Skip navigation

Tag Archives: model

Way back when, on or about the occasion of my 45th birthday, one of my adopted brothers gave me one of those poured stone coasters for my coffee mug. Molded into the top was the fine slogan

If you haven’t grown up by age 40,
you don’t have to.

It seemed a good thought but the math was wrong, so, not seeing the trap, I looked at him and said “Brother, you DO realize I’m 45, right?”

That little sumbitch looked me right dead in the eye and said, just that quick, “Brother, you always WERE the slow one of the family.” Should’ve seen it coming. Maybe he was right.

* * * * *

I ran across that coaster on my desk the other day, underneath one of my favorite coffee mugs, which had suffered a broken handle and was waiting for me to make it right. Making things right has become more important to me in recent days, so while I got out the superglue and (successfully!) reattached the handle, I read that coaster again, and realized — I’m well past forty and I’ve been much too grown-up lately.

As it happens I covered model train shows and modellers off-and-on for the Chronicle, so when I saw a notice on Facebook I knew where I’d be on Saturday. Every year, on the third Saturday in February, the overaged seven-year-olds of the San Jacinto Model Railroad Club hold their annual model train expo/show/swap meet, since 2003 known as the Greater Houston Train Show, and since 2005, they’ve gathered at the Stafford Center, which is just a few miles southwest of my Sharpstown home base. So bright and noonish on Saturday, I checked that I had the six buck adult admission fee in my pocket and that the camera batteries were charged, and off I went. (I had some hopes that explaining that I had basically been stuck at 7 years old for half a century myself might get me in for the child’s price, but I didn’t really expect it to work, and it didn’t.). I might have had a chance but the club cheated… the wives were running the ticket table! They’re very nice ladies and all but they LIVE with eternal 7-year-olds, so… But I did get a couple of laughs for the idea, so it wasn’t a total waste.

* * * * *

My first stop, after collecting info on a couple of area railroad museums I’ll maybe do more with later, was the Layout Room where the members of the Houston “G” Gaugers had set up a large multi-track oval.

G-gauge is big for models; the cars are about 5″ tall and correspondingly long, a little over a foot or so.

And because track alignment on mobile layouts isn’t always all it could be, the cars will sometimes derail or jump the tracks and require an intervention.

Click the 2 to go to the next page. (There are 3 in all.)