More Wanderings of an 'Aussie Engine Nut'

| January/February 2000

37 Seaham Street Holmesville, 2286 NSW, Australia

Here is another episode in the wanderings of an Aussie engine nut. The last episode appeared in the February '98 issue of GEM.

When I knew that my 'new knee joints' were going to be installed, I thought that I would be laid up for quite a while, so I bought a computer to help me fill in time. In a very short time I found the 'Stationary List' and found a whole new set of friends in all parts of the world.

Cutting out the painful bits (pun), I got things working again and learned that the 'List' was having a presentation dinner at the Portland Show; lots of the new friends would be there. This was a chance I could not pass up, so after selling off some of my models to pay for the trip, I flew over the pond again on August 12 to stay firstly with old friends Brad Smith at Franklin near Milwaukee and Richard Daoust of Waukesha. Before jet lag had even got its hooks into me, Brad dropped me off to a friend of his, Tom Artzburger, who has his own model railway in his garden. I was made most welcome there and met the members of the local railway club. This set the pace for the next few days and, in just over a week I had three shows under my belt: Sycamore, Chilton, and Baraboo. At each one of these, I met up with people that I had heard of or 'talked' to on the Net. The standard of exhibits seems to me to be always on the rise, as I saw and photographed a lot of superb restorations. There were too many to single out any for special mention.

On Monday, 16th, Richard took me over to Rockford to see the clock museum. Sadly, it is now closed, so we called in on Ken Branson and his two sons who are 'Branson Enterprises.' (They were the folk who gave me the ride to Rockford on the last trip.) It was a happy reunion and we all had a good laugh about our previous meetings.

A couple of days later, we called in on Trinity Tools in Milwaukee, where I previously got some tooling for my workshop. The owner recognized me at once, even though we had only met once before. I came away with a load more stuff that I could not live without!