I'm religious about my Model Railroader magazine. There is no greater joy than checking my mailbox to find this month's issue within. I'll curl up on the couch as the pages take me to the homes of hardcore modelers trying to relive the memories and railroads of their youth. I especially like the grand steam engines from the heyday of railroading. I've had the good fortune of riding behind one of those mechanical beasts as a birthday present in my childhood. The chuff chuff of the engine as seen on old newsreels still excites me to this day. Today, on the couch, I curled up amidst that familiar ritual as I turned the pages and drank my coffee. I read an article about an American themed layout in Australia. The modeler had captured the detail of the American Southwest down to the tumbleweeds on the highways. I realized I was looking at contemporary art.
George always chided me about my trains and the love I had for them. "Go play with your little model toys," he would say in between beers, playfully. I would huff in protest and exclaim that it was as legitimate a hobby as any. Just like Annabel likes to make Rosaries, I like to assemble kits, paint them, and weather them as if they have been in service on a railroad for decades. My grand dreams of transforming a room in my home into a miniature rendition of the Chattahoochee Valley Railway live on undaunted. George's words would make me want to sneer when his hobby was consuming Milwaukee's Best Ice beer as he drove around and dodged the police.
HO scale. O scale. N scale. Big Boys. Reticulated. Union Pacific. Santa Fe. Roundhouse. I could go on and on with words that excite me and stir the dreams within. And that is the most fun part of model railroading to me, the grand dreams I have upstairs in my head of railroads to be and projects to complete. I think I am starting to feel better after a blah, missing Rosa, morning. Extravagant and artistic magazines seem to help. Excuse me while I escape to my workbench to weather with my airbrush that hopper car that has been sitting neglected for over a week after a coat of paint.