[EXTERNAL] Re: [GandD] OTHER FILM also exists

Bob Friddle

This is so cool! Thank you, Jennifer! 
When I was much younger, in grad school, I was researching a prairie style house in Milwaukee, and determined that it was likely designed by a particular student of Frank Lloyd Wright’s. I managed to track down his family In Chicago, only to learn that Russell Bar Williamson had just recently died and his children had pitched his entire drawing archive two weeks before, not realizing the value of it. You can imagine my chagrin and the architectural community’s historical loss. 
Every little bit counts!


Bob Friddle, AIA

Gabriel lines - Route of the angels


On Apr 1, 2020, at 8:28 AM, Randy Lee Decker via Groups.Io <randyleedecker@...> wrote:

 Fantastic Jennifer.....   !  I would say when you are ready Jeff Witt is the man to contact and if you write up a nice tie in about Keith to explain the film and his model railroading interests that would make a nice fun addition to the GDLines pages to click on and the movie to watch....... 
   This 8mm film may very well be the only other movie footage that survives.   I am sure others were taken.... but like so many great things... they do not survive the next generations lack of interest.  I am sure Jeff will be in contact, and if you want many of us can give you his info anytime. 

Fingers crossed that other wonderful images will be shared to celebrate John Allen and his life and his passion.     


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Randy Lee Decker

Bob, this exact scenario you described has happened twice to me now while searching for John Allen items, photo's, letters, info of any kind.   It is a horrible sad feeling in the pit of your stomach to realise that "history" has been thrown away much less the curiosity of what new things may have been in the discarded items. ..... 
   it does happen though...  more often than we think.   After 50 years John's generation of collectors and friends are at an age that the next generations need to step up and make the effort and ask the questions and bring these items to light ......or...... even if they are hoarded and kept private, at the very least these items will survive time..  and perhaps one day end up helping to tell Johns story and be shared.  To throw these items out is a crime. 
    On the positive side......In John's case there is a lucrative collectors market out there that will help some items survive just through their value......  But the "History" as far as old letters or photographs or 8mm home movie footage... etc. and the story telling.... is being lost.      Can't wait to see this movie as well, and here more about Keith and any memories he may have passed along of that day or his time at John's place.        


Jennifer Crock

Rest assured, non of the film will be pitched out. It may take a while to find it, but once the specific reel is located, my husband and I are happy to share it with others that have an interest in the G&D Lines.  Decades ago, when we were first dating and discovering each others hobbies, you can imagine my degree of being flabbergasted to learn that Mike not only knew of John Allen, but that his dad was a pal of his, and that Mike had been there several times. Gee.....too me the layout was place of mystery and intrigue oh-so very far away, and then sadly lost forever.  For Mike it was just one of the layouts he would see when tagging along with his dad. Other modelers that Mike met when tagging along with his dad were Cliff Grant, Fred Verrier and 'Easy' Schwane. Forgive me if I mis-spell these names, please.

Mike/s dad was away for long periods of time, working with the military in advanced long distance radar systems for a very large private company,  and was not a 'regular' because of his long absences. When he was in town, Keith liked to spend as much time as he could with his model RR pals, and he did....which included John Allen.  Keith was also an early developer of electric car power systems and invented many circuits and systems that are still in use today. In his memory, on occasion, the EAA gives the 'Keith Crock Technical Achievement Award' to an engineer or builder that has made a significant technical contribution to electric vehicles. Keith modeled in HO, and had a special interest in traction. He also had models of the shays and geared locos in use at Roaring Camp, one of which Mike had after Keith died, the Dixiana Shay......Sadly, it was stolen in the late 70s during a move, in which several boxes went missing. Mike's sister still has parts of Keith's table top layout, but is it mostly gone. All the structures and overhead wire are long missing.

On one visit to John's, Mike notices that there was a snake skin that had been shed. He asked John if he could have it...and John told him that he was brave enough to climb in to get it, he could have it. I have never seen any mention from other places of John having some reptiles. Mike does not remember too much about it, no memory if there was only one tank or several, only that he got the the skin and kept it for many years in a jar, but that it eventually fell apart to dust. He recalls that on operating nights, it was all idle chit chat, there was a railroad to run and schedules to keep.. Also, he recalls that at John's there was never any "dirty or colorful"  talk as there often was where men would gather,,,,the rule was to always keep the language polite and cordial.

Randy Lee Decker

A great little piece of History there....!  I did not know of the reptiles/snakes interest either.  This might bring back some memories from other operators who have forgotten this about John.   
    Keith's model railroad interests make for a really nice story and this will make a nice write up about Keith and his movie when you find this again.   Thanks for sharing all this Jennifer.  This will be a very fun find indeed.... 



Keith Roger Beard Trinity

I do not remember any snakes or reptiles at John's, nor evidence of it when we rebuilt.
However, we grew up 3 doors down and my Dad had lots of tarantulas, snakes etc as he was an elementary teacher and his classroom was full of the critters too.
(Monte Vista and MPUSD schools, Paul Beard).
-- Keith Roger-Beard Trinity, owner,  9 Cielo Vista Terrace, Monterey