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Messages - Opa George

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Baggage Car - Daily Chat / Re: Sunday, April 11, 2021
« on: April 11, 2021, 07:43:41 AM »
Happy Sunday!

Yesterday was yard work day. Today it is raining, so that allows time at the workbench.  I have lots of small things, odds and ends, to finish before clearing off the workbench for a major kit.

I have Rust Rock Falls from FOS on the agenda this summer. It will occupy the heights and provide a visual view block between my Old Head Harbor and the swamps/marshlands of Ragged Edge.

Have a happy day, all!
--Opa George

Baggage Car - Daily Chat / Thursday, April 8, 2021 -- Friday Eve
« on: April 08, 2021, 05:29:07 AM »
Happy Friday Eve, everyone,

Up and at 'em!

--Opa George

Layout Tours / Re: Twin Mountain Barge & Navigation RR
« on: April 05, 2021, 05:53:24 AM »

I love this layout. All the bright colors and different structures are amazing to view. All that is missing are the persons of Popeye and Olive Oil.

Tom  ;D

Interesting you should say that, Tom!   Popeye and Sweethaven are one of my inspirations.

Opa George

Layout Tours / Re: Twin Mountain Barge & Navigation RR
« on: April 03, 2021, 06:58:00 PM »
Thanks much, Darryl, Karl and Greg,

It's got to be a very personal and individual decision for everyone, but for me, downsizing to a layout I could get significantly scenicked and 100% operating in a short amount of time was the best choice.  I also lowered the base level to 36 inches so the little guys could view it at their eye level.

The middle portion is really the only part still in flux. That is reserved for the FOS Rust Rock Falls super kit, which I intend to start soon (and will post a build thread).  Once I see how that fits in, I will be able to finish basic scenery over the rest of the layout by next winter.

So for now, it's play time.  The little guys are coming over tomorrow, and I just got my Broadway Limited operating water tower hooked up again. They love that thing.

--Opa George

Layout Tours / Grandson's Operations
« on: April 03, 2021, 02:59:45 PM »
My grandsons enjoy operating the TMB & N. Their idea of operations is slightly different than mine, but we're all having fun so who's to say which is preferred?

Below, the party train at the end of the session: the two cars have army tanks, picnic tables, a hot dog cart and a double outhouse, among other things. The kids enjoy taking people on and off at various stops, adding or removing details and running the train to the next stop to do it all again.

Through all of this goofiness they are learning how to couple and uncouple cars, fix derails, throw switches, start and stop slow enough to not knock everything off, and more.

I do tend to keep the more delicate items (Jordan vehicles for example) off limits for play at the moment.

--Opa George

Baggage Car - Daily Chat / Re: Sat., 4/3/21
« on: April 03, 2021, 10:34:21 AM »
Good morning,

Baking bread for tomorrow's breakfast--dough is rising now.  Time to get some yard work in before baking.  Bought a head of cabbage this morning so I can shred it and start two quarts fermenting into sauerkraut.

Happy to have won on eBay a lot of Jim Miller's freight cars. I'll be honored to give them a home and regular operating jobs on the TMB & N.

--Opa George

Layout Tours / Re: Twin Mountain Barge & Navigation RR
« on: April 02, 2021, 01:18:09 PM »
Man, I love that!!

So interesting. I imagine a visitor could spend a good long time "discovering and decoding" the whole harbor arrangement. Very nice!


Thanks, John!  I'm enjoying adding in lots of hidden fun things.  I'm also trying to increase the play value for my grandsons by keeping as many details "loose" as possible.  Cementing scale people to clear plastic bases instead of directly to the scenery, loose piles of freight, vehicles and small sheds means they can arrange details to suit their idea of operations.

--Opa George

Baggage Car - Daily Chat / Re: Friday - April 2, 2021
« on: April 02, 2021, 12:54:44 PM »
Good afternoon, all,

Just back from the garden center where we bought pots of blooming spring bulbs for Easter Morning breakfast guests.  We are finally at the point where everyone in the family is fully vaccinated.  My wife is beside herself happy to see everyone again.

Couldn't resists some trays of pansies, so just got in from planting them out near the mailbox.

Have a great day, everyone!

--Opa George

Layout Tours / Re: Twin Mountain Barge & Navigation RR
« on: April 01, 2021, 12:25:41 PM »
Thanks very much, Greg and Paul!   Creating a colorful and funny back story is as much fun as the modeling itself. I think that's most of the reason I still rank the layouts of John Allen, Malcolm Furlow and John Olsen as my all time favorites.

Regardless, time to push on. Below are two in-progress shots of the structure that will anchor the west end of the pier.  Like the station, it will straddle the track.  I haven't figured out what type of industry or business it represents yet. I'm sure the muse will visit soon enough, though. 

--Opa George

This side:

The other side:

Scratchbuilding / Re: “Rocky Point Harbor” - an F&SM Tribute
« on: April 01, 2021, 12:00:35 PM »

A masterpiece and it provides tons of inspiration for me and I'm sure everyone here.  Thanks very much for all your detailed posts and pics.

--Opa George

Layout Tours / Re: TMB&N How Old Head Got Its Name, Part Two
« on: March 31, 2021, 02:13:42 PM »
Except taken from "The Annals of Lower Gumstump Township, with Notes Historical, Geographical and Biographical, Part II: European Settlement to the Great War," by Professor Eustace Avery Philpott-Greene, DD, USA (Ret.), MLS, AGAS, MAAA, CGL, CMC, D. Jur., Esq. 1919, Ragged Edge Publishing Co.

How Old Head Got Its Name

The resplendent and august town of Old Head was established more than 150 years ago by Levi Bucklestoss as a trading post and ferry on the headwaters of the Gumstump River. Bucklestoss, according to family lore, hailed from one of the myriad but unspecified royal houses of Western Europe, although attempts by family, local historians, and government officials to pin the wily trader down on exactly which noble house were consistently and spectacularly unsuccessful.

Bucklestoss' trade thrived and very soon a small settlement sprang up like summer mushrooms around the outpost.  To honor, and perhaps remind, locals of his patrician heritage, Bucklestoss dubbed the hamlet Prince Alvin.  As with the trader's lapse of geographical specificity, no one has ever been able to establish exactly why the name Prince Alvin was historically or genealogically significant. Nevertheless, the name stuck.

Decades passed, and in 1773 patriotic ardor was raised in defiance of King George's unjust taxation. News of a "tea party" in far Boston town reached the usually sleepy but now abnormally aroused denizens of Prince Alvin. A hastily organized brigade of "minute men" marched on Widow Spoonhaven's house to seize her meager supply of English Breakfast and fling it with great ceremony and hearty huzzahs into the frozen Gumstump. But, alas, the valiant dissidents were scattered helter-skelter by an equally indignant and rolling pin armed Widow Spoonhaven. The erstwhile rebels returned, greatly dispirited, to their homes.

As luck would have it, the very next day, an agent of the county excise office visited Prince Alvin on official business, intending to inventory the local population of sheep, cows, swine, chickens, horses and goats. Within minutes of the arrival of his majesty's ignoble agent, the intrepid insurgents organized on the square and advanced shoulder-to-shoulder to the inn to confront the villain, stopping only briefly for fortification at the Edgewater Inn, the Buzzard and Crow, the Golden Swan and of course the Five Stars, all pubs of great renown.

Arriving somewhat less organized but not one whit less determined, the patriots seized the tax man and his clark, soundly berated them for their temerity, and ushered them unceremoniously downhill through the January mud to the limestone caves along the sluggish Gumstump, where they imprisoned them for the duration, or at least until they could get word of their heroics out to the greater Gumstump Township countryside.

Little known to them, a turncoat among their ranks slunk quietly out of town to the county seat to report the incident to the sheriff.  Upon hearing of the imprisonment of his majesty's servants, a company of the finest royal foot was dispatched posthaste to the scene of the outrage. Arriving in Prince Alvin just before lunch and unwilling to confront a riled-up mob on empty stomachs, the loyalist militia descended instead upon the Buzzard and Crow, where the not-so-obliging innkeeper was forced to exchange many flagons of John Barleycorn's finest for the King's IOU.

When finally the well-lubricated foot soldiers made their way rather ungracefully down the muddy hillside to the limestone cavern, they found that the minute-men had vanished. Into the cavern they sallied, torches ablaze and pistols drawn, but neither the insurgents nor the tax collector could be found. The militia commander and imbiber-in-chief, having spent his salad years in Prince Alvin before venturing to Cold Bottom to make his fortune, led his men down tunnel after faintly remembered tunnel, but soon their voices only echoed back at them from the now unremembered labyrinthine walls.

Night fell on Prince Alvin, and only silence emanated from the caverns along the river.  Soon after cock crow, genuine concern and more than a little sheepishness gripped the town. By reason of short straw, local tinsmith and former rabble-rouser Horace Hoffman was elected to venture into the caves in search of survivors. Soon after stepping into the mouth of the cave, Horace detected a feint buzzing, which he followed to find the loudly snoring warriors, the excise man and his clark, and three mostly empty kegs of Innkeeper Stoltfuss' Old Hale and Hearty.

Upon reports of the happy rescue, the county sheriff recalled the militia, the tax man, and the remaining unconsumed kegs of Old Hare and Hearty, and announced that all was forgiven. The residents of Prince Alvin, meanwhile, would not be chastised, even in the absence of penalties. They decided to renounce all ties to England and all of Europe to boot, and voted to change the name of the town from Prince Alvin to the more American "Headwater," or "Head" for short.  Since it was the oldest settlement in the township, they added "Old" for balance, and that is how the town formerly known as Prince Alvin became Old Head.

Layout Tours / Re: TMB&N How Old Head Got Its Name, Part One
« on: March 31, 2021, 12:09:46 PM »
The main town on the Twin Mountain Barge & Navigation railway is Old Head.  Strange name but with a rather upright origin.  A dozen years ago or more I earned my living as a substitute teacher in an inner city school district. Of the dozens of ways that urban students have of torturing subs, being referred to contemptuously as "old head" was one of the milder iterations. 

The Urban Dictionary defines "old head" as
"1. Someone who has been in the scene before you or your group.
2. Someone who is still in the scene beyond the 'acceptable' or expected age."

OK, so that definition is charitable.  But I took to the phrase and ended up applying it to one of the towns on my larger TMB & N a few years ago. It is one of the few town names I have kept over the years.  The others are "Ragged Edge," "Cold Bottom" and "Potters

There is another story about the name's origin, though.  I'll relay that one in the next post, and let you be the judge of which version is true.

Layout Tours / Re: Twin Mountain Barge & Navigation RR
« on: March 31, 2021, 11:47:11 AM »
Hey George:

Very well done all I can say is WOW!!!


Thanks very much, Karl!

Layout Tours / Re: Twin Mountain Barge & Navigation RR
« on: March 31, 2021, 10:23:05 AM »
Thanks much, Craig.  Apologies for the poor pic quality.  I will have to have my grandsons take some pics with their phones to post. My old camera can't handle the basement lighting.

--Opa George

Baggage Car - Daily Chat / Re: Wednesday - 03/31/2021
« on: March 31, 2021, 10:20:28 AM »
That scratch build of Emporium Seafood is top notch.  The castings only take you so far--your walls and the rest are beautiful and so well done. You aced the build.

Opa George

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