Musings

It's long past time for me to share a few thoughts.   I have to say, I'm rather proud of myself for having gotten this far designing and building a website on my own.   In the past I've always relied on Alex for this sort of thing.  

We'd always had a website in the past, primarily to promote Nick's auto restoration shop.   And Alex contributed by handling the website.   Now that the kids are all off on their own, it's left to me if we're to still have an "Odyssey House" presence online.  

The name "Odyssey House" is meant to convey the idea that life is an adventure and that as a family, we share our life adventure.  

Creating this website on my own is a satisfaction.   It's nice to know an old dog can indeed learn new tricks.   I've found it is also quite liberating to be able to achieve the result I want without having to work through a third party.

For the time being I imagine it will be just me posting here.  I hope to eventually solicit contributions from other members of the family, though I'm not holding my breath on that.                                                    Entry for 4/1/18

entry for 4/28/2018

Yesterday was a rather eventful day for my model railroading interests.   I was invited by my friend Don Florwick to assist hosting an operating session on Don's Pittsburgh & South Penn model railroad for attendees of the Pro-Rail convention. 

 

"ProRail" is an annual event for a group or railroad modelers with an interest in operating model railroads in prototype fashion.   The idea is give the feeling that one has done some actual railroading rather than simply playing with model trains.  Not that there's anything wrong with simply "playing trains" but it's not every modelers cup of tea. 

 

In my case, prototype operation on a model railroad has been a fascination since my early teens.  It is only now, with my participation in the NMRA over the last few years that I have been able to indulge my passion.   For this I have to thank the friends I've made through the National Model Railroad Assn.. 

My fascination with prototype model railroad operation began with an article in Model Railroader magazine by Doug Smith in 1958.   Doug described operations on his Brook Valley model railroad.   Even today I can still recall the thrill if felt reading Doug's description of trains on the BV meeting, passing and overtaking at the sidings, picking up and delivering cars according to the waybills that accompanied each car.

Later on I read Frank Ellisons "The Art of Model Railroading" when it was republished in by Kalmbach in MR in the 1960's.   Franks pioneering Delta Lines took model railroad operation to new level even though the Delta Lines preceded the Brook Valley by more than a few years.

Ever since I've dreamed of having an opportunity to try my hand at prototype operation on a model railroad.   I designed layout after layout but never had space for a railroad of my own.   I came close in the mid 1980's with my friend Dave Hayhurst when he allowed me to design a layout for him.   We had it nearly operational when, for a variety of reasons, we abandoned the project.   Still, I learned a great deal from that layout.

Today, with DCC, prototype operation on model railroads has reached yet another new dimension.   It is now possible to operate just as the prototype does.    With my association with the NMRA and the friends I've made, I'm now realizing a life long dream.   My only regret is that my friend Dave is no longer here to share it with me.

Pics to follow when Don sends them to me.