Scully has had a love affair with radio-controlled model airplanes since he was about 8 years old, and he’s the only person he knows of in Trigg County who has this obsession. It doesn’t bother the self-described loner much, though. When the mood strikes him, he just goes out to Cliff Lowe’s private airstrip and flies his planes on the grass beside the runway. He said he was very appreciative of Lowe’s generosity since there isn’t a good place to fly inside town.
Growing up in California, Scully became infatuated with radio-controlled airplanes because of his father, who was also named Tom. His father didn’t have good enough eyesight to be a fighter pilot, but he and Scully spent many hours perfecting their craft. He started flying with his dad when he was eight and later learned how to build them from him too. He remembers one time when his father crashed a plane and how he felt so much pain for him. To console him, he gave Scully the tail, which he saved for many years.
Scully’s hobby has some tragic overtones, unfortunately. His father committed suicide in 1974, two years before Scully, his wife, Linda, and his son, Shawn, moved to Cadiz to become active in the local Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation.
“He wasn’t a very happy man,” Scully said sadly. “But I think that’s when he enjoyed life most, [when he was flying].”
Scully often goes to competitions in different parts of the country, both to display his planes and to fly them. He spent the entire winter of 2001 and 2002 building one of his favorite planes, the Challenger. This model won first place in best static display at the Toledo Air Show in Ohio in 2002. He said this is a very prestigious competition among model airplane enthusiasts.
For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.