Thanks for the stories Jennifer.
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I lived up the road a bit in Half Moon Bay and my dad took us to every train ride, show and personal layout from the time I was a toddler. I remember being too young to ride at Roaring Camp as my brother and dad rode the train to Indian Creek and back. I thought I was big enough but when Dixiana blew the whistle I teared up and hung on tight to my mom’s dress!
We were on the train the weekend after the corkscrew trestle burned too.
I’m sure if my dad had known John Allen accepted visitors we would have gone, I somehow missed his death and destruction of the layout until about 1976 when I was 12, same year the trestle burned, it all shocked and saddened me greatly.
Solemnity and profundity are sublime in inequity.
On Apr 1, 2020, at 4:54 PM, Jennifer Crock <email@example.com> wrote:
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 business...no 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.