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Glad to find this group

Ken Vandevoort
 

I was happy to find this group listed.  The Air Force sent me to Ellington AFB near Houston in 1970 and I was able to attend my first NMRA regional convention.  The San Jacinto Model Railroad Club hosted the Lone Star Region Convention.  The banquet speaker was John Allen.  I was the cashier at the auction and John bought a bag of plastic automobiles for $1.  Someone else sitting at the head table kept the "John Allen" place marker.

The best part is that I was at Gil Freitag's house when John came through on the layout tour to see the Stoney Creek and Western (HO) and the Sierra y Barranca (HOn3).  He took his time going through and he literally had his mouth open showing amazement at what he was seeing.  I felt than John knew he had met his equal.

There were many great articles by John published over the years and I also remember the Varney ads.  Meeting him in person was the icing on the cake.

Ken Vandevoort

Russell Courtenay
 

Great stories, thank you Ken. I lived fairly nearby, never had the opportunity to meet the man....

Russell Courtenay
Solemnity and profundity are sublime in inequity. 


On Oct 24, 2019, at 9:42 PM, Ken Vandevoort via Groups.Io <apo09324@...> wrote:

I was happy to find this group listed.  The Air Force sent me to Ellington AFB near Houston in 1970 and I was able to attend my first NMRA regional convention.  The San Jacinto Model Railroad Club hosted the Lone Star Region Convention.  The banquet speaker was John Allen.  I was the cashier at the auction and John bought a bag of plastic automobiles for $1.  Someone else sitting at the head table kept the "John Allen" place marker.

The best part is that I was at Gil Freitag's house when John came through on the layout tour to see the Stoney Creek and Western (HO) and the Sierra y Barranca (HOn3).  He took his time going through and he literally had his mouth open showing amazement at what he was seeing.  I felt than John knew he had met his equal.

There were many great articles by John published over the years and I also remember the Varney ads.  Meeting him in person was the icing on the cake.

Ken Vandevoort

wbswarner
 

Ken, Welcome on board! It is so valuable to all of us to hear memories and reflections from interactions such as yours.  Thank you so much for sharing.  That entire era of craftsman modelers is what we are all admiring.  It is like finding an undiscovered Picasso or Rembrandt to hear stories like yours.
Warner Swarner 


On Oct 24, 2019, at 9:29 PM, Ken Vandevoort via Groups.Io <apo09324@...> wrote:

I was happy to find this group listed.  The Air Force sent me to Ellington AFB near Houston in 1970 and I was able to attend my first NMRA regional convention.  The San Jacinto Model Railroad Club hosted the Lone Star Region Convention.  The banquet speaker was John Allen.  I was the cashier at the auction and John bought a bag of plastic automobiles for $1.  Someone else sitting at the head table kept the "John Allen" place marker.

The best part is that I was at Gil Freitag's house when John came through on the layout tour to see the Stoney Creek and Western (HO) and the Sierra y Barranca (HOn3).  He took his time going through and he literally had his mouth open showing amazement at what he was seeing.  I felt than John knew he had met his equal.

There were many great articles by John published over the years and I also remember the Varney ads.  Meeting him in person was the icing on the cake.

Ken Vandevoort

Rick Jones
 

On 10/24/2019 10:42 PM, Ken Vandevoort via Groups.Io wrote:
The best part is that I was at Gil Freitag's house when John came through on the layout tour to see the Stoney Creek and Western (HO) and the Sierra y Barranca (HOn3).?? He took his time going through and he literally had his mouth open showing amazement at what he was seeing.?? I felt than John knew he had met his equal.
I moved to the Houston area in '02 and have been a member of San Jac for nearly as long. I've been able to visit Gil's layout many times since he and Virginia always host the Xmas party for the club. As you say, what Gil has created is amazing.
Gil was a master of hand laid track. Perhaps one of his most impressive constructions was the double crossover built on a curve - Four curved turnouts and a curved crossing. He didn't have to build it there; he had tangent track nearby where the crossover could have been built, but I think he did it for the challenge.
Sadly, Gil suffered a debilitating stroke not long after constructing this beautiful piece of work and he has never fully recovered. I'm not sure how many years it's been now, but he's still relegated to a wheelchair and has never regained the ability to talk again. But Virginia still brings him to San Jac meetings and to NMRA conventions and he seems aware of what's going on at least.
Somewhere I have a pic of that double crossover that I was going to attach, but I have no idea which subdirectory of photos it's in, so not at this time.

--

Rick Jones

I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it.