One man's museum - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

One man's museum

Posted: Updated:

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Inside the North Park home that's been in his family for 82 years, Don Madison has hung a few memories.

"My first one I got when I was 10 years old and it cost 10 cents. And that started me on my career of building them all these years," Don said.

At age 87, Don is still hung up on radio controlled planes, which dangle from the ceiling of every room in his craftsman home, also known as the Madison Museum.

Don's wife passed away in 2004. He keeps her picture outside his workshop for inspiration. And when he gives tours of his collection to couples, he always gets the same reaction.

"When the wife walks in and sees this, first thing she says is, "Your not married are you?" Don joked.

Among all the models, including the ships and tanks that Don has painstakingly constructed, he does have few favorites. The former World War II and Korean War Air Force navigator continues to log hours in his airplane room.

"Thousands of happy hours," Don said.

And along with some friends, has just completed his most ambitious project.

"We just finished was a 16-foot model of a B29," he said.

But Don Madison's finest work began in 1998.

"A widow called me and said, "Could you come over and look at my airplanes, stuff my husband had and help me decide what to do with it?" he said.

Over the past 14 years, Don has helped 53 widows get top dollar their late husbands' collections.

"I don't need the money, and it helps them a great deal," he said.

Inside the Madison Museum, the spirit of aviation has melded with a sense of community and turned a model builder into a model citizen.

  • PoliticsMore>>

  • Foley case lays bare debate over paying ransom

    Foley case lays bare debate over paying ransom

    Thursday, August 21 2014 10:19 PM EDT2014-08-22 02:19:32 GMT
    The beheading of freelance journalist James Foley has forced a new debate between the longtime U.S. and British refusal to negotiate with terrorists, and Europe and the Persian Gulf's increasing willingness to pay ransoms in a desperate attempt to free citizens. The dilemma: How to save the lives of captives without financing terror groups and encouraging more kidnappings. 
    The beheading of freelance journalist James Foley has forced a new debate between the longtime U.S. and British refusal to negotiate with terrorists, and Europe and the Persian Gulf's increasing willingness to pay ransoms in a desperate attempt to free citizens. The dilemma: How to save the lives of captives without financing terror groups and encouraging more kidnappings. 
  • US special ops tried but failed to find hostages

    US special ops tried but failed to find hostages

    Thursday, August 21 2014 9:02 AM EDT2014-08-21 13:02:35 GMT
    President Barack Obama sent special operations troops to Syria this summer on a secret mission to rescue American hostages, including journalist James Foley, held by Islamic State extremists, but they did not find them, officials say. 
    President Barack Obama sent special operations troops to Syria this summer on a secret mission to rescue American hostages, including journalist James Foley, held by Islamic State extremists, but they did not find them, officials say. 
  • Beheading spurs new attacks on Islamic militants

    Beheading spurs new attacks on Islamic militants

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 11:21 PM EDT2014-08-21 03:21:56 GMT
    The United States launched a new barrage of airstrikes Wednesday against the Islamic State extremist group that beheaded American journalist James Foley and that has seized a swath of territory across Iraq and Syria. 
    The United States launched a new barrage of airstrikes Wednesday against the Islamic State extremist group that beheaded American journalist James Foley and that has seized a swath of territory across Iraq and Syria.  
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Midwest Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.