Monday, November 9, 2015

Dubuque Model Railroad Show 2015 - Part 2

One couple I was delighted to see again at the train show was Dave and Sandy Homan of Superior Scenics.  As I noted last year, they create lakes from resin and paint, trees from jute, and grind ballast for rocks under model track.
This past year, they have been working hard on growing their business, which as Dave pointed out, is really a niche market.  A lot of railroad people, he said, don't even have layouts of their own.  So, they market their products to people building fairy gardens, doll houses, terrariums, and aquariums as well as railroad layouts.  
The Homans sometimes crush 1000 pounds of rock in one day, and that's not really pushing it.  Miniature hay bales and silage rolls are relatively new products.  They're working on adding the large rectangular cornstalk bales now made for ethanol plants, and creating splashes with fish jumping in their lakes.  Visit their website & Facebook page.

Alan Ford, Watercolor Artist
The only artist I noticed at the show, other than my grandma, was Alan Ford.  He has loved trains since he was 5 or 6 years old.  He and his friends were playing by the railroad tracks when a big black steam train came by; they ran for their lives, scared & laughing, and he's loved trains ever since.  He has sketched since he can remember, and started painting in the 1980s. 
Beth and Tom Klimesh
Another couple I was very happy to see was Beth and Tom Klimesh!  They had much of the same type of trains in stock as last year.  And they were some of the only people whom I managed to remember by name--in part because Beth has a name very similar to my own.    

Robert Eichman
Robert Eichman and his son go to railroad shows together, but that isn't Eichman's only hobby.  He loves photography.  He bought his first camera in 1938 at the age of 12 for a quarter and two Wheaties box tops, and says it worked better than the $400 Nikon he has now.  He likes to photograph birds and much more along the Mississippi River.

Arnie, Dave, and Howard
Howard started working for the Illinois Central in 1948.  He worked there 37 years, first as a brakeman, and then as a conductor.  He served in the Army during the Korean War.  In 1959 he started a model railroad in his basement.  He kept the door locked to keep his children out.  But eventually his son, Dave, also became interested, and accompanied him to this show.  Their friend, Arnie, assembles the model cars from kits.

Model Railroad Layouts
Last year I wrote a separate post on Les Kline's miniature world.  I was happy to see it still thriving...and growing!  The top two photos above show Mr. Kline and one of the new businesses added to the layout, a machine shop.  Gordon and Mary Letheby also had a layout at the show (see bottom left).  And I spotted the sign above at a vendor's table...apparently one must beware of the "Contagious Model Railroad Disease."  

I enjoyed meeting model railroad enthusiasts, and best of all, had a delightful time with my grandparents and sister.  Thanks to all the friendly people who took the time to talk with me and made these posts possible!  

48 comments:

  1. What a nifty hobby, and I hope all the entrepreneurs make a bundle selling to all the enthusiasts.

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    1. Indeed. Although it is a fun event in my opinion, everyone does go to a lot of work preparing for the show, packing, unpacking, and setting up, and sitting/standing there all day. It's a lot funner for entrepreneurs if they make a lot of money. ;)

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  2. Hello Bethany, I have some family members who are really into the model railroads. They love to work on their train displays. Great photo, thanks for sharing. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week ahead!

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    1. Your family members would probably have loved this event. Have a great week as well, Eileen!

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  3. There's actually a little shop here that sells train stuff for serious hobbyists. They also have other kind of models and the other half of the place is just expensive bikes

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    1. Trains and bikes--that is an interesting combination!

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  4. love these folks with creativity and passion.

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    1. It's always a treat to meet people who are enthusiastic about the interests they pursue.

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  5. What a great group of creative people.

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  6. A quarter and two Wheaties box tops for a camera! Wouldn't that be great if we could do that today? I had a good laugh with that warning sign. That is so funny. It's so nice how you write a little about all these individuals and have included some links. These shows are fun and some of the scenes these individuals set up are out of this world.

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    1. I guess Wheaties box tops just aren't what they used to be, to say nothing of money--which you mentioned in a recent post. Always enjoy admiring model railroad layouts!

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  7. People are so creative. Jilda and I played at an art festival last Saturday and I was blown away by the things they made.

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  8. I love to see the creations of people. :)

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    1. It's great to meet people who put their talents to work!

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  9. I think it's great that you made the effort to meet the people behind each booth. They all have interesting things!

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    1. I'm afraid I didn't meet everyone, but I think those I did meet provide a satisfactory sample of the population. ;) Indeed; it was interesting to see what every vendor had up for sale.

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    1. Me and my husband back in the day, made blankets and sold them at shows during the weekends. Was fun to see all the other creative folks, all gathered together.

      Have a fun day.

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    2. Glad you were able to enjoy the show experience! Making blankets sounds like an interesting/neat (and warm) hobby!

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  11. Looks like a great group of enthusiasts and talent there, Bethany! I scrolled down to your previous post to 'meet' your Grandparents, too! Your Grandmother is a talented artist :) Such a fun place to spend the day. Lots of history and experience there. A fascinating hobby!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! It is interesting how so many hobbies have groups of devoted enthusiasts. Go to a chess tournament, and everyone can talk about all the technicalities of the game. Go to a ping pong tournament, and all the experts there can give plenty of good pointers on ping-pong but are more or less clueless about chess. Go to a train show and enthusiasts know so much more about trains than probably almost all the people at ping-pong, tournaments, races, and chess tournaments combined. There are a few people who are experts at multiple hobbies that some of my family members are interested in though. I was surprised to see a chess player at one of the 5Ks my sisters and parents were running in--and he finished very well.

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  12. Ha ha, love that sign about "Warning Contagious Model Railroad Disease"... I have a friend who definitely has this oh so time consuming and expensive affliction!

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    1. Oooh, poor guy! I would wish him a happy recovery, but as the sign notes, there is no known cure. And in any case, he probably actually enjoys the "affliction." :)

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  13. Bethany, I enjoyed seeing you grandparents and learning about some of the vendors at the Model Railroad Show. After many years of collecting artwork I think I am ready to try ceiling displays...like the Sistine Chapel's works by Michelangelo :) xx

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    1. You will have do an interior decorating post after you have your ceiling displays installed...you never know, you might start a home decorating trend that would be very profitable for artists. ;One precaution, if there is *any* chance of earthquakes in your area, be sure not to install any heavy framed pictures on your ceiling. ;) Unframed prints would probably be safest, unless you do go with Michelangelo's method of painting right on the ceiling.

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  14. Hi Bethany and thank you so much for visiting my blog. This is a fascinating post and one that I am going to share with 2 blog friends. Have a great day and I look forward to visiting again. Mildred

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    1. Thank you Mildred! Have an awesome day as well!

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  15. i enjoy shows like this...people dedicated to their craft. and trains are always a favorite of mine!!!

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  16. Mildred sent me this as she knew I would so enjoy it. So glad she sent me over.

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  17. What a fun hobby to have. Thank you for giving us a tour. And thank you for checking up on me. I am doing well. I just have a few things to take care of. I am hoping I will be able to return to my hobby (photographing & blogging) soon. Take care Bethany.

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    1. Will look forward to your return to blogging! Glad you are well. Take care. :)

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    1. I enjoyed meeting so many interesting people devoted to an interesting hobby.

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  19. OH goodness Bethany - looking at part 1 and 2 all I can think is that my Uncle would go bonkers in a place like that!! My special Uncle Donald (that I did a post about before) absolutely LOVES trains and all things trains. My Grandpa worked on the Burlington Northern Railroad for many years. So this post brought a smile to my face. ;)

    And even though I'm not a huge train person (we have them all over our city and they're always making me late for things - Lol!) - I love the miniatures they use around train sets. It reminds me a little of Annie's fairy gardens.

    Blessings to you! xo

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    1. I do remember your post about your dear uncle. Neat that your grandpa worked for the Burlington Northern! I was thinking of you when Dave and Sandy Homan told me about how they market some of their products for fairy gardens, and asked if I'd heard of or seen many fairy gardens. Blessings to you as well!

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    2. Love that! And that you were thinking of me dear Gal. ;)
      xoxo

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    3. You're unforgettable. ;) Always enjoy seeing your projects.

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  20. Those look like some interesting exhibits. That first one particularly looks neat!

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    1. They seem to have just about any lake you could want for a model layout.

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  21. Hi Bethany, Excellent job of finishing up your visit to the RR show. If I had been lucky enough to attend I would have loved to stop by Mr. Robert Eichman's table and chat with him for a while. He looks like my kind of railfan. I also have a small collection of insulators. And one of them is even right there in the middle of his table ... the larger gray one with a black top. His water is right behind it. Those particular insulators are not that rare but they are important to a collector with an interest in the Milwaukee Road. The MR was the only transcontinental road which electrified a large part of the trip across Montana, Idaho, and Washington. Those were the insulators used on some of their electric power lines. That is probably TMI, isn't it? :-) Thank you so much for sharing the RR show with us.

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    1. Oh wow! That is *so* neat that you have that same insulator! I do enjoy the railroad history you share, and that is a wonderful contribution by the Milwaukee Road to the Pacific Northwest. Thank you for stopping by!

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  22. The little miniature world and Superior Scenic products are fun! I've never been around model railroads, but do like miniatures.
    And imagine buying a camera for a quarter and two box tops...if only... ;)

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    1. Ha! I know; wouldn't that be nice?! Money and apparently box tops were worth a lot more back then!

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