, our "Engine of the Month" articles have been a regular feature of MEN ever since, along with a sprinkling of marque histories. Iíve lost count of the number of articles for which we have been jointly responsible, but it must be considerable!

I say "our" articles, because each and every piece that has ever appeared with my name attached has benefited immensely from the never-failing support and practical assistance provided by my mate Ron. Without such support and assistance, I would have got nowhere and would long ago have lost the incentive to continue with the series. In every sense, this has been an amazingly productive partnership of the kind which would only be possible with a very special kind of kindred spirit.

But far more than a valued and unfailing collaborator, I gained a friend. Across the miles which separated us (Brisbane, Australia to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), the bonds of friendship steadily grew and were sustained. I was conscious that I had become privileged to be associated with someone who was not only a kindred spirit in every sense of the word but also a truly outstanding human being with whom I felt a close affinity. The value of this gift cannot be overstated. Indeed, there is no more precious gift than friendship.

Ron and I only managed to meet face to face on two occasions, once here in Canada in May 2008 and once more recently in Brisbane in June 2013. However, both of these meetings further cemented the bonds between us, re-affirming the often-stated adage than when it comes to human relationships and human endeavor, two is many times more powerful than one. My life in recent years has been immeasurably enhanced through my ongoing association with Ron. I will miss him more than I can find the words to express.

That said, I share Ronís precept which he has already stated in these pages that what cannot be cured must be endured, without useless hand-wringing over perceived injustices or might-have-beens. What matters are the enduring bonds that we form as we go through life together. For me, the bond that Iíve formed with Ron is far too strong to be broken by a little thing such as his moving on ahead of me to where we all must go someday. Itís been a privilege to travel part of the road leading to that point with my mate Ron, and the legacy of our association will remain with me as strongly as ever.

In closing, Iíd just like to mention that although Ron will no longer be able to provide the kind of direct assistance that he has in the past, his past counsel and example will continue to guide me as I pursue my researches into the future. If the opportunity to share some more of these stories comes about, such stories will be just as much a collaboration between Ron and myself as they have been up to this point.

So finally...... thanks for everything, mate, and a safe journey!

Briefly Noted

This section is intended to alert you to little things that are hard to expand to a full news item, or cunningly wind into the Editorial, but are worthy of note never the less.

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