Today was one of the most rewarding days I have ever had exhibiting a model railway and it was all down to two small children. Jeremiah and Brandon.
First was Jeremiah. He stood at the layout for around 45 minutes studying the layout and its operation. He read the blurb attached to the model and knew what it was all about. He studied the details of the models and even noticed some details that I hadn't completed on some of the freight cars. He knew exactly what he was talking about. It was a pleasure to have someone like that to watch the layout at work. Jeremiah models in N gauge. I'm going to watch out for you because I'm sure that one day you will produce a truly excellent model railroad.
All through the two days of the show another small child had been making periodic visits to watch my layout from helping with his older brothers S scale trains. So at 2:30 half an hour before the show closed I said to him.
"Do you want a go?"
He looked at me rather disbelievingly and said.
"Are you sure?"
"Absolutely" I replied and gestured for him to step behind the layout.
We found him a chair to stand on so he could see over the top and I familiarised him with the controls. Though as he'd spent two days watching the layout I don't think he needed much in the way of familiarisation. With that I guided him through the operating sequence and in no time at all he was aware of all the quirks and oddities of the layout and apart from me placing stock on the track he was operating the layout all by himself. Mom got a picture I'm happy to say.
I was amazed at how quickly he had picked everything up and he declared that he was going to go home and start on a similar sort of layout based on a mining scene.
Well Brandon, if you build that layout then you can show it at the Princeton train show next Thanksgiving. I bet it will be great.
In these days when the computerised "Playbox-X-three-sixt-wii" is the big thing It was great to see such young children taking an active interest in the hobby. These kids are the future of the hobby and if there are more Jeremaihs and Brandons about then the future of the hobby is pretty secure.
Thank you very much guys.