Combining Hobbies to Maximize Your Fun
"All Aboard - Our Next Stop is Funville"
Here is an article I composed some years ago relating observations of a model train enthusiast's handiwork. It not only reveals that man's love and passion for his hobby, but also is a great example of how our hobbies can overlap and enhance each other. His combination of ceramic "Christmas" collectibles, auto collectibles, others, and trains came together in a very..I dare say...breath-taking display of which most of us have to go to a museum to enjoy
A few years ago at the end of our bowling leagues end of season party, my best friend and our girl friends were in search of a fellow bowler rumored to be inside the host's house. As we ventured inside the host's husband asked us if he could help. My friend responded, "We're looking for downstairs." "Oh, you're looking for the train" proudly responded the co-host. You can imagine his dismay as my friend responded, "no, we're looking for the pool table" where our fellow bowler was supposedly playing. You can also imagine the puzzlement of our group upon the host's mention of a train.
As we made our way down the basement steps we could see a slim table against the wall opposite the stairs. You could see the model train tracks and some scenery as would normally be expected for a model train enthusiast. Even as we emerged into the basement and the enormity of this hobbyist's endeavor became apparent, it took several moments for it to sink in. The pool table was there as was the AC unit and stairs in the center of this approximately thirty by thirty foot basement. The entire perimeter of the basement held hundreds of inches of track lain on tables built along the walls.
With no pool shooters in sight, we became enthralled in the intricate design and scenery along the inches and inches of railway. Starting with a snowy 1950's style suburban town in one corner to the container crane in the next, a farm in the third, and Lionel Corporate in the last.
The 1950's town had its round house for trains to change destination tracks, undoubtedly the main employer there. The ceramic collectibles included the town hall with a statue of Mark Twain, local theater showing White Christmas, used car lot with collectible 50's era cars, a Little Caesar delivery truck pulling into town (undoubtedly heading towards the local diner), the candy shop, the pharmacy, and machine shop rounded out the town.
The container yards had one large container crane with a roadway for trucks. Containers could be on or off loaded from the trains to the trucks. Nearby was a coal lift to load coal into the cars. South of the container yard was a crane yard with several working cranes. The near by farm included a stock pen full of cows, a barn, and a farm house.
Train stations were readily available along the routes with passengers awaiting the next train. Billboards advertising every commodity sold in America lined the railways. Trains included engines and cars from Lionel to Reading to Advertisements painted on some. There was even a Getty Oil platform near the farm.
Finally one billboard caught our eyes more than the rest. It echoed the sentiment and predicament many hobbyists find themselves after years of engrossing themselves into their hobby. The billboard prominently displayed "My wife says she's leaving if I buy one more train....I'll miss her!"
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