September 6, 2014
My name is Brian and I collect things.
I started collecting AMG (Apollo, Mercury, Gemini) stuff in High School (mid 70’s). I had acquired maybe 200 items over the years like mission patches, copies of mission control daily briefings, signed pictures of every AMG astronaut including Grissom, Chaffee & White, Saturn V brochures, Atlas & Redstone tech build sheets, you name it. I’m only 25 miles from Oshkosh so for many years I hounded astronauts at the EAA convention for autographs and what-not. It must have been about ‘84 or ‘85 while wondering through one of the tents I stumbled upon some Spitfire/Mustang/etc. lithos by some guy named Bob Taylor and that eventually set me down another path of collecting.
In the meantime I did the college thing, got almost 2000 hours of PIC time in A10’s and F16’s courtesy of the WIANG (I grew up next to an airport and had my student license before my driver’s license), started a career in the printing industry, built a house, got myself a couple thousand more hours of Cessna time, worked at getting myself B17, B25 and B26 LOA’s for the hell of it, acquired some other interests and changed employers which eventually led to nearly 4 years of unemployment when the printing company I was working at was acquired by a competitor and we were all eventually shown the door.
After a couple of years the unemployment ran out and I ended up selling all of the AMG stuff to keep food on the table and the taxes paid. Got myself a decent job a couple of years ago just 15 minutes down the road, just too bad its strictly nights. I’d been back to the EAA just once in the last 10 years and this year decided to make a full day of it mainly as I hadn’t seen the Thunderbirds for almost 25 years. So, wandering through the exhibition hangars I ran across (I don’t remember the gallery’s name) a wall full of Robert Taylor prints and it all came flooding back. Down the next aisle and around the corner was Virginia Bader. Well damn. Once I got her alone and told her my name, she started naming off prints I had purchased from her 25 years ago and we spent the next 30 minutes catching up. I got a crash course in giclees and clipped signatures and the (exorbitant) latest prices on Taylor remarques. I have a picture somewhere of her, myself and Adolph Galland taken in 1987 at the EAA that I promised to get to her at some point. What’s another 25 years??
I had 500 bucks to spend at the show and after getting a quote to get a headset fixed, had enough to get myself a copy of ‘Eagles on the Rampage’ and the 3 disk set of Adolph Galland which I’ve since almost worn out. I’ve since also picked up a copy of ‘Maurader Mission’. I’ve been kicking myself for 25 years as for whatever reason I never bought a ‘JG52’ when it came out, don’t think I’ll ever get a copy and so have my eye on a copy of ‘Horrido’ to get as a replacement. Sounds like an xmas gift to myself.
And so that’s my sordid little story on how I ended up here. (When it doesn’t time out trying to connect).
I cook corn....
Welcome, Brian, and thank you for taking the time to introduce yourself with a detailed write-up.
Wow, I really envy you your long exposure to aviation and aviation art. I live in Singapore where there are hardly any aviation activities.
If you had bought any Robert Taylor prints in the mid to late 80’s you would have some truly rare prints. Do you still have them? If so, I hope you can snap a few pics of them to share with us here. Sorry to hear that you had to liquidate some (or all?) of your AMG collection
Glad you are a part of this community now and I look forward to your participation on the site and forum!
September 6, 2014
Thanks! Yeah, it was kind of shocking a couple of years ago when I received a 35 year membership pin from AOPA. I soloed in 1978 at 16 and got my commercial, instrument and MEL ratings on my 21st birthday.
The only thing I have from my AMG collection is a 4′ tall Saturn V rocket display model with one of the rocket motor nozzles broken off and scuffed paint from being dropped. I don’t think its even worth now what I paid for it and so have it stuck in a corner in the attic.
As for the real early Robert Taylor stuff, yeah, I have/had the obligatory ‘Spitfire’, ‘Mustang’, ‘Hurricane’, ‘Lancaster’, ‘Mosquito’, ‘Thunderbolt’, ‘Fortress’ and I can’t remember the rest. Maybe ‘Blenheim’, ‘Liberator’, ‘Lightening’ and a couple of more. I think there were probably 12 total in a USAAF/RAF pack that I picked up at EAA for probably well less that 50 bucks for the whole lot. I just put several of them in $2 poster frames, probably tossed the ones I didn’t want and the ones still floating around have 30 years of wear and tear and fading on them. They’re just something hanging on the walls of the hangar.
I bought my ‘real’ first Robert Taylor probably in ’87 or ’88. Was probably ‘Summer Victory’ or ‘Hurricane Force’. I currently have like 18 Taylor limited edition prints plus a couple of others. I wish I could remember how we did it in the pre-internet days. Most everything I have came from Virginia Bader and there must of been a mailing list and brochures or flyers, all since lost to the sands of time. I do remember that most of the early prints were $125, sometimes $150 and Taylor remarques were what, like 150 or 200 bucks and 2-3 months waiting time. I have remarques on ‘Gathering of Eagles’ and ‘4th Fighter Patrol’. I always wanted instant gratification and so only just ever got the 2 remarques. I’m pretty sure the last print I bought in my early days was ‘The Doolittle Tokyo Raiders’ and I think that was an outrageous $250 or $275 at the time (’92-’93ish). If life hadn’t gotten in the way I’m sure I would have 50 framed Taylor prints floating around instead of what I have now and me looking back and wishing I would of kept up with it.
Such is life.
I cook corn....
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