Wednesday, February 10, 2021

My Gorre & Daphetid boxcar at Peters. The decals had dimensional lettering for a 36-foot car which is perfect for a Model Die Casting kit and fits right in with my era. 


Every model railroader has a beginning. Mine started in the fifth grade when I discovered that the local library had Model Railroader in its collection. From then until the end of college, my activity in the hobby was limited to reading the magazines. In those days, one of the real treats was admiring the photos of the Gorre & Daphetid Railroad as modeled by John Allen. As most of you probably know, his railroad was then, and still today, a scenic delight. 
      In 1970, I had the opportunity to attend a mini-meet of the Pacific Coast Region of the NMRA in Santa Barbara. Upon my arrival on Friday night, I ran into John in the hotel lobby. We spoke for a while and then, he invited me to join him on the layout tours. I spent the next few hours looking at the area's railroads. Later, he invited me to come up to his hotel room for a discussion of model railroad topics with Cliff Grandt and Charlie Trombley. I mainly listened.
John Allen as I knew him. 
     John was a very nice person and answered my questions and listened to my opinions as though I had years of experience in the hobby. I saw John once again a few months later at another model railroad event. He invited me to come to Monterey to see his railroad. I put off the trip and then, in 1973, John passed away and the railroad was destroyed shortly thereafter.
     Recently, I saw an offering for G&D decals on ebay. On impulse, I purchased a set and applied them to an old Model Die Casting kit. It's not prototypical but model railroading is supposed to be fun and I have a few unprototypical cars on the railroad which remind me of people or moments in my journey in this hobby.
     Every model railroader has a beginning. Fortunately, mine started out with some enthusiasm generated by one of the best modelers in the hobby. 

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