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I recieved a very nice note from a G&D operator from 1969 era, here is some of his correspondence;


Randy Lee Decker
 

--John met me at the door, kitchen door as I recall.  I had phoned him a few days before, and he gave me directions and the time.  Everyone, (5 people maybe?), were sitting around the kitchen table.  I introduced myself and my model train history while John and another set up the switching puzzle.  John explained the puzzle.  I don't remember the mechanism for placing cars, initial and final; if there were cards drawn, slips in a hat, or whims of the attendees, but the was a switch list at startup, what was where, where they were going, and my train order at the end.

My locomotive was a little 0-4-0, and because it was short I was able to get it and 2 short cars on the center left siding and pull both back onto the run around track at once, saving 2 moves.  You should have heard the roar when I cleared the switch points!  John decided we needed to use an 0-6-0 from then on, or eliminate the short ore and tank cars.

I think he was secretly pleased that I had out witted the puzzles limits.  We all knew it was luck of the draw.---  

--I was there every Tuesday evening (I think it was Tuesday)for 3 months.  The initiation was a test on the switching puzzle, which I completed in under 4 minutes, to everyone's surprise and my financial gain of $5, one from every attendee, and one more from John for being under 5 minutes.  It was pure luck, as I proved many times after.

 

I operated the Andrews Peddler, and I was always behind schedule.  John ran a busy op session, and rarely was anyone without cars to move.  It was my favorite military service experience, both the language school, and the weekly op sessions.

Ken Moordigian--


 I get notes like this from time to time because of the layout work and it is great to have a place to send any of this history and especially photographs if any are found.    Ken saw the Great Divide build project and it all brought back some great memories for him.  He sent along some photographs (sadly not of good quality but a few that might be of value to the site). I have sent them along to Jeff.    Like many guy's he was younger and in service and did not have a great camera but did snap a few dozen shots one day.  He told me John was a lot of fun and the whole experience was something he will never forget... The group was all very serious and excellent in their operation of the layout and very tolerant of his learning curve.  He is hopeful that I can recreate Johns layout as he would really very much like to see it again.   He did not know of the GDLines pages and the last time we spoke he was looking forward to browsing through the photo's and when we speak again I will see what he thinks.  

Randy  


Kurt Youngmann
 

No doubt I’ve related this anecdote in the past, but here it is again because it always gives me a chuckle.

My first experience with the Timesaver was after an ops session in late summer 1961 (when I was stationed at Fort Ord). I watched someone struggle with it and was invited to try it myself. After a move or two (I was new to switching and quite perplexed) I heard John whisper (loudly enough so I could hear him), “Oh, I don’t think I’d have done it that way!” I immediately knew I was in deep doodoo. No surprise, I never finished it.

Great story, Randy. Thanx for sharing the note.

Kurt Youngmann

On May 13, 2020, at 6:00 PM, Randy Lee Decker <randyleedecker@...> wrote:

--John met me at the door, kitchen door as I recall.  I had phoned him a few days before, and he gave me directions and the time.  Everyone, (5 people maybe?), were sitting around the kitchen table.  I introduced myself and my model train history while John and another set up the switching puzzle.  John explained the puzzle.  I don't remember the mechanism for placing cars, initial and final; if there were cards drawn, slips in a hat, or whims of the attendees, but the was a switch list at startup, what was where, where they were going, and my train order at the end.



***

“The kind of fraud which consists in daring to proclaim the truth while mixing it with a large share of lies that falsify it, is more widespread than is generally thought.”

—Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past


Russell Courtenay
 

Don’t worry about repeating stories, I get a chuckle every time, thanks. 

Reminds me of the girls on Hee Haw, “You’ll never hear me repeating gossip, so you better listen closely the first time!”

Russell Courtenay
Solemnity and profundity are sublime in inequity. 


On May 13, 2020, at 5:32 PM, Kurt Youngmann <tgobbi@...> wrote:

No doubt I’ve related this anecdote in the past, but here it is again because it always gives me a chuckle.

My first experience with the Timesaver was after an ops session in late summer 1961 (when I was stationed at Fort Ord). I watched someone struggle with it and was invited to try it myself. After a move or two (I was new to switching and quite perplexed) I heard John whisper (loudly enough so I could hear him), “Oh, I don’t think I’d have done it that way!” I immediately knew I was in deep doodoo. No surprise, I never finished it.

Great story, Randy. Thanx for sharing the note.

Kurt Youngmann

On May 13, 2020, at 6:00 PM, Randy Lee Decker <randyleedecker@...> wrote:

--John met me at the door, kitchen door as I recall.  I had phoned him a few days before, and he gave me directions and the time.  Everyone, (5 people maybe?), were sitting around the kitchen table.  I introduced myself and my model train history while John and another set up the switching puzzle.  John explained the puzzle.  I don't remember the mechanism for placing cars, initial and final; if there were cards drawn, slips in a hat, or whims of the attendees, but the was a switch list at startup, what was where, where they were going, and my train order at the end.



***

“The kind of fraud which consists in daring to proclaim the truth while mixing it with a large share of lies that falsify it, is more widespread than is generally thought.”

—Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past


Randy Lee Decker
 

I love the fact that John gave Ken an extra buck.  As John more or less challenged him as he first sat down and told him he'd give Ken an extra dollar of he could finish in less than 5 minutes.  Ken said he never did nearly as well on all his subsequent attempts as he did on that first lucky run.   Great little story.  He must have had one of the docksides.

Randy 


Ken Moordigian
 

Ahh... The timesaver!  I remember that name.  Yes, that's my note Randy was quoting.  And yes, the kibitzing was always heavy, and yes, John was vocal in his opinions, which is probably one of the reasons he wrote so many articles.

My switching experience was limited by my age and exposure to switching, but I'd rather switch a peddler than watch trains run around the room, so the GandD was perfect fit for me.  It was a great learning experience in many ways.

Ken Moordigian
818-522-4292
Jackson Livery
”Mules skinned while you wait"!"

On May 13, 2020 4:32 PM, Kurt Youngmann <tgobbi@...> wrote:
No doubt I’ve related this anecdote in the past, but here it is again because it always gives me a chuckle.

My first experience with the Timesaver was after an ops session in late summer 1961 (when I was stationed at Fort Ord). I watched someone struggle with it and was invited to try it myself. After a move or two (I was new to switching and quite perplexed) I heard John whisper (loudly enough so I could hear him), “Oh, I don’t think I’d have done it that way!” I immediately knew I was in deep doodoo. No surprise, I never finished it.

Great story, Randy. Thanx for sharing the note.

Kurt Youngmann

On May 13, 2020, at 6:00 PM, Randy Lee Decker <randyleedecker@...> wrote:

--John met me at the door, kitchen door as I recall.  I had phoned him a few days before, and he gave me directions and the time.  Everyone, (5 people maybe?), were sitting around the kitchen table.  I introduced myself and my model train history while John and another set up the switching puzzle.  John explained the puzzle.  I don't remember the mechanism for placing cars, initial and final; if there were cards drawn, slips in a hat, or whims of the attendees, but the was a switch list at startup, what was where, where they were going, and my train order at the end.



***

“The kind of fraud which consists in daring to proclaim the truth while mixing it with a large share of lies that falsify it, is more widespread than is generally thought.”

—Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past


Tom Milam
 

He did have a dockside! Fit two cars and the dockside in the runaround that surprised John, said he would switch to a longer locomotive, an 0-6-0. If I remember correctly 
I used to do the Timesaver Switching for the PCR , used Allen Fetons timesaver , baker couplers and all. 
2:56 was my best time with six cars. 

Tom Milan


On May 14, 2020, at 11:14 AM, Ken Moordigian via groups.io <TheKenWiley@...> wrote:



Ahh... The timesaver!  I remember that name.  Yes, that's my note Randy was quoting.  And yes, the kibitzing was always heavy, and yes, John was vocal in his opinions, which is probably one of the reasons he wrote so many articles.

My switching experience was limited by my age and exposure to switching, but I'd rather switch a peddler than watch trains run around the room, so the GandD was perfect fit for me.  It was a great learning experience in many ways.

Ken Moordigian
818-522-4292
Jackson Livery
”Mules skinned while you wait"!"

On May 13, 2020 4:32 PM, Kurt Youngmann <tgobbi@...> wrote:
No doubt I’ve related this anecdote in the past, but here it is again because it always gives me a chuckle.

My first experience with the Timesaver was after an ops session in late summer 1961 (when I was stationed at Fort Ord). I watched someone struggle with it and was invited to try it myself. After a move or two (I was new to switching and quite perplexed) I heard John whisper (loudly enough so I could hear him), “Oh, I don’t think I’d have done it that way!” I immediately knew I was in deep doodoo. No surprise, I never finished it.

Great story, Randy. Thanx for sharing the note.

Kurt Youngmann

On May 13, 2020, at 6:00 PM, Randy Lee Decker <randyleedecker@...> wrote:

--John met me at the door, kitchen door as I recall.  I had phoned him a few days before, and he gave me directions and the time.  Everyone, (5 people maybe?), were sitting around the kitchen table.  I introduced myself and my model train history while John and another set up the switching puzzle.  John explained the puzzle.  I don't remember the mechanism for placing cars, initial and final; if there were cards drawn, slips in a hat, or whims of the attendees, but the was a switch list at startup, what was where, where they were going, and my train order at the end.



***

“The kind of fraud which consists in daring to proclaim the truth while mixing it with a large share of lies that falsify it, is more widespread than is generally thought.”

—Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past


Randy Lee Decker
 

Ohhh excellent,  Hey Ken....   I was not sure if you were part of the group or had an interest in all the John Allen continued discussions.     Very good...  Any stories any of you guy's remember are great fun for the rest of us...
 
   In hindsight we all wish you guy's all had brand new Nikons and good film and years of experience, tripods and Johns guidance.  We can never have enough photographs of Johns place.   But to find anything new is always fun...   I was very happy to see your photo of the Timesaver connected up with both units on the table.   Photographs taken outside the layout room are scarce....!  Photo's of John in his element are rare as well.... We do find many shots of the room but different views are always great fun...  there are at least a few shots that I think were usable and show different views I have not seen before.  So all in all... fantastic to see...they went off to Jeff as is I could not do anything to enhance them here.  

Very nice to speak with you...  

Randy    

On Thu, May 14, 2020 at 1:14 PM Ken Moordigian via groups.io <TheKenWiley=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:

Ahh... The timesaver!  I remember that name.  Yes, that's my note Randy was quoting.  And yes, the kibitzing was always heavy, and yes, John was vocal in his opinions, which is probably one of the reasons he wrote so many articles.

My switching experience was limited by my age and exposure to switching, but I'd rather switch a peddler than watch trains run around the room, so the GandD was perfect fit for me.  It was a great learning experience in many ways.

Ken Moordigian
818-522-4292
Jackson Livery
”Mules skinned while you wait"!"

On May 13, 2020 4:32 PM, Kurt Youngmann <tgobbi@...> wrote:
No doubt I’ve related this anecdote in the past, but here it is again because it always gives me a chuckle.

My first experience with the Timesaver was after an ops session in late summer 1961 (when I was stationed at Fort Ord). I watched someone struggle with it and was invited to try it myself. After a move or two (I was new to switching and quite perplexed) I heard John whisper (loudly enough so I could hear him), “Oh, I don’t think I’d have done it that way!” I immediately knew I was in deep doodoo. No surprise, I never finished it.

Great story, Randy. Thanx for sharing the note.

Kurt Youngmann

On May 13, 2020, at 6:00 PM, Randy Lee Decker <randyleedecker@...> wrote:

--John met me at the door, kitchen door as I recall.  I had phoned him a few days before, and he gave me directions and the time.  Everyone, (5 people maybe?), were sitting around the kitchen table.  I introduced myself and my model train history while John and another set up the switching puzzle.  John explained the puzzle.  I don't remember the mechanism for placing cars, initial and final; if there were cards drawn, slips in a hat, or whims of the attendees, but the was a switch list at startup, what was where, where they were going, and my train order at the end.



***

“The kind of fraud which consists in daring to proclaim the truth while mixing it with a large share of lies that falsify it, is more widespread than is generally thought.”

—Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past


Ken Moordigian
 

I seem to recall John was sure to stay out of any pics taken.  I don't remember if he wanted to show the layout or avoid the camera...

Ken Moordigian
818-522-4292
Jackson Livery
”Mules skinned while you wait"!"

On May 14, 2020 12:11 PM, Randy Lee Decker <randyleedecker@...> wrote:
Ohhh excellent,  Hey Ken....   I was not sure if you were part of the group or had an interest in all the John Allen continued discussions.     Very good...  Any stories any of you guy's remember are great fun for the rest of us...
 
   In hindsight we all wish you guy's all had brand new Nikons and good film and years of experience, tripods and Johns guidance.  We can never have enough photographs of Johns place.   But to find anything new is always fun...   I was very happy to see your photo of the Timesaver connected up with both units on the table.   Photographs taken outside the layout room are scarce....!  Photo's of John in his element are rare as well.... We do find many shots of the room but different views are always great fun...  there are at least a few shots that I think were usable and show different views I have not seen before.  So all in all... fantastic to see...they went off to Jeff as is I could not do anything to enhance them here.  

Very nice to speak with you...  

Randy    

On Thu, May 14, 2020 at 1:14 PM Ken Moordigian via groups.io <TheKenWiley=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:

Ahh... The timesaver!  I remember that name.  Yes, that's my note Randy was quoting.  And yes, the kibitzing was always heavy, and yes, John was vocal in his opinions, which is probably one of the reasons he wrote so many articles.

My switching experience was limited by my age and exposure to switching, but I'd rather switch a peddler than watch trains run around the room, so the GandD was perfect fit for me.  It was a great learning experience in many ways.

Ken Moordigian
818-522-4292
Jackson Livery
”Mules skinned while you wait"!"

On May 13, 2020 4:32 PM, Kurt Youngmann <tgobbi@...> wrote:
No doubt I’ve related this anecdote in the past, but here it is again because it always gives me a chuckle.

My first experience with the Timesaver was after an ops session in late summer 1961 (when I was stationed at Fort Ord). I watched someone struggle with it and was invited to try it myself. After a move or two (I was new to switching and quite perplexed) I heard John whisper (loudly enough so I could hear him), “Oh, I don’t think I’d have done it that way!” I immediately knew I was in deep doodoo. No surprise, I never finished it.

Great story, Randy. Thanx for sharing the note.

Kurt Youngmann

On May 13, 2020, at 6:00 PM, Randy Lee Decker <randyleedecker@...> wrote:

--John met me at the door, kitchen door as I recall.  I had phoned him a few days before, and he gave me directions and the time.  Everyone, (5 people maybe?), were sitting around the kitchen table.  I introduced myself and my model train history while John and another set up the switching puzzle.  John explained the puzzle.  I don't remember the mechanism for placing cars, initial and final; if there were cards drawn, slips in a hat, or whims of the attendees, but the was a switch list at startup, what was where, where they were going, and my train order at the end.



***

“The kind of fraud which consists in daring to proclaim the truth while mixing it with a large share of lies that falsify it, is more widespread than is generally thought.”

—Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past


Tom Milam
 

Spelled my own name wrong , working with a mask and gloves. 
MILAM not “n”

Tom Milam


On May 14, 2020, at 1:12 PM, Randy Lee Decker <randyleedecker@...> wrote:


Ohhh excellent,  Hey Ken....   I was not sure if you were part of the group or had an interest in all the John Allen continued discussions.     Very good...  Any stories any of you guy's remember are great fun for the rest of us...
 
   In hindsight we all wish you guy's all had brand new Nikons and good film and years of experience, tripods and Johns guidance.  We can never have enough photographs of Johns place.   But to find anything new is always fun...   I was very happy to see your photo of the Timesaver connected up with both units on the table.   Photographs taken outside the layout room are scarce....!  Photo's of John in his element are rare as well.... We do find many shots of the room but different views are always great fun...  there are at least a few shots that I think were usable and show different views I have not seen before.  So all in all... fantastic to see...they went off to Jeff as is I could not do anything to enhance them here.  

Very nice to speak with you...  

Randy    

On Thu, May 14, 2020 at 1:14 PM Ken Moordigian via groups.io <TheKenWiley=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:

Ahh... The timesaver!  I remember that name.  Yes, that's my note Randy was quoting.  And yes, the kibitzing was always heavy, and yes, John was vocal in his opinions, which is probably one of the reasons he wrote so many articles.

My switching experience was limited by my age and exposure to switching, but I'd rather switch a peddler than watch trains run around the room, so the GandD was perfect fit for me.  It was a great learning experience in many ways.

Ken Moordigian
818-522-4292
Jackson Livery
”Mules skinned while you wait"!"

On May 13, 2020 4:32 PM, Kurt Youngmann <tgobbi@...> wrote:
No doubt I’ve related this anecdote in the past, but here it is again because it always gives me a chuckle.

My first experience with the Timesaver was after an ops session in late summer 1961 (when I was stationed at Fort Ord). I watched someone struggle with it and was invited to try it myself. After a move or two (I was new to switching and quite perplexed) I heard John whisper (loudly enough so I could hear him), “Oh, I don’t think I’d have done it that way!” I immediately knew I was in deep doodoo. No surprise, I never finished it.

Great story, Randy. Thanx for sharing the note.

Kurt Youngmann

On May 13, 2020, at 6:00 PM, Randy Lee Decker <randyleedecker@...> wrote:

--John met me at the door, kitchen door as I recall.  I had phoned him a few days before, and he gave me directions and the time.  Everyone, (5 people maybe?), were sitting around the kitchen table.  I introduced myself and my model train history while John and another set up the switching puzzle.  John explained the puzzle.  I don't remember the mechanism for placing cars, initial and final; if there were cards drawn, slips in a hat, or whims of the attendees, but the was a switch list at startup, what was where, where they were going, and my train order at the end.



***

“The kind of fraud which consists in daring to proclaim the truth while mixing it with a large share of lies that falsify it, is more widespread than is generally thought.”

—Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past


Kurt Youngmann
 

My recollection from the half dozen times or so that I met him is that he wanted the railroad to speak for him. But I never had the chance to see him at NMRA events where, I’ve read, he had a much more expansive personality.

The problem is that this was all so long ago and memories have a tendency to dim as we grow older.

Kurt Youngmann

On May 14, 2020, at 2:47 PM, Ken Moordigian via groups.io <TheKenWiley@...> wrote:

I seem to recall John was sure to stay out of any pics taken.  I don't remember if he wanted to show the layout or avoid the camera...



***
“You may not be able to change the world, but at least you can embarrass the guilty.”
—Motto at Jessica Mitford Memorial Site 


Tom Milam
 

I recall a photo with John leaning against the kitchen counter(?) supervising A timesaver session in the Model Railroad article on Building a Snap Track Timesaver. 
Johns appearance sure changes what few photos of him we have, especially his last years, just looks like a tiny man from what image I had of him, never seeing him in person

Tom Milam
Just love the G&D 


On May 14, 2020, at 1:54 PM, Tom Milam <ncngrr@...> wrote:

Spelled my own name wrong , working with a mask and gloves. 
MILAM not “n”

Tom Milam


On May 14, 2020, at 1:12 PM, Randy Lee Decker <randyleedecker@...> wrote:


Ohhh excellent,  Hey Ken....   I was not sure if you were part of the group or had an interest in all the John Allen continued discussions.     Very good...  Any stories any of you guy's remember are great fun for the rest of us...
 
   In hindsight we all wish you guy's all had brand new Nikons and good film and years of experience, tripods and Johns guidance.  We can never have enough photographs of Johns place.   But to find anything new is always fun...   I was very happy to see your photo of the Timesaver connected up with both units on the table.   Photographs taken outside the layout room are scarce....!  Photo's of John in his element are rare as well.... We do find many shots of the room but different views are always great fun...  there are at least a few shots that I think were usable and show different views I have not seen before.  So all in all... fantastic to see...they went off to Jeff as is I could not do anything to enhance them here.  

Very nice to speak with you...  

Randy    

On Thu, May 14, 2020 at 1:14 PM Ken Moordigian via groups.io <TheKenWiley=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:

Ahh... The timesaver!  I remember that name.  Yes, that's my note Randy was quoting.  And yes, the kibitzing was always heavy, and yes, John was vocal in his opinions, which is probably one of the reasons he wrote so many articles.

My switching experience was limited by my age and exposure to switching, but I'd rather switch a peddler than watch trains run around the room, so the GandD was perfect fit for me.  It was a great learning experience in many ways.

Ken Moordigian
818-522-4292
Jackson Livery
”Mules skinned while you wait"!"

On May 13, 2020 4:32 PM, Kurt Youngmann <tgobbi@...> wrote:
No doubt I’ve related this anecdote in the past, but here it is again because it always gives me a chuckle.

My first experience with the Timesaver was after an ops session in late summer 1961 (when I was stationed at Fort Ord). I watched someone struggle with it and was invited to try it myself. After a move or two (I was new to switching and quite perplexed) I heard John whisper (loudly enough so I could hear him), “Oh, I don’t think I’d have done it that way!” I immediately knew I was in deep doodoo. No surprise, I never finished it.

Great story, Randy. Thanx for sharing the note.

Kurt Youngmann

On May 13, 2020, at 6:00 PM, Randy Lee Decker <randyleedecker@...> wrote:

--John met me at the door, kitchen door as I recall.  I had phoned him a few days before, and he gave me directions and the time.  Everyone, (5 people maybe?), were sitting around the kitchen table.  I introduced myself and my model train history while John and another set up the switching puzzle.  John explained the puzzle.  I don't remember the mechanism for placing cars, initial and final; if there were cards drawn, slips in a hat, or whims of the attendees, but the was a switch list at startup, what was where, where they were going, and my train order at the end.



***

“The kind of fraud which consists in daring to proclaim the truth while mixing it with a large share of lies that falsify it, is more widespread than is generally thought.”

—Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past