One person we were surprised to see at the model train show in Hampton was Helen, who was there with her husband Ed Shecklman. They own Sidetrack Hobby in Iowa Falls, but we only knew Helen as our faithful supplier of running shoes! She works at Shoe Sensation, which we frequent.
Ed and Helen Shecklman
You can visit their website at www.sidetrackhobby.net and their Facebook page here. They have a wide variety of products. The bridges looked neat, but the cornfield kits really caught me eye. I'm sure some farmers would wish their cornfields could be as easily installed!
Chuck, Tim, and Joe
Chuck, Tim, and Joe were at the Hampton show I went to in 2014. I was relieved when Joe assured me they did not have any cockroaches with them this time. (Last time, Joe had his lunch in a special sack with one printed on it!)
All three of them are retired from John Deere in Ankeny. They told about a couple of the biggest shows they'd attended--in Kansas City and Pennsylvania. While I didn't take the most thorough notes, I'm thinking the one in Pennsylvania might have been Greenberg's Great Train & Toy Show.
Mr. Hilgendorf says his father got him started on model trains when he was young. At another train show, in Minnesota, he ran into a whole barrel of HO models for only $20. So he bought it, and a lot of what he was selling at this show was from that barrel. The rest were extras from his own layout--which he has yet to set up again after a move.
On one box of miscellaneous cars, priced at $1 each, he has a newspaper clipping with a photo of a train wreck to encourage modelers to add train wrecks to their own layouts!
Art and Chris
The vendors set up beside us were Art and Chris. Like so many others, they were both introduced to model trains by their dads. The oldest pieces they had for sale were Lionels from 1945 and 1948.
The windows in their model churches have a stained-glass look, and one church even has the red doors I've seen on many churches posted in the Inspired Sunday linkup. The ice cream bar would be a wonderful place to stop for a treat.
Mr. Heidenescher's area looked like a whole store had moved into the train show! What a fabulous place it would be for the citizens of my favorite little nation, Martha's Miniaturopolis, to go shopping!
There were miniature propane tanks, barrels, crates, fences, gates, all sorts of garden plants (from cauliflower to tomatoes), park benches, musicians, fishermen, and much more.
Heidenescher is owner of JJ & CL Model Train Shop in Council Bluffs, Iowa, which he started seven years ago. For 20 years previously, he had done repair work on model trains.
Mr. Heidenescher didn't have much of a chance at escaping the fate of being a model railroad hobbyist. His father bought him a Lionel train when he was born!
We enjoyed our time at the Hampton show...and a week later headed to Dubuque for our second show of the year!
Do you attribute any of your hobbies to the influence of your parents or older family members?