I was flipping through a recent issue of Model Railroader when an ad for Kalmbach digital archives caught my eye. It featured a few of the MR folks in engineer caps grinning over a layout.
My thoughts flew immediately to the cover of the December 1950 issue. And there it was reproduced in a small panel in the ad. I have that very cover framed and hanging over my workbench.
You see, the young lad on the left is my late uncle Lawrence Scott and the smiling gentleman to his immediate right is my late grandfather, Charles E. Scott. The photo was taken at the Metropolitan Society of Model Engineers layout upstairs in Union Station, Washington, D.C. earlier that year, around the time I was born. They are entirely responsible for my life long infatuation with everything trains. If I wasn’t at the throttle of my grandfather’s Globe F7s (I still have them) or his beautiful scratchbuilt bullet nose Pacific, I was under the layout checking out a stack of Model Railroader, Railroad Model Craftsman and Trains magazines to bring home.
We shared many fan trips. They took me on my first train ride on a B&O commuter train from Union Station in D.C. to Camden Yards in Baltimore to tour the B&O railroad museum. I think I was six or maybe seven. The shortline Washington & Old Dominion ran right behind my grandfather’s house in Vienna, Virginia. At the warning sound of the air horn, I was off and running through the woods to my viewing perch on the side of the cut near Park St. to see what they had on the headpin that day.
All of these memories and more came flooding back … all from that silly ad.