Nov 9, 2019
Those are the years of denials.
Ah, a PERFECT descriptor. A graying segment, neither young nor aged, drifting helplessly toward Senior status.
Middle age was suppose to be from 45 to 64. It has been changed.
I had a HO layout in the mid 1970's. It was in the garage turned entrtainment room. It was made to set down on the edges of the pool table. It was rigged to crank up inside a box at the ceiling. The underside was the lights for the pool table !
A divorce ended that layout in 1980. Remarried in 1985. Like others...family comes first. Model trains where always in my head ! In the early 2000's I built a HCD N scale layout that sat on my dresser. A double mainline...not much scenery...but it was always relaxing to just sit there and run trains.
Then along came THERR that was built in my den and transfered to a travel trailer. Lots of fun and my daughter really liked helping. My grandkids loved running the trains on the Tech2. They really learned to feather those throttles. Was a joy to watch. The grandkids actually Inspired the name THERR. They where always asking questions "Grandpa whats that?"...."Grandpa whats that?"...."Grandpa whats that?". I always answered with "That's THE______."
A few years later a heavy snowfall brought the roof down into the trailer My mind liked the idea of a 'Travelin Model Railroad' In 2012 I happened upon a 29' RV at a steal of a price. Thus was born THERR RV
The kids and the grankids have all grown up. Now it's just THE WIFE and I to enjoy the trains...and I am ok with that.
Well, I mentioned my age of 43 earlier in this thread, but apparently you want my modeling life story....
I got my love for machines from my dad, he has owned the same 1940 Ford Coupe since 1960, would take me to the Planes of Fame museum in Chino, CA and the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris, CA. Any trip that went through Sacramento would include a visit to the California State Railway Museum, and a stop on any scenic railroad along the way. One year, we rode the Durango and Silverton, Leadville, Colorado and Southern, the Georgetown Loop and the Cumbres and Toltec in a week, plus a stop at the Colorado State Railroad Museum and the Coors brewery for dad....
Dad has a HUGE postwar Lionel collection, and when I was 6 or 7, built me my first layout in the laundry/storage room, it was a simple 027 loop, but it was enough to get my 2-6-4 and ALCO FA in Santa Fe freight colors up to speed, and yes, I still have these. My brother passed down all of his Bachmann F7's and a smorgasbord of freight cars, and that is what shifted me to N. My first real N Scale locos were an Atlas U25B and a Kato U30C, the U25B has electrical issues and is currently a dummy. I am currently working on my third layout and it is the smallest and most completed. My first was a freelanced layout,the second one was too ambitious, I tried to model the Tehachapi Loop.
My current layout was supposed to be a chainsaw layout, cheap lumber, recycled track, but it has taken a life of it's own and is evolving. It started off as a Southern Pacific switching area in Arizona during the 1980's, and as new models came out, and Joe D'Amato pushed me, the layout moved 400 miles west and 30-40 years back. I am now modeling the fictitious Pacific Electric Playa Desnuda branch, I am working on putting up catenary in N Scale...I am really questioning my sanity....
Only if you are interested in telling it!
I think telling the story lends to the notion that its always better to start modeling trains earlier in life than later. Later in life you want to enjoy the fruits of your labors.
When I was young, I'd dive into a layout project in blissful ignorance, correcting problems as I went and allowing youthful imagination to fill in the many flaws. North of 60 years old, I'm now familiar with the many pitfalls of layout building and so do a better job of planning, but have far less tolerance for my screw-ups. Sadly, I kind of miss the carefree model railroad ambition I knew as a kid.
I'm currently thirty-seventeen years old. Later this month though, I will be turning thirty-eighteen.
I have decided that I will let this post run for one more week, so if you haven't posted your age by November 23rd, 2019, this thread will still be here; but, your name will not count towards the census I desired to determine. Response seem to be tapering off at this point, one week into the survey began. So, one more week should do it!
I'll figure it out for you....
GeeZ Hemi, it seems like yesterday I was reading you said you were 24! I know I have a touch of dyslexia, but dyslexing 24 to into 42 calls for a double take. You are not the only kid on Trainboard I watched grow up and struggle with finding time for his trains... Remember that 14 year old kid Craig Martyn who made all those cool "best looking models around" locomotive resin details? Haven't seen him do any modeling in a few years now.
You are now, where I was, when I was your age. The day job and household members all fighting for your attention, and trying to keep you away from your trains.
You got some stats here Hemi:
3rd most messages on Trainboard
4th most likes
3rd most points
2nd most media
2nd most albums
What does this say about you??? Layout tarped over to minimize dust yet topping Trainboards stats charts? You have officially become an "Armchair Modeler" in your old age!
A very interesting thought! As I think about it, wow. You have quite a good point. It is so true for me.
I'm more for the fun value, so I vote to catagorize us as:
0-12 years - Gandy Dancer
12-19 - Brakeman
20-44 - Hostler
45-65 - Engineer
65-80 - Conductor
80+ - Robber Barron
In Modern Day parlance, the conductor is lower on the totem pole than the engineer. You start out as a Conductor and eventually (if interested) become an engineer. So wouldn't your categorization be:
0-12 years Gandy Dancer
81+ - Robber Baron
However, I think I will stay with my categorization:
Child, 0-12 Years Old
Adolescent, 13-19 YO
Early Adult, 20-44 YO
Middle Aged 45-64 YO
Senior 65 YO and older
If you see it, send More Money as it will never be available!
In fact, the following is how the categorization will be:
Child, 0-12 Years Old
Adolescent, 12-19 YO
Early Adult, 20-44 YO
Middle Aged 45-64 YO
Senior 65 YO and older
No arguments, now!
Immediate Gratification = Quality of Life
Caution: Generalizations Follow
I'm 65 and have been involved in some form of 'hobby' since I was a kid. Then agasin my fater was an electricians design engineer and I grew up with 'construction' oriented toys such as 'Kenner Bridge and Building' and Erector Sets. I received my first HO Tyco set with a blue / yellow Santa Fe geep and a red caboose. Dad mounted a large oval with passing siding on a 4x8.
Received 'N Scale' in Middle School which was mounted on a hollow core door. End of middle school came and I was diagnosed as 'legally blind'. High School doesn't count except that I got a job in a hobby store which gave me a birds eye view of buying habits of kids.
Post high school, (mid to late 70s), I had a job in a hobby store in Cambridge, MA. My customers ranged from local kids to Harvard and MIT students. During that span CB Radios and then Atari became the rage. I watched as electronics began to supplant plastic models, model trains and R/C. Interestingly, Dungeons and Dragons along with wargaming came along with a proliferation of lead miniatures. But, you had to clean and pint them, ug, too much work.
The Immediate Gratification of electronic games far outweighed the pleasure of:
Models of any type.
This is the 'normal' behavior of youth. Unless otherwise influenced by need or other external activities / adults / friends / experiences a younger person has very little concept of the future.
So, what I am observing in my grandson is a desire for 'fun' stimulus via any 'flat screen'.
Note 1): Those are broad sweeping generalizations .
Note 2): All generalizations are false.
Thomas the Tank Engine
Is for the most part all of the exposure that many kids get to trains. Sure, my grandson, (almost 10), will participate a little in my trains but mostly as long as he can have his tablet. While I don't have track laid yet I expect his attention span will be about 10 minutes max and then back to the tablet.
Note: I married his grandmother five years ago and his male lineage is not in the picture. I have been honored with the label of 'Grandpa'. I'm mentor, care taker, cook, coach, (though he does go to Kung Fu and is now pushing toward his Green Belt), and more.
Yes, I live in Boston but my 'daughter' lives in Minneapolis, MN.
Oh, and pic of Grandson:
I have taken a pic of him between those two windows, (in the school yard), at the beginning and end of every school year since kidegarten.
You're absolutely right about Thomas. In fact, when my daughter was growing up, she and I would watch Thomas together. I always appreciated that the folks who worked on the show were very good at composing scenes and building dioramas. (I think the waterfront was my favorite.) However, I made sure she was well educated in other facets of ferroequinology. She was a trooper on lengthy railfanning trips, experienced both Pere Marquette and Nickel Plate Berkshires as well as the narrow gauge steam at the Huckleberry railroad. At one point, she had seen enough steam locomotives so I had to sit her down and explain that they really were something special. She also went with me to meetings of a modular club I belonged to then and had fun running trains and taking pictures. Did she grow up to be a model Railroader? Afraid not. She's 20 now and has left trains behind, but it was a good try and I think we've both kept the memories.
Hope I'm not supposed to say "Go Lions" at this point. I'll believe it when I see it.