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Jim Sage and the early days.


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I, too, often wondered about Jim and where he was.


Jim and I met when we were both members of the Texas Aviation Historical Society that met in Dallas. While the focus was aviation history, there were always models showing up (We can't get away from them, can we?), with the end result being the occasional contest. I was 21 and Jim was in his early 30s.


Jim used to tell a story...and actually printed it in one of the Journals... that I would never forgive him because I was IPMS/USA #2 instead of #1. Of course he was kidding. In truth, the reason all of the early members ended up with the numbers we did was because Jim opened letters, pulled out the checks and assigned IPMS/USA numbers on a strictly random basis.


To give you a little background of the very early days, consider this: When the IPMS/USA became a going concern...meaning after the first few membership numbers were handed out...our first publication was the British IPMS newsletter. The Brits would send their newsletter to Jim, he in turn would mail it over to me (30 miles from Dallas to Fort Worth) and I would do something that most people have forgotten existed and younger ones have never heard of. I sat down at a manual, portable typewriter in the dining room and retyped the newsletter onto an 8 1/2" x 17" mimeograph stencil (How many of you even know what I'm talking about?), then I would mail it back to him. He would then take the stencil to work with him and use their mimeograph machine to run off the appropriate number of copies to be mailed out. Interestingly, the company he worked for knew he was doing all this on company time and did not object to his activity. Whether or not Jim bought the stencils from the company or they let him take what he needed, I can't say.


I lost track of Jim a long time ago. Sadly, I was at the 2000 Convention in Dallas and didn't know Jim was there. Either he never came by the table in the vendor's room where I was or did and I didn't recognize him (and he didn't identify himself) or I never got near him because I was only there in the daytime as the result of driving back and forth between Dallas and Fort Worth. That was the only IPMS/USA convention I've ever attended and most likely I'll never get near another one.


The IPMS/USA is a great organization and one that I'm very proud to be a part of. In fact, the IPMS/USA had a lot to do with my ending up as a freelance writer/professional modelbuilder. I doubt seriously things would have turned out this way for me if it had not been for Jim Sage and the IPMS/USA.


Yep, Jim was a special person and one that we all owe an immense debt of gratitude. Since he's no longer on this earth, some kind of special award/trophy needs to be created, with the first presentation to be made at the 2014 convention. The James H. Sage Best Of Show Trophy would be the obvious choice, but that position is already taken. Anyone else have other ideas? Keep in mind that Jim's preference was aircraft.


Richard Marmo



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  • 2 weeks later...

I just got my March/April issue of the Journal. A very impressive spread covering Jim Sage. It included some Mini-histories that Jim had written. During his history of conventios, he mentioned that the third convention was held in Detroit and centered around the "Warbirds" hobby shop. When it opened, it was about the only place where modelers could buy kits from England and JAPAN!! It was fun discovering those different aircraft. I was a part of that group and remember for a time, stuffing the IPMS/UK magazines into envelopes with the IPMS/USA quarterly.


In all of the notes about the early days of IPMS/USA, I haven't seen any mention of the famous Volume 1, Number 5 supplement to the Quarterly. In the early days, there were not too many variants of basic models so this issue covered a number of conversions - DH-4 to DH-9, P-39 to Airabonita, Hurricane to IK-3, F-4C to RF-4C, Tiger Tank to Hunting Tiger etc. It was a great issue but it's publication was delayed several months.


Thanks for the memories Chris - another great issue.

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Good topic. When my friend Denny Trimble passed away a little while ago, I was remembering my first IPMS meeting when I was 14, and all the older guys turning out great work compared to my meager efforts. That where I met Denny, and among other names I heard was Jim Sage as well.


Now, what's become of Bruce Beamish? ;-)

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