Sunday, December 7, 2014

Dubuque Model Railroad Show

Sunday, November 2nd, my grandparents, Charity, and I left for Dubuque at 4:30 A.M.  We stopped at McDonalds on the way for breakfast, and arrived at the fairgrounds where the railroad show was held with plenty of time to set up.
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
Dave and Sandy Homan create lakes from resin and paint, trees from jute, and grind ballast for rocks under model railroad track.  They have recently developed an online store.  Photos of and updates on their work are also available on their Facebook page.

Gordon and Mary Letheby: Monroe, WI
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

54 comments:

  1. That looks like so much fun! Great photos :)

    arushee // unadorned gifts

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  2. some of the model train sets are so detailed and really neat. glad you had another good show.

    Love the quote.

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  3. glad your grandparents had good sales and had you two to help them, as well. :)

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  4. Bethany your post is very informative I like it. The last sentence is funny and intelligent one. Have a nice week.

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    1. Corrie ten Boom had a very tough life, but she learned to trust her engineer (God) through it all.

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  5. I think model trains are so interesting! All the things you can get for them are really amazing. Your grandmother is very talented with her painting and I can see why her sales are good. What does your Grandpa sell?

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  6. I always enjoy your train posts, Bethany, and this one was no different. Fabulous way to end with the quote from Ten Boom! Blessings.

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  7. I love seeing these photos of the trains all set up. Such a detailed hobby! Glad you all had a great day!

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    1. It was fun to take photos...people really put work into their model train layouts!

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  8. Amazing displays. This is so much fun. And I recently found out that we're having a Model Train Show right here in my city in March. You bet I'll be going!

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    1. How awesome! I hope you enjoy it (and maybe post about it?)!

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  9. I dreamed of trains when I was a kid but I never got one.
    This looks like a great place to visit.
    I also wanted to say, cherish every moment with your grand parents, you will miss them when they are gone. I know this first hand.
    R

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    1. Good advice; I do. They're wonderful people!

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  10. What a great series of photos, Bethany! I am so happy that sales are good for your grandparents. :)

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    1. It was nice to have customers to keep us busy!

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  11. You know, in Germany the model trains are quite common. It's a very popular Christmas gift for boys (and Dads). My brother had one, and we both enjoyed playing with it. I loved to build the houses and create villages with trees, little cars and people. So much fun. It was lovely to read your post. I would love to visit a railroad show like that.

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    1. It sounds like you have many happy memories! Awesome that you enjoyed time playing with your brother and the trains when you were young!

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  12. Model trains are fun, and your G'ma's art work is lovely. My husband had a train set and he and our kids enjoyed playing with it. He also got to be an engineer at Train Town in Sonoma, CA for a few years which he really enjoyed.

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    1. I just took a look at the Train Town website. It looks like a neat place!

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  13. Beautiful pictures Betany.
    It looks like a great day for everyone.
    Best regards, Irma

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  14. Hello Bethany Carlson. I am so glad to stop by your profile on the blogger and I am also glad to stop by your blog " Liberty and Death" and the post on it regarding the Model Rail Road Show. Those are beautiful pictures. I am glad to know about your christian faith and this is good reason to get connected to such people of God. I am in the Pastoral ministry for last 35yrs in the great city of Mumbai a city with great contrast where richest of rich and the poorest of poor live. We reachout to the poorest of poor with the love of Christ to bring healing to the broken hearted. We also encourge young people as well as adults from the West to come to Mumbai on a short / long term missions trip to work with us in the slums of Mumbai during their vacation time. We would love to have you come with your friends to work with us in the slums of Mumbai during your vacation time. I am sure you will have a life changing experience. My email id is: dhwankhede(at)gmail(dot)com and my name is Diwakar Wankhede. Looking forward to hear from you very soon. May you have a joyous Christmas season and a very prosprous and Christ centered coming new year. Praying for you as you seek direction from the Lord. God's richest blessings on you.

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    1. Thanks for the invitation. I don't believe my calling is to work in India any time soon, but if that changes I will keep you and your church in mind. Blessings and all the best in your very worthy effort!

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  15. Hi Bethany, I am your newest follower. Wow, you are the first person I've found with a blog mentioning a Model Railroad Show. That is awesome. I go to these shows out here in the Pacific Northwest. I'm not a modeler but rather collect old railroad memorabilia ... brochures, timetables, etc. In my November 9, 2014, post I mentioned going to the show in Kent, Washington. It looks like your grandfather is a dealer and so he must really be into trains. It is unusual to find a young person, such as yourself, who is interested in trains ... they just don't know what they are missing ... ha ha. Thanks for sharing your photos of the railroad show! John

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    1. Thanks for visiting and following my blog! I took a look at the post and the link to the photos from the 2013 Swap Meet--looks like railroad shows in the Pacific Northwest have pretty much the same format as here, just different people and a varied selection of items. I think I would feel right at home.

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  16. What fabulous displays of the trains and railroads and I must say that your post was quite fascinating to read.

    Also, I really liked the quote by Corrie Ten Boom - so true!

    Have a blessed Monday!

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  17. Hard to get a good view of the watercolours, but there are some that I really like!! And I love the quotation at the end!

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    1. Thanks Judy! My grandma's website is www.carsonart.net; there are a lot of closer shots there.

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  18. Those are amazing displays. My late brother so loved railroads. There is a fabulous railroad museum here in Green Bay that people come to see from all over the country. Hope you have a wonderful week- xo Diana

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    1. Oh wow, I looked up railroad museum in Green Bay, and the National Railroad Museum is in Green Bay! From the pictures on the website, it is very impressive.

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  19. awesome! you know you're dedicated when you leave at 4:30 am!! but really, these kinds of things will be what you look back on when you're older and say "remember when"? how bessed you are to go on such great adventures with your grandparents. i love the straightforward narratives of your activities.

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    1. Yes! We'll always have good memories of the trip!

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  20. This is so cool. It brings back great memories of my dad. He loved model trains and was working on fixing up a model train set-up when he passed away.

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  21. Great displays... I love these posts and I think it's wonderful that you work with your grandparents at these shows. Have a blessed day... :)

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  22. I love all the models. When I was a kid always was into trains and railways :))

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  23. Great shots! My hubby is very into model railroads. It's fun to see the big models. Even if you've seen them many times, you can always find new details in them.

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  24. The first picture is full of beautiful art! So nice of you to go and have all these "adventures" with your grandparents.

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    1. It is nice that I get to go on these adventures! It's a lot of fun spending time with my grandparents.

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  25. I like train shows myself. Very good. It seems the atmosphere mirrors the people involved. Everything seems vibrant. The people are friendly and get along no matter who they are. I'm moving to Iowa. Well, maybe back to Illinois.

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    1. It is a nice place to live. You may want to wait a few months before you make your move though ;).

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  26. Oh, Bethany, what a delightful post! I loved that you introduced us to the modelers, and enjoyed their stories and the beautiful photos. I used to be the Coordinator of the Suffolk Seaboard Station museum, an old train station in Suffolk, Va. You can access a video that aired on a TV from my sideboard on most viewed posts...it's the first one, and called "Postcards." I hope it is still accessible! It's about five years old. I'd love to hear from you after you see it. Again...great post!

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    1. Now that sounds like an interesting job! I found the post, but it seems the video is no longer accessible.

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  27. Sun City Center in Florida (“America’s premiere 55 + community”) also has a layout. Wait a minute—I’m 55 plus! Maybe I can live there now. Nah . . . I’ll just visit their layout here.

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    1. Layouts are neat to see--though I don't think I'd move just to live near one; seems it would be easier just to create one!

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