Sunday, November 8, 2015

Dubuque Model Railroad Show 2015 - Part 1

Sunday, November 1st, my grandparents (Harry and Colleen Carson), Charity, and I left for Dubuque at 4:00 A.M. We stopped at a convenience store on the way for a quick breakfast (as nothing else seemed open), and arrived at the fairgrounds where the railroad show was held with plenty of time to set up.
After everything was ready, we relaxed, ate donuts, and visited with fellow vendors/friends from last year until the doors opened at 10:00 A.M.

Charity worked with Grandpa selling HO model trains, and I worked with Grandma selling her artwork.  Art sales were better than last year, though some people expressed concern that they were running out of wall space for pictures. One helpful fellow-vendor suggested they start hanging pictures on their ceilings. 
When things slowed down in the afternoon I caught up with some of the model train hobbyists from last year and met a few new ones.  Let me introduce them to you!

Rod & Carol Thompson
Rod Thompson, who is retired from a job working on auxiliary power units for aircraft, has been interested in trains all his life.  For Carol, model trains are an acquired hobby.  When their son was young he worked with them on the models; he eventually became a supervisor at Electro-Motive, a company that designs, manufactures, and sells locomotives.  
The Thompsons exclusively sell O scale.  Their oldest piece for sale at the show was a blue Missouri Pacific locomotive from the 1950s.  They pick up the railroad dishes here and there--most people don't realize that they are railroad dishes.  They found the coral Illinois Central dishes, made from a custom pattern in 1935, on Craigslist.  

John, Railroad Book Collector
John has been collecting railroad books for 27 years, and selling them for 19 years.  Each year he does over a dozen shows throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa.  His favorite trains are the old steam trains.

Joe and John, Railroad Memorabilia Vendors
At Joe and his stepson John's table one of the first things I noticed was the railroad examination dated 1927.  But that wasn't the oldest item they had in stock.  Their lanterns are from the 1890s, and the five dollar note from The Store at Alleghany Furnace dates back January 1st, 1856.  

Cathy & Tim --- and --- Audrey & Mike
Cathy and Tim of Cathy's Treasures and Tim's Trains & Repairs had more of the large train packages.  Cathy has always been more interested in antiques, and Tim in trains.  She operated an antique store for 13 years, but now they are concentrating more on shows, and are working on developing a website.
Mike has been interested in trains since he was 6 years old.  His father and brother worked on the railroad, and he worked on the Union Pacific as a chief brakeman.  He recounted working on many trains, including the Union Pacific Big Boy, one of the largest locomotives in the world.  Audrey said she usually did not accompany Mike to train shows, but was there this time to help since their daughters couldn't be there.

Do you have any hobbies you share with family members?
Stay tuned for Part 2 to meet more talented hobbyists.

22 comments:

  1. Wow-That is quite a show and I remember it from last year, too. My brother loved trains and went to train museums whenever he got the chance. That is a wonderful hobby that you all share.
    My girls and I used to craft together but we don't get a chance to do that so much anymore.
    Hope you have a great night- xo Diana

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    1. Crafting together must have been a lot of fun! Have a beautiful day, Diana!

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  2. My grandma had a train set but my mother never let us have it even though my grandmother offered to give it to us. I figured she didn't want it all over the house, but I always felt bitter about it.

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    1. Ah, that is too bad. Good thing time heals. Or does it? From talking with other people, I have my doubts. My parents were very good to me. I had a lot of adopted "grandparents." One, whom I called "Gammy" went shopping with us at a toy store once. I really thought poppers were neat, and my mother finally gave in and let Gammy get me one. My poor parents! I don't think I will ever be as nice or patient as they were putting up with that toy (until they finally relegated it to the attic), but I can say I had a very happy childhood with no bitter memories!

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  3. Looks like a lot of interesting things there! Does your grandma paint those pictures? They are beautiful! I think it's great that you help with this. It's a good way to spend time together.

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    1. Yes, those are all her paintings. I'm glad they let us help with the shows; it's fun.

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    2. I'm very impressed with her talent!

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    3. So am I. It's pretty awesome to have a grandmother like her! :)

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  4. just love your family's talents.

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    1. I admire my grandmother's (and sister's) artistic talents as well. :)

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  5. What a wonderful way to spend the day! Your grandmother's art is incredible. She is very talented. I love the 'Christmas-y' outfit that Cathy is wearing. She must be a fun person. We had a similar type of show here in March, which I made sure to attend. I saw the most amazing train displays. And I picked up some HO scale miniature figures for my photography. I will definitely attend the next one that comes to town!

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    1. Glad you were able to enjoy a train show, and found some good items to bring home! Shows are fun!

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  6. What a fun post, Bethany! Your grandmother's art is fantastic! I love model trains. What a great way to spend a day! :)

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    1. Thanks Linda. I agree; it was a very pleasant day! :)

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  7. talented people!! i like seeing couple's involved together and supporting each other!!!

    your grandmother's work is beautiful!!!!

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    1. It is good to see couples and families working on projects together! I love my grandmother's artwork as well.

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  8. Thanks for sharing pictures of this event! I think trains are fascinating especially old fashioned ones. They're so picturesque.

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    1. Indeed. Old trains make lovely pictures and lend beauty to any scene.

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  9. Hi Bethany, Very nice post on your visit to the RR show. (I will check out Part 2 in a moment.) As you will know, this is something I would do anytime I had the opportunity. Love trains! I got a kick out of John's Books! Your grandparents had a very nice display! I do love RR china but simply have run out of space to collect any more of it. My favorite RR is the long gone Chicago, Milwaukee and St Paul, also better known as The Milwaukee Road. The MR was one of the three transcontinental RRs serving the Pacific Northwest. The other two were the Northern Pacific and the Great Northern. Today, the MR roadbed has been turned into trails in many areas. Well, I could go on and on but needless to say ... sure appreciate your sharing this post. By the way, I read your interview with Kathleen earlier this morning and left you a comment there, but thought later I should have mentioned ... I hope you asked Kathleen to start a blog. Yes, her photo archives could keep her going for years and I'm sure she could tell some interesting stories to go with!.

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    1. It's awesome that the MR roadbed has been turned into trails rather than just forgotten. I think some similar trials are being worked on here in Iowa following old railroad track paths.

      Yes, we tried to talk Kathleen into starting a blog, but she says she keeps too busy. I'm sure if she ever reconsidered, she could create a fabulous blog with all of her travels.

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  10. What fantastic displays of the train photos! It's surprising how miniature trains are so popular all over the world.

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    1. It is interesting. Germany has the largest model railroad in the world--definitely very impressive from what I've seen online.

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