Ken Johnson

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December 20, 2012
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JOHNSON: Connecting the dots

Since today is Dec. 21, the final day on the Mayan calendar it seems, if you're reading this you get a bonus: The world didn't end after all.

Whew. What a relief. Now we can get on with the bigger mysteries in life!

For example, how would one get a name like "Booger Red"?

It was my dad's name, he said.


Yeah, he was a railroader down in New Mexico and every railroad town in those days (1927-1929) had a baseball team. Dad's team had the name "Reds," or something like that. Dad became "Booger Red."

Robert B. Elliott, 3206 Nolene Court, Clifton, CO 81520, just continued with the family tradition. (Dad was properly named Lloyd E.) I didn't ask him what the "B" stands for, but it could rhyme with "sugar."

Instead of railroads, however, our Booger Red builds tiny airplanes. Out of toothpicks.

They are a miniature air force, to scale, from the Wright Brothers all the way to the X-15; you know, the sound barrier thing with Chuck Yeager?

All of Booger Red's planes fly, too.

In addition to being scale models, they are aerodynamically correct. That means they have wing camber, the way wings curve from tip to fuselage, and enough nose weight to be stable.

You could build his planes. Shoot, even I could do it.

Booger Red, along with his books about building planes, was at an author's book-signing at Museum of Western Colorado in mid-November organized by Dave Bailey. The books are the outgrowth of his own experiences, of his building these tiny treasures for his own fun, then sharing with neighborhood kids.

He has two books so far, the first being written in 1976. His "students" would learn that ordinary Elmer's glue, scissors, wood and paper gave them an airplane they had built, and then give them the fun of flying them.

Virtual driveway air raids and formation flying. Imagination was the only limit!

Kids today, Booger Red observed, are pretty busy with computer games, and building these little models takes a tad of both time and patience, plus trial and error. The rewards are huge, however.

The museum has Booger Red's books for sale. I bought them to share with some grandkids.

They will have a wonderfully Merry Christmas, thanks to Booger Red.

Me? I'm thinkin' of building one of them there German Fokkers, using red paper, and naming it the Booger Red Baron.

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The Post Independent Updated Dec 20, 2012 01:08PM Published Dec 20, 2012 01:07PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.