Following the same flight pattern


by Jackson Bell


(the Burbank Leader, December 11, 2002)


Most people's careers consist of about 40 years of stressful, hard work to make ends meet and provide for themselves and their family before they can feasibly retire.


Addie Naccarato has built model airplanes professionally for the past 65 years.

"Someone recently asked me if I still build (model planes) and I said 'You bet,'" Naccarato said. "I'll be building until the day I die,"

The 76-year-old co-founder of Tony & Addie Hobby Lobby started as a model builder in her preteen years when she got her first model plane.

She met her late husband, Tony Sr., in a model shop and raised their son, Tony Jr., to appreciate the craft of building model planes. Almost every day, customers can find Addie at her workstation in the corner of the store, constructing her next aeronautic accomplishment to add to the collection hanging from the ceiling.

As the manager of the store, Tony Jr. describes it as a museum and "one of the last real old-fashion-type model shops" that features model planes back to the 1930s.

The Burbank store opened in 1951. When Addie officially retired in 1990, Tony Jr. took control of the store, even though she still spends most of her time there, working on models. In a world where most things seem to be ready-made, Addie Naccarato believes that building models is still one of the most vital hobbies a child can have.

"It teaches them to work with tools, to read plans, the physics of flight and the pride in knowing they built it themselves," she said. "They will get frustrated and angry, but when finished, they will also be very proud of themselves.


Click here to see photos of the T&A Hobby Lobby. Sadly, it shut its doors in 2002. It is now but a fond memory for the many boys who went there to gaze up at the model planes suspended from the ceiling or positioned in the display cases. Also, another link here.

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