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When the storms/tornadoes came through here a few weeks ago, we had several huge oak trees blown down.

As expected, before long a fellow showed up who wanted to cut the wood for him to heat his home and to sell.

He has been at it for several days and this morning, as expected, he came by to cut some more wood.

He found me, as usual, working on the Caboose Layout. He looked at me and asked:

"Don't you get lonely out here?"

The question left me a bit confused until I realized that some folks might think that a guy who has nothing better to do with his time than to be working on a model train layout that is out in a field (surrounded by woods) and more than a stones throw away from the house to be lonely.

I grew up and went to school in the Chicago area, I met my wife while she was a student nurse in London, England, I traveled 5 states as a salesman before I retired and now we live in the middle of nowhere, not because we are lonely but because we WANT to be far away from the crowded areas we grew up in and worked in.

How can one be lonely when the computers and telephones link us with friends all over the world and we belong to multiple organizations with large memberships?

But then...

Is it this particular hobby that suggests or implies loneliness?

Do others perceive "US" (note: "US" includes YOU) as participating in this hobby because they think we are lonely?

What do YOU think?

Do YOUR friends think you are a model railroader because (they think) you are not active in group activities?

How do YOU think others perceive Model Railroading as a hobby?

Any other comments and impressions about how you think others regard "US" are welcome.

Jerry
 

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Jerry,

Most of the time I feel people view me as a person with to much time on his hands and other times a person with to much money. I do not have an abundance of either so it must come down to priorities. Plan and simple, our interests and priorities are different.

But when I have an open house and invite family and friends over, they sure do like to run the trains and eat a lot of food. Good times. Now we all have something in common. Then when to food is gone, everyone goes home and I'm all alone again working on my railroad. Does that sum it up?

.................Jim
 

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According to sis;
I'm 61 going on 5
 

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Jerry,

Nope. I like the sense of accomplishment I get when I finish a particular project on my railroad. Jim's right, it is about priorities. My railroads are built with the end userS in mind.

Mark
 

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I also was born and raised in the Chicago Area. ( Blue Island Ill) I had never been any where. I joined the Air Force. I spent 3 years 3 months and 28 days in MT Home Idaho. I love Idaho.

When I got out I found out I hate cities.

Where I am at Lake Pleasant is 10 miles west all state land. Two housed North , 1200 feet , is BLM land to Black Canyon City aprox 20 miles.

I am 45 miles north and west of down town Phoenix off I 17 on the way to flag staff in the desert.

There are 15 houses all 2.5 and 5 acer lots.

I never married. I live here a lone and I am never loney. I have local Gentry ( animals) that come to visit and get a drink of water. The neighbors dogs and one cat come to visit when I am out work on the lay out. Day or Night .

I play/ work on my trains.

Just because one play with trains Doesn't make you lonly.

Trains is like any other hobby.

The guy next door does charity work.

Two doors after that the guy makes Antque replicas.

Next to him and the two accross the street raise horses.

Two guys on this street have complete Machine shops and make proto type stuff.

One guy, who was a member of Blue Oyster Cult, works for the Air Force in CSI.

You are lonly only if you want to be.

JJ

PS I forgot. The J W's come by to check on the layout progress. Some times they leave thier pamphelts some times we sit down and talk of Cabbages and Kings.
 

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Jerry.

By the storm activity on my radar screen you should be in the basement. It's 7:40 PM Pacific here in California not sure in AK. Big storms leaving Oklahoma headed your way!!!!
 

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Jerry simple answer to your question is, No. I'm retired and Jill still works three days a week. Its what I call "Me" time. I pop in doors a couple of times a day and see whats happening here on MLS. Other than that I have developed the mind set, that the longer a project takes to complete, the more value for money.
 

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Thats why I came out of the closet and admitted to being a "garden railroader" and started having open houses and got onto MLS.
 

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Id have to agree with Marty, it's like any hobby, If you don't have someone with the same interest to brainstorm and chat with, It can get lonely and loose it's luster (IE: my car)
 

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But as Bob Grosh once said GET OUT THERE and BUILD SOMETHING... I truly am trying to get some tracks down. I started last fall but the snow stopped me .. which gave me some time to think about how I truly needed to go about getting this loop of track down. I do feel lonely at times but not much. Knowing you guys are but a few key strokes away helps! Progress so far, Built a basic loop of ladder roadbed to match the sectional track I'm using for this first attempt. Lesson learned building ladder to fit sectional is difficult. I''ve moved that loop 4 times now. I have two half circles of curves clamped up and moving them I've learned that the split jaw clamp screws will bend. That digging up sod by hand is tough work but tougher when the ground is wet. That mowing around the roadbed when I move it is not fun. That staking the ladder roadbed will be required as it does move on it's own. The wonderful NY state economy has more folks leaving and one of my best friends who has pledged help with the railway is moving south for work. He has gone with me to train shows and to train stores and helped run my live steam Ruby bash at times. I will miss him. I ahve other friends that will help though if I ask.

Lonely? No not really.

Chas
 

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Discussion Starter #13
My thanks to everyone for your replies. In reading them I agree with everyone as I think we have all had a lot of similar experiences.

Perhaps a friend said it best when he told me he "was born without the train gene." His personal family history includes a number of railroaders yet he has zero interest in trains of any kind. On the other hand I have zero family railroad history but I love trains.

I guess he was right - we either have the train gene or we don't. By the same token it is great if we have local friends who share the hobby but many of us don't so we may end up with more friends many miles away than we have locally.

In my case I suspect I spend so much time building or adding on to layouts that I do not have time to get bored or lonely. My concern about retiring was that I would not be able to afford traveling or most other hobbies. Thanks to this hobby I travel so little that I can afford to make a few trips now and then but most trips are via a keyboard.

Thanks to this hobby there are friends I have not seen in years but when I see them again it will be as if we had last visited yesterday.

Jerry
 

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Up until now, no, I never felt "lonely" out there in the backyard. It was my little world to escape the hassles & stress of the big world. That might change now. In march, 2010 I lost my wife of 33 years to kidney cancer, and now just last week I lost my closest friend of 35 years to colon cancer. he & I got into "outdoor" railroading about the same time 15 or so years ago. For the most part, I worked alone on mine and he did the same with his but if either needed help, the other would make the 60 mile trip to help out. We made the 35 mile trip to the hobby shop together, attended local club tours and 4 Nat'l Conventions together, KC would have been #5. So although I worked outback alone, I never felt alone because I knew there were people to share it with. Now that they are gone, I might be feeling "Alone" out back.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Posted By ddevoto on 24 May 2011 08:41 PM
Jerry.

By the storm activity on my radar screen you should be in the basement. It's 7:40 PM Pacific here in California not sure in AK. Big storms leaving Oklahoma headed your way!!!!


Hi Dan,

Arkansas always gets a lot of tornadoes but this has been a much worse year than usual. We have been fortunate in that we only lost a few trees in the last storms and the major damage bypassed us.

I guess I tend to be fatalistic. I figure that the chances of a tornado actually hitting the precise spot I happen to be at is really very small (kind of like the chances of winning big at a casino).

I have to admit that I enjoy watching a strong storm and I usually head to the caboose and sleep in the camper when one is expected. That way I can enjoy watching the storm from the cupola and if things go really bad I would head for the bathroom in the caboose where there are no windows and the walls and roof are steel. It would take a pretty strong storm to move or lift a 52,000 lb caboose.

I do take a few precautions. Last week I had a guy cut down some trees and branches that I thought might be big enough to damage the camper or caboose and admittedly there have been a few storms this year that caused me to leave the camper and head to the caboose getting soaked in the process.

Heck, I'm 67 years old and I'm not going to live forever so I enjoy what I can while I can.

Regards,

Jerry
 

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I agree with you Jerry, I'm only a kid of 63 years old but if I dropped over dead today I wouldn't feel cheated. Life hasn't been perfect, but I've enjoyed it and I plan to continue to enjoy it as long as I can. And a big part of that enjoyment is playing with trains. And I'm blessed with good train friends within 10 to 40 miles, so if I do feel lonely, I can always get together with one or more of them.
Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Posted By Bob in Kalamazoo on 25 May 2011 10:21 AM
I agree with you Jerry, I'm only a kid of 63 years old but if I dropped over dead today I wouldn't feel cheated. Life hasn't been perfect, but I've enjoyed it and I plan to continue to enjoy it as long as I can. And a big part of that enjoyment is playing with trains. And I'm blessed with good train friends within 10 to 40 miles, so if I do feel lonely, I can always get together with one or more of them.
Bob



Hi Bob,

When I read Fred's comments:

"I never felt alone because I knew there were people to share it with. Now that they are gone, I might be feeling "Alone" out back."

I started to respond but I deleted my response without posting it because my words seemed inadequate.

I think your words are better than mine would have been.

"a big part of that enjoyment is playing with trains. And I'm blessed with good train friends within 10 to 40 miles, so if I do feel lonely, I can always get together with one or more of them."

I hope that Fred will be able to discover some new train buddies who are not too far from him. In the meantime he has a world of friends waiting to be discovered here on MLS.

With you and me Fred already has two new train buddies and I am sure that everyone else posting on this topic feels the same.

Jerry
 

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Hi Jerry,
Yes, when I read Fred's comments I know it made me feel kind of sad. I'm one of the younger ones of my train friends within a shorter distance and I suspect I'll have to deal with one or more of them going on at some point. It will make life a little more lonely, but I also realize that I could very easily be the next one to move on. Life has no gaurantees, we need to spend our time wisely.

And Fred, like Jerry said, you have two (and I'm sure many more) train buddies on MLS. If you're ever in SW Michigan I would love to have you stop by and play trains with me.
Bob



Posted By Jerry McColgan on 25 May 2011 01:42 PM
[]

Hi Bob,

When I read Fred's comments:

"I never felt alone because I knew there were people to share it with. Now that they are gone, I might be feeling "Alone" out back."

I started to respond but I deleted my response without posting it because my words seemed inadequate.

I think your words are better than mine would have been.

"a big part of that enjoyment is playing with trains. And I'm blessed with good train friends within 10 to 40 miles, so if I do feel lonely, I can always get together with one or more of them."

I hope that Fred will be able to discover some new train buddies who are not too far from him. In the meantime he has a world of friends waiting to be discovered here on MLS.

With you and me Fred already has two new train buddies and I am sure that everyone else posting on this topic feels the same.

Jerry
 

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As one of the "younger ones" in lodge I've attended many funeral services for deceased brethren in my short time in lodge...many of which I never knew or met. They travelled the same path as I and they made my path that much better for their having travelled it. The same can be said of our fellowship here (& elsewhere). We may be alone but we are never lonely.

Fred, my sincerest condolences on your losses.

Chas
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Posted By ddevoto on 24 May 2011 08:41 PM
Jerry.

By the storm activity on my radar screen you should be in the basement. It's 7:40 PM Pacific here in California not sure in AK. Big storms leaving Oklahoma headed your way!!!!


Just a quick update about how we just never know what the weather is going to do. When Dan posted his warning yesterday, strong storms possibly containing tornadoes were forecast but did not happen (here).

Today the bad weather was forecast to miss us here and I was sitting in the cupola with my "Rain Train" on the layout outside, watching The Battle of the Bulge on TV when it suddenly sounded like God was banging on the roof of the cupola.

Pretty much out of nowhere there was a sudden downpour of quarter size hail. The larger white spots in the 1st photo are the sheep. The rest of the white spots are hail.

http://1stclass.mylargescale.com/jerrymccolgan/Caboose Layout/hail1.jpg

http://1stclass.mylargescale.com/jerrymccolgan/Caboose Layout/hail2.jpg

Hail is the attention getter that makes me start thinking about where I may need to be going - very quickly. In this case it was quickly over and no harm was done.

Jerry
 
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