I saved my commentary on model railroad open houses for last. I hope you have enjoyed the previous pictures as much as I did. Now for the critical part: What is the purpose of the Model Railroad November Open House program? I thought it was to introduce the hobby and inspire new modelers. That is what I felt for most of the visits, but 2 of the 8 tours left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I'll use my last 2 stops to show the contrast. Stop #7 was to a first time open houser, Jack Moore and his son Richard. His layout seemed about 50% completed. That usually doesn't put a layout in my "worth the time" category but the difference was in the open welcome and enthusiasm for the hobby that Jack and Richard oozed. We had a very pleasant time talking the hobby, his equipment, and his backdrops. I left feeling good about the hobby and model railroaders.
|Jack Moore - the backdrop on the far right is a panoramic shot he took under one of the local Delaware River bridges.|
I should have quit there but I had plenty of time left and figured I would travel about a half hour (actually ended up taking 80 minutes [mall Christmas shopping this early in November? #$%]). The travel was exasperated by getting behind a 270Z determined to go 10 mph under the speed limit on a single lane, no passing road for 15 miles. (Oh my! What a waste to give a car like that to a pokey woman!!!) (Ladies, please forgive my outburst.)
I had been to this layout 2 years before and had left with a bad taste in my mouth and the situation was repeated. It was a very nice layout but you couldn't get to see anything without crawling over the 5-6 operators who were bunched up together jabbering with each other and blocking the aisles. I was the only visitor and no one ever said a word to me. Is the purpose just to show off your work or to inspire potentially new model railroaders. I guess I should just be happy that 5 of the 8 visits were enjoyable (plus 1 neutral).
Bottom line is: it is a great hobby because of the great people you meet. I thank the good Lord for my operating crew and hobby friends. Have a blessed Thanksgiving!