My first model was the Revel ESSEX, built in about 1958 or 59. I graduated high school in 1960 and joined the United States Navy. After basic, I was assigned to - of all ships, the USS ESSEX, where I served until I was released from the service. What a coincidence.
Married in 1965, raised a family, started my own construction business, after 30 years went to work for a large manufacturing firm in the facilities maintenance dept. Life went on. Never built another model.
About 10 years ago, a brother sent me a Hasegawa kit of the ESSEX he picked up at a garage sale. I started on it, realized it was an Essex class carrier, but not the ESSEX herself, so started modifying her. Joined a local model club and began the long journey of new materials, techniques, and all the latest tools and aftermarket stuff. I was hooked. That kit was a two year adventure, but I have won first place awards for it at several IPMS and local competitions so it was worth it. Been building ever since. My first love is aircraft carriers, then most floaty things, and have fun with wooden boats (not ships, working boats).