I jumped up from the couch and my heart leaped as well, as the phone signaled that it needed my immediate attention. “Boomer here” I screeched pathetically into the phone. It was Scoop; they had sailed serenely over the mighty mountains of the west and had touched down in Seattle to bring RCTNorthwest onboard to be held hostage for the next few days so we could torture him as much as possible with tall tales of things that never happened, and how they never happened a long, long, time ago.

RCTNorthwest is an insurance trainer and auditor in real life, in the great State of Washington. When not working you might find him off bowling yet another perfect 300 game or off pursuing his NASCAR dreams. Other things that get RCTNorthwest moving are Mt. Dew, steak, tacos, Caddyshack, Star Wars, Monster Garage, 3rd Rock, B&M Inverted coasters, and Disneyland. Not bad for a slightly graying classic rocker from the Pacific Northwest. Scoop had been dying to actually meet this man to see the face behind the hands that had made so many great RCT creations and had helped make even more. Now Scoop had his chance and his deep voice came at me over the phone that I held in my sweaty hand.

Scoop: Hi Boomer, Hope you’re packed and ready ‘cause we’re on a tight schedule.
Boomer: Ready and waiting
Scoop: Brad just informed me that the weather was starting to look a little rough after we pick up Sam in Sacramento. But nothing serious so far.
Boomer: How are you and RCTNorthwest doing?
Scoop: James has lost interest in the Play station 2 and is fiddling with the DVD player. I’ve been busy typing up some notes for work and sending them back through the data port onboard.
Boomer: Did you stock up the bar old man?

What’s that, did I stock the bar?

Yup, got your favorite snacks too. I remembered the ham sandwiches and potato salad that you are fond of. If I were you I would start for the airport because we have just taken off and headed your way. At 500mph it won’t take long to get there from Seattle. Remember, it’s just for the weekend so don’t bring the steamer trunk this time.

Boomer: All it had in it was my Tux and you know I needed that!
Scoop: Gotta go Big Man, James needs some help with the entertainment center. Kids these days! See you.

I was next for pick up! I raced madly through the house trying to remember to get everything but in my excitement I wasted at least five minutes just running around in circles doing nothing, going nowhere. But in no time at all I was parked at the Executive Terminal at the Rogue Valley International Airport in Medford Oregon. Being retired from my real world job as a cargo agent for America West Airlines, I have a lot of time to play with; too much, some would say. t’s not that I type a lot; it’s just that I have all these extra words lying around and I need to get rid of them. That being said you can imagine this trip was a big deal for me and I scanned the sky ceaselessly, looking for Scoop, his crew, RCTNorthwest and of course, the jet they came screaming my way on.

They were on the ground right on time, just like Brad had said they would be. The sleek white door opened and out popped the strangest looking duo that you would ever want to see. With his big head of curly blond streaked hair, bright Hawaiian shirt and crazy sunglasses, RCTNorthwest stood smiling, in sharp contrast to Scoops gray hair and big red nose he had borrowed from The Amazing Earl for this trip. Scoop was NOT smiling put looking around franticly for a restroom. As Brad and Scoop ran off to the Thunder Throne, Ray just stood in the doorway shaking his head. It took a few minutes for RCTNorthwest and me to get over that eerie feeling of having just met for the first time, face to face yet having really gotten to know each other so well over the internet. But soon though we were happily back inside the quiet of the aircraft cabin and it gave us a chance to talk to each other, face to face for a change, to a very smart man and a good friend of mine.

Boomer: So tell me how you ended up living up here in the Great Northwest James?
RCTNW: I’m originally from the San Francisco Bay Area where I spent most of my school years. While I was in the service, we moved to San Diego, California for ten years before we moved to the small logging town of Sedro-Woolley, Washington about three years ago. After living in big cites for most of my life, it’s a nice change to live in a small town. It does mean a longer commute but in the end, it’s worth it. There is something about the small town life that just appeals to me. Every summer, the town hosts a “Logger Rodeo” over the 4th of July holiday week with all kinds of Logging events and a great rodeo. Other than that one week out of the year, it’s very quiet."
Boomer: (Laughing) after a party like that, as old as I am it would take me a year to get ready for the next one. You hear a lot about the rainforest and all the rain that we hear happens in Seattle.
RCTNW: It would be easier to count the non-rain days. Seriously, it doesn’t rain as much as people think. During the winter and spring months we get our fair share of rain but during the summer, we see very little rain fall. Being from California, you take the sunny days for granted, but since we moved up here, I find myself really appreciating the sunny days more and take the time to see just how beautiful it is up here. I wouldn’t change it for the world."
Boomer: Nor would I my friend, nor would I! Just for the record are you married, do you have a family?
RCTNW: I’m very lucky to say that I have a wonderful family. My wife and I have been happily married for almost 17 years now and we have 3 wonderful children. My oldest son has graduated High School and is looking to be a fireman, my daughter is currently in high school with aspirations of being a musician and my youngest is in elementary school. All are doing well and my youngest is starting to get hooked on RCT. He still has a long way to go on his coasters (loves to use them helixes) but he’s getting there. His last coaster was 200’ tall, steep drop, and eight full large up helix turns and then the station. I forgot the g’s bit it was not pretty."
Boomer: So you have a fireman, a budding musician and an up and coming RCT peep killer in the family, sounds like that keeps you and them, pretty busy. Besides the home front, do you enjoy where you are working?
RCTNW: After getting out of the service few years ago as an instructor and weapon systems operator, I accepted a job in the health insurance field as a Trainer / Auditor. It allows me to get back to my instructor skills which I have enjoyed doing for a number of years. What makes the job great though is having a wonderful team to work with along with a great boss. It just makes the day go by when you enjoy what you do. It’s just like the team we have here at The RCT Space Network"
Boomer: Speaking of the team here, you put a lot of time in the community and the site… and playing RCT. What other things do you like to do in your spare, leisure time?
RCTNW: Outside of my family, bowling is my true passion. I’ve been bowling now since I was around 8 yrs old and have had some great coaches over that time and up until 5 years ago; I maintained a solid 210 average for a number of years. Five years ago, I was getting burned out from the competition that I decided to take a few years off to re-evaluate what I wanted to do with the sport. After a three-year break, I started back up and one of the top bowlers in the state saw something in my game and worked with me to take me to the next level. For the last two seasons, I’ve averaged 233 and 230 and a paid entry to the Washington State finals for Team USA. My personal bests include ten - 300 games (two from this past season) and three 800 series with 854 being my best. I was also placed on the Skagit Valley All Star Team as the #2 bowler in the county. It’s amazing what you can do with hard work, dedication and a great teacher."
Boomer: That is an amazing story James; I never knew that about you. I do know that hard work and dedication are both keys to success in anything in life. Besides your family and bowling, what are some other “loves” in your life?
RCTNW: NASCAR is something that if I had the money, I would love to do. My brother got me hooked a number of years ago when I experienced my first Indy Car race. Over the years, my love for racing has now evolved to NASCAR. Besides the Daytona 500 we’re on the way to, (Boomer and RCTNW high five, but miss) if there was a ticket I could get my hands on, it would be the night race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Short track racing is by far the best form of racing due to the close side by side racing with all the banging and bumping that goes on.
Boomer: Man it’s good to see you my old friend, what a privilege and an honor to have you do all this for us old geezers. Our friendship though goes way back before you had made such a big name for yourself, can’t think of anyone better to be locked up in a thin metal tube with then you. We are going to have a ball!
RCTNW: Thanks Boomer. It really means a lot to hear that from you. You have this way of making everyone feel at ease around you and I think I can speak for our members and say that you are the heart and soul of RCT2.com and the RCT Space Network. Thank you my friend.

Brad and Scoop had returned with smiles on their faces and soon the cabin door closed with a thud and a hiss. Scoop was always the perfect host and brought you drinks, just when you needed them and seemed to have a knack of giving you what you wanted, as if by magic, before you even got the chance to ask. “Buckle up gentlemen, we have been cleared for take off” came Brads voice softly over the intercom. The soft mindless babble of three good old friends accompanied the whine of the jet engines as we roared down the runway and up into the arms of the Azure blue sky waiting above. Soon we were leaving Medford Oregon far behind, both through the window and in my mind. When Brad said we were cleared for take off, little did he know, I had left the ground long ago!

To Be Continued