One Geek to Another (the formation of FSFI)

I believe it was just after the last class got out at Woodworth middle School or 8th grade, when I was introduced (to who is now one of my best friends) Joe. “This is Joe W.” another one of my friends told me. “Nice to meet you” I said as I guffawed in awe at the size of this fellow 8th graded schoolmate. He had to be at least 6 foot 2 and pushing 200lbs. As I came back to my senses and began to talk with him I realized we had a ton of stuff in common. Our unending obsession with aviation, space, engineering and science fiction. He was like a big version of me. Through the years we became closer friends when one day about midway through first semester of 9th grade we had an idea to create an Aviation club. We named it Warp Propulsion Laboratories. We became obsessed with it even making a logo and official roster, even though we only had about five members. Together we designed aircraft as well as our biggest project our own warp ship similar to Zefram Cochrane’s from Star Trek. Slowly but surly our name grew and before long the entire school knew what we did. It was also about that time I realized I was a geek, when a fellow classmate Andy S. approached me while I was sketching out the cockpit of the warp ship and asked in the tone of any Middle school bully would, “Just what the heck are you doing this for anyway?” and proceed to hit the sketches to the floor. That day I classified myself as an official geek.
Soon it came time to go to High School, where Joe and I heard through the grape vine that you could start any club you wanted. We quickly revamped our Middle school club name to something a bit more high school finally deciding on the Fondy Space Flight Institute or FSFI. Soon after the formation of FSFI I was named the club president and just like that our club was 15 strong. One thing led to the next and we found ourselves building a 6 foot rocket for competition in the annual Rockets for School Competition. Our first year we took second place (not a bad start). Since then, I led our club to two back to back first place trophies. The club has broke numerous records in the competition being the first to build a class two rocket, first to participate for more than two years and win, first to have a junior varsity team. The list goes on and on and continues into the future, as after I graduated I handed the presidency over to my sister who is doing an excellent job taking over for me and continuing the FSFI legacy.
It was that club that led me not to fear being a geek, but love it and trust in myself for who I was. (We’ll talk more about FSFI in later Blogs).