WHERE'S WALDO: Confessions of an RC hoarder
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 06:57pm
By Aaron Waldron
The first step to working through a problem is to admit that you have one, right? Well, here goes nothing:
My name is Aaron, and I’m an RC hoarder.
Like many children of the 80s, I’m the product of two parents that may suffer from a mostly mild case of what I’ve dubbed “packratancy.” My wonderful better half was, unfortunately, born into a similar set of circumstances. Our problem was compounded after consolidating two fully-stuffed four-bedroom houses into one.
After running out of excuses (being out of town 120+ days a year goes a long way) to procrastinate downsizing the incredible amount of junk we both adopted, we (and by “we” I mean “she”) decided that enough was enough.
We started throwing away, hauling away, discarding, donating, and otherwise ridding our home of generations worth of stuff that we hadn’t used, worn, or touched in months. We didn’t have a problem going through furniture, clothes, kitchenware, electronics, houseware, or other various sundries. Closets got organized, carpets were cleaned, baseboards were scrubbed, blinds were washed - most of the house was easy, requiring little more than time, money, elbow grease, a few (dozen) carloads to local nonprofit thrift stores.
Then came the RC stuff.
To be fair, the amount of stuff present in the house when Ms. Waldo and her floppy-eared beagle moved in was only a fraction of the gear I’ve owned at one time or another. My father had purchased more than his fair share of kits in the ten years between when we started racing and when sponsors began sending stuff to my house without invoices. I worked for two RC magazines for a total of over five years, with a stop in between at one of the largest online retailers of RC equipment in the world. I’ve had the opportunity to build, drive, crash, adjust, play with, and own hundreds of RC vehicles.
I’ve also never sold anything RC related. Sure, I’ve given away dozens of cars and trucks to people ranging from fellow RC enthusiasts to those who’ve never even heard of hobby-grade RC cars, but RC gear typically has little resale value - especially after it has been used properly and thoroughly. My dad sold a few of my last 1/8-scale race cars years ago for pennies on the dollar to keep some local racers on track, but some of it has been collecting dust for almost a decade.
For a long time, I found it easy to justify keeping most of it. That 1/5-scale buggy is a blast to drive! When we have people over for a barbecue, those short course trucks would be perfect to race around the backyard. If I get the itch to go racing again, I’ll want this 2WD buggy. That 1/10-scale gas truck is the one I raced to my first big win. These hand-built project cars for articles I wrote took a lot of time, effort, and ingenuity.
Nope. Screw that. It all has to go. I saved an old painted body and some tools that I’d rather not have to replace, but that’s it.
Last week, I started piling a bunch of it in my unenclosed carport - and over the weekend while I was gone at the Reedy Touring Car Race, a couple of curious men driving down my quiet cul de sac in a green Ford Explorer did the favor of relieving me of the lot. This afternoon, I piled my 4Runner full of my old racing gear to take to my local track to see if anyone could find use for any of it.
After all - I have to make room for more stuff, right?