Re: The Steam Era (Was: NYC 4 bay hopper lives too)

sparachuk <sparachuk@...>

--- In STMFC@..., "Tom Madden" <tgmadden@...> wrote:

That summer of 1950 my 14-year old self found nothing of interest in a 70-year look-back. Today's young modelers - whether 14, 24 or 34 - looking back 70 years find themselves smack in the middle of our era of interest. Should we expect them to find it interesting? These are people who lament the loss of Conrail, and consider it a Fallen Flag worthy of their attention.

Maybe I'm overreacting (again), but as I watch our 1960 cut-off date recede further and further into the past I fear that the Steam Era, and those of us who love it, will become ignored anachronisms for today's modelers, like the 1880's did for me.

Tom Madden
Tom: Maybe we have to accept that we steam era modellers are the modern version of the ships-in-bottles guys. Where did they all go? I was born in 1950 in London, Ontario and I remember the steam era well because London was big railroad town in those days. My modelling cut-off date is the demise of K style brakes because I like them. I don't have a better reason. We might have to accept that we are indeed anachronisms, although I don't mind myself.

That being said, this year I organised what we call the Prototype Modellers' Meet in Toronto and I was thrilled that some younger participants felt welcome to bring their "modern" models along. They said they're going to tell all their friends and we'll have more of them next year. Their modelling was first rate stuff and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Of course, I couldn't help teasing them about their prototypes being forty years old already.(1970)

That might be the future of model building, old guys accepting that modern models are interesting and young guys accepting that old guys aren't a bunch of prejudiced old poops. Model building is itself a dying art in the age of the computer and the mash-up. Good modelling is rare and it deserves credit, whatever its era. But for me, it's the steam era to the end. I really can't imagine what's going to happen to my models when I'm gone but I can't help laughing, imagining what the grandkids will think about grandpa's crazy trains.

Stephan Parachuk

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