Emil Schutzel’s Collection of Model Airplanes and Miniature Furniture
Emil Schutzel was born November 27th, 1929—the year of the stock market crash. Because of a perceived threat of polio, his parents chose to raise the young Emil away from “city kids” on a farm near the Olathe Navel Air Base now known as the New Century AirCenter.
Largely insulated from the effects of the Great Depression, Emil spent many “magical summers surrounded by his two sisters and a menagerie of farm animals. As a young child Emil liked to run barefooted to places on the farm so as the story goes, an early mentor showed him the way Indians were taught to run—using a rhythmic 24 step cadence. This would serve him quite well in later years.
At the age of 11, on a strip of land adjacent to his farm, Emil witnessed the Navy preparing for war. Drawn out on the ground was the shape of of a US Naval aircraft carrier where pilots would hone their piloting skills. Emil began collecting items that fell from the pockets of these pilots as they practiced loop-de-loops in their biplanes. His collection soon grew to include zippo lighters, pocket knives, and other “valuable stuff”.
Emil learned the housing construction business at his father’s side as early as 5 years old by picking up “valuable” nails and doing general cleanup. Emil eventually started building his own houses in an area South of the Plaza, which is a part of Kansas City, MO. His business blossomed in the 1950s during the post war “baby boom” years. At one point, he was introduced to a daughter of one of his father’s building suppliers. As it turns out—Shirley caught his eye, they dated, and were married September 13, 1952.
They had four children and now nine grandchildren.
In the 1940s, Emil attended Southwest High School, 6512 Wornall Road in Brookside, Kansas City Mo. There he excelled at track and field events and at one point set the school record in the 200 yard dash with a time of 20 seconds. Later he attended the University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS and joined the track and field club. He ran the 440-yard dash, or quarter-mile. He was also competitive in the Texas relays and the Drake relays.
Always a competitor at heart, Emil switched to bicycling and joined a bike club where he competed in the late 60s and 70s when 10 speed bikes became very popular. Emil recalls having a very talented local bike maker build him a custom bike to his specific body measurements and to his personal style. Many of his fellow cyclists in the bike club did the same. He took part and was competitive in these competitions until the mid 80s.
Emil became interested in creating miniature furniture in the 1990s when his daughter asked him if he could make some pieces for her. Emil became intrigued and became quite skilled at the hobby, most of which was self taught. Some of the many fine examples of his work can be found in the slide show at the bottom of this page.
Emil became a member of HAFFA in the late 90s and has participated in many national competitions through the years and at times been very successful, winning first place in several categories. Friendly competition between fellow HAFFA Member Gary Hodson and Emil spurred both of the indoor model makers to out do each other by trying to better their times each month by adjusting their planes or coming up with better motor/prop combinations.
To this day, Emil is happiest when he is working on his planes—focused on trying to better his own times with his light weight models, and also when he is giving advice to those who dare to compete with him!
Here is a video of Emil flying his Mini Stick at the Osawatomie Auditorium, 488 Main St., Osawatomie, KS February 3rd 2018. The time of this flight was 2 minutes 50 seconds. On other flights, it has exceeded over 4 minutes.
Below is a Slide Show featuring Emil. Click the first photo to go to a Slide Show. Use the Esc key on your keyboard to exit the Slide Show.
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