Tuesday, November 1, 2016

2016 Model Train Show in Hampton - Part 1

My paternal grandparents have been vendors at model train shows for years, though of late they've narrowed it down to two shows a year.  In 2014, they recruited my sister and I to help at our first show--in Hampton--where I ended up coming home with a pan full of left-over cinnamon rolls (delicious)!  Last year, I only joined in at Dubuque.  So, after a two-year hiatus, I was excited to be back at the Hampton show again.  
The whole family started everything off on Saturday evening setting everything up.  Then we went out for dinner together at a nearby restaurant.  Grandma helped with the set-up, but didn't feel strong enough to spend the whole next day at the show.  Sunday morning, Grandpa, my sisters, and I got an early start at about 5:30 A.M.
We stopped for breakfast at the Hampton McDonald's.  This particular restaurant has the nicest decor I have ever seen in a McDonald's, and the young man on duty actually brought breakfast to our table!

Back at the fairgrounds for the show, we added the finishing touches to our display.  And...I made a terrible discovery!  I had forgotten my camera's memory card--not fun, since my camera has no internal memory.  Thankfully my sister kindly agreed to help me out, so all photos in this post are either hers or taken with her camera.
The show didn't open till 9:00 A.M.  so we had plenty of time to walk around and admire everything else in the building.  

Grandma had her artwork marked down quite a bit, and more of it sold than usual.  I was surprised that prints actually sold better than cards.  Our target customers are often the ladies who aren't that crazy about trains, but come to the show to be with their husbands...in past years, they've opted more for inexpensive cards.

Grandpa, a model train enthusiast since the 1950s, sold his extra HOs, and during a lull in the day, took my sister to see the North Central Iowa Model Railroad.  

When it was my turn to take a break, I talked with a few fellow vendors.  Let me introduce them to you.

Tom & Beth Klimesh
This awesome couple probably doesn't need an introduction, as I've mentioned them the past two years.  One reason I always love seeing Beth is I never forget her name!  

Beth told me this was their first show since April.  One interesting thing about the Hampton show, she says, is that while it's in Union Pacific territory, their Union Pacific models never sell here.  The folks in Hampton seem to go for the old Lionels.  

While chatting with her, I noticed one of the railroad memorabilia items they had for sale was a '93 Chicago Central and Pacific Calendar.  The calendar features one of Grandma's paintings, Bountiful Harvest!  Beth said her cousin had it hanging in his basement train room!  It was only $3, so I ended up buying it.

Master Sergeant Todd Pendleton
Master Sergeant Todd Pendleton, of the United States Air Force, is one of the few railroad enthusiasts I met who didn't claim to have been introduced to model trains by his dad.  Nope--after seeing trains on tv and in the media, he asked Santa for one in 1973. And sure enough, Santa pulled through with a TYCO Spirit of  '76!  Pendleton has been interested in trains ever since, and sells his extras at shows.  

Iowa Central Modular Railroad
I was happy to see the folks from Iowa Central Modular Railroad, based in Marshalltown, operating their very interesting layout again.  I think for many, watching this layout is a highlight of the show.  
The latest additions to their miniature world are an elevator platform that lifts to dump a truck at the Farmers Cooperative, and a stream with canoes.  You can visit their Wiki page here and see more photos of the layout in my 2014 post.
Stay tuned for Part 2 to meet more talented hobbyists!

44 comments:

  1. Mmmmm.....cinnamon rolls. I love them, Bethany! And although I am not a train hobbyist, I do love trains. There is a train museum here in Quebec, but I don't have a car and the location of it is rather remote. Supposedly no public buses run in the area of its location, but if I ever get the opportunity I would love to see it. Love all your photos, and it sounds as if your grandfather is doing well in his hobby.

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    1. I had a couple cinnamon rolls this time as well (for old times' sake, of course!). Hope you are able to make it to the museum some time!

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  2. Bethany your grandparents have interesting hobby

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  3. What a fun family event and so glad it was a successful day for your grandparents!

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    1. It would have been funner if Grandma had been able to make it for the whole show...but we did have a great time, and the family dinner Saturday made things even better.

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  4. What a great thing to do and such a connecting point for your family. Love that Bethany. I remember when you did the first show. I am glad you were able to do it again this year. xo Diana

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  5. I can see why trains would be a fun hobby for many. We have a lot of enthusiasts in my northwoods here as we have a lot of railroads and they are, along with ships on our great lake, a primary source of transporting shipments. They also provide a lot of jobs to our region. Thanks for sharing and thanks to your sis for sharing the pics! ;)
    xoxo

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    1. Railroads have played an integral role in our history, and they still are pretty important. It's kind of a pity that most of the folks I saw at the show were older, but at least a few are training their progeny up right!

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    2. Agreed Bethany. It seems that way about many things these days...the younger generation are less interested. Although, life often cycles around and as they remain important in our world yet...there may be new interested young folks in the future.

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    3. The Dubuque show I went to most recently seemed to have more children, which is a good thing. I think technology has absorbed the attention of many.

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  6. That kind of thing is always fun...so glad you could do it this year.

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  7. My Dad was into trains when I was growing up, so I always enjoy seeing these posts!

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  8. My husband has an HO model train layout in our basement, in fact he is down there right now adding to it. : )

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    1. That's awesome! I suppose you may have been to a show like this before then.

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  9. This looks like such a fun event and how nice that you have something like this to participate in with your family. My Dad always loved model trains, so your post made me think of him. His birthday was yesterday (on Halloween) and if he was still with us, he would have been 90 years old.

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    1. Neat that your dad loved trains. We had a friend whose birthday was on Halloween as well. She always liked to remind us it was Reformation Day!

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  10. What an interesting event! Not having a camera is every blogger's nightmare. Good thing that your sister had hers handy.

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  11. It looks like such a nice, fun event!!

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  12. I've gone out with my camera and no memory card before - what a sinking feeling!
    I'm not a train enthusiast, but I think I would like this show. I love all the old things!

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    1. I have several memory cards, so I have no excuse for not keeping an extra one in my purse. Will have to be more careful in the future.

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  13. ah...the moment you realize you don't have a memory card.
    i can relate.
    however, it seems like this was quite a pleasant experience!
    i'm glad to hear that your grandma sold more than expected. :)

    have a blessed week, Bethany!

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  14. Bethany!
    Your Grandparents are fantastic and have a beautiful hobby.
    Greetings:)

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  15. This is so interesting! I remember seeing one of the neatest model train displays one time in Helen, GA...I think it is still in operation, but not sure. I think it is so wonderful that you can do these things with your grandparents, and I am sure you and your sisters are a huge help and blessing to them. Thank you so much for sharing about it here! God bless you, dear friend. :)

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    1. We had a great time. God bless you too, Cheryl!

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  16. Oh my goodness, what fun! I've never been into toy trains, but that display... If I brought my lego-loving son there, he'd be in heaven.

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  17. That elevator platform is too cute.

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  18. I would gladly help out if I could take home the left-over cinnamon rolls! :)

    What a fun show! I love these events. We have one here each March and I always attend. I enjoy the displays and I always come home with a few new little people for the city of Miniaturopolis :)

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    1. I was definitely thinking of you and the little people as I browsed the show and saw different items for sale that would be perfect for Miniaturopolis!

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  19. Hi Bethany! You knew I would love this post, didn’t you? :-) As I was looking at the pictures I was thinking about how much I enjoy going to these model railroad shows. They all look the same at first, but then there is always something different, something to capture my fascination and, probably, something from my wallet as well. I always seem to find a prize to take home! This is not a good hobby for folks who are trying to downsize! :-) Did I understand this correctly … Your Grandmother’s painting ended up as a part of the ’93 Chicago and Central Pacific Calendar? That is awesome! As you will know, calendars are among the most sought after collectibles. My next opportunity to attend a show is coming right up on Nov 12th … The Boeing Employees Model Railroad club’s annual swap meet! http://www.bemrrc.com/ Great post! Thanks, as always, Bethany!

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    1. I suspected you might like this post. :) Yes, Grandma worked for the Chicago Central and Pacific, and did their calendar for five years actually. The 1993 cover (which I bought) was selected by the Federal Railroad Administration in Washington D.C. to hang in their gallery to represent railroading in the Midwest.

      Hope you have a great time at the swap meet! Take care.

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  20. Such a fun family hobby! My brother was into trains for a little while but then decided he liked shooting things better. XP

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    1. Ha! Well...I guess that potentially could be more exciting. :)

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