This time there were no cinnamon rolls available to eat while we waited for the show to open, so we settled for donuts instead. There was a line waiting to come in when the doors opened at 10 A.M., and throughout the day the building was bustling with people.
Sales were better for both Grandpa and Grandma than at the Hampton show, and I kept busy helping Grandma with her customers and watercolor admirers while Charity worked with Grandpa.
We talked with customers and some had interesting stories. One was author Bruce Bothwell who has published over 10 books. A couple friends of my grandparents, John and Lorna Fisher, were at the show and stopped to chat with us a while. John Fisher is the director of the CNW Historical Society; he told of meeting a lady who had been on an orphan train.
For lunch I enjoyed a hotdog, fries, and a delicious cup of hot chocolate. When the flow of people died down, we took a walk around the building. I was delighted to see Mr. Miller and Tom and Beth Klimesh from the Hampton show again. Allow me to introduce a few other railroad hobbyists I met.
Superior Scenics: Dave and Sandy Homan
A couple model railroad layouts that really caught my eye were Gordon and Mary Letheby's circus and American Freedom layouts. Their layouts are low so children can watch the trains and press the buttons that operate the various rides. Work on this circus layout began in 2009 after a house fire destroyed the previous one.
The Letheby's son is a veteran, so the layout below was run in honor of Veteran's day. It features the American Freedom Train, a John Deere train, and others. Windmills have pretty much taken over the countryside in our area of Iowa, so I thought it very appropriate that one was included.
Mrs. Letheby said her husband has been interested in trains since he was 18 months old. She started working with model trains as well and learned to enjoy the hobby because she wanted to spend time with him. Now their son and grandson are also involved; both were at the show. The Lethebys run their layouts for fun and say the hardest part is picking up after the show.
For us, picking up was quick and easy and done in no time! It was a very pleasant day, but we had a long drive home. We passed this train soon after leaving Dubuque.
In Waterloo we stopped at a McDonalds for supper, but by the time we could get out of the truck the restaurant had been invaded by a whole school bus load of middle-schoolers! We had no better success at the Arby's across the street. Eventually we found a Wendy's where we could enjoy hamburgers, chili, and milkshakes in peace and quiet and talk about the upcoming election. We had a pleasant evening and a great time at the show.
"When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don't throw away the ticket and jump off.
You sit still and trust the engineer." - Corrie ten Boom