As some of you may know, Skip Samples was a very enthusiastic about our hobby, and in my mind, one of the best Ambassadors the hobby ever had. But, he was also a very proud American and Patriot. He served his country in the U.S. Air Force and served his hobby by participating and being active in any way he could. From making decals, mastering bodies for resin caster to just helping someone out with advice, parts or whole kits, Skip always stepped up to the challenge.
Skip took part in supplying kits and supplies for our troops overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan. He beat the bushes and put out the call for kits, supplies and anything that would help our men and women overseas. I fondly remember spending the better part of a morning packing up some of these boxes of joy and taking them to the Post Office with him. He did this on his own time and dime. He never expected anything in return, but, he got a very nice thank you in the form of a very nice letter and the flag that flew over the base where the kits ended up. Skip was very happy and humbled by it and treasured those items dearly.
With time some memories get pushed to the back of the brain and lay dormant, until something rouses them awake.
I posted some building tips on the Model Cars Magazine chat board area and was surprised to receive the following message:
I saw mention of Skip in a post on Milner's dragster and immediately remembered the name. Since he was referenced in past tense, I searched the site and saw the post of his passing in 2012. I felt I had to add that I never met Skip but am well aware of the kind of guy he was. I was stationed in Iraq from Oct 2005-Oct 2006 and ran a combat strress clinic. in an attempt to try to reach out to as many soldiers in as many ways possible, I started a model club on the base and solicited donations through a couple of modeling magazines. Skip answered the call and donated enough kits ans supplies to open a small hobby shop (no exageration... guys would come in and be blown away by the kits, tools, supplies... we even had a a painting booth with compressors and airbrushes). It helped me to reach a number of soldiers who otherwise might not have come in (not to mention how it saved my sanity for the year!). At the end of my tour, I donated everything to the Morale and Welfare Center and heard that the club was ressurected in one form or another untril the base closed in 2011.
I'm sad that I never got to meet him in person to thank him and his modeling community whom I suspect was just as generous in donating those items so many years ago. If you're still active in the club or see any of Skip's old modeling buddies or family, please share this story and my gratitiude.
Ed Moschella, LTC (RET)
"5500" on the boards
I was totally taken by surprise, and to be honest, quite choked up. Memories of all this came flooding back to me. To say that I got quite nostalgic is a big understatement!
This really speaks to the character of our friend Skip and also give us a reminder to be better people as much as we can.
God Bless our men and women in uniform. And thank you, Skip. For showing us all how to be better people.