Model Railroading Background
I received an American Flyer train set for Christmas in 1949 and have pretty much been addicted to railroads ever since. My Grandfather was an engineer for the B&O. Growing up in the West Virginia mountains, I had plenty of chances to watch long coal drags and mighty 2-8-8-2 mallets in action — even got a cab ride in one with Grandpa once.
By the late 50’s I had moved into HO scale. Most of my early modeling centered around prototype B&O, C&O, and WM themes. In the 60’s while a college student, I built an HO logging layout called the Cass, Aurora & Spruce Creek. It was based on some summer work experience I had on the tourist line that became the Cass Scenic Railroad. By the late 60’s, I was in the Air Force and stationed in South Dakota. I caught the narrow gauge bug from exposure to the many lines that ran through the Black Hills. Most of my models during that period were in HOn3.
In the early 80’s I moved to Southern California and met other modelers who were using Sn3 for narrow gauge modeling (1:64 scale.) I joined the crowd and began to focus on the Rio Grande Southern as my narrow gauge prototype of choice. Somewhere along the line I picked up the nickname of “Sn3nut.” Over the past thirty years I have given many clinics, written several articles, and set-up an on-line reference site, all using the Sn3nut name.
I built an outdoor layout for my kids in the late 80’s, using the inexpensive Bachmann big-hauler equipment. I converted the locomotives to battery power and equipped them with radio servos and proportional throttles stripped from remote control race cars. The outdoor layout used Micro Engineering code 250 aluminum flex track. My main emphasis was still on my indoor Sn3 layout which represented the Ophir Loop area of the RGS.
In the late 90’s I moved from California to Oklahoma. Over the next decade, I gradually transitioned from Sn3 to Fn3 (3-foot gauge, 1:20.3 scale) and began working on the current outdoor layout.
Other Interests and Hobbies
Outdoor High Adventure – Experienced hiker, camper, backpacker, and climber. Many long-term, high adventure treks in the Appalachian, Rocky, and Sierra Nevada mountains.
Scouting – Since becoming a Cub Scout in 1957 I have maintained a life-long association with the Boy Scouts of America. I have served in numerous adult Scouting roles at the unit, district, and council levels including Scoutmaster, Venturing Advisor, District Venturing Chair, District Training Chair, and Council High Adventure Team Leader. I am the proud Father of two Eagle Scouts and two Life Scouts.
Family – I am married and have six children. My two daughters and two older sons have families of their own and still live in California, along with my ten grandchildren. My two youngest sons are still at home and attend the University of Oklahoma.
Sports – I enjoy golf, bowling, darts, and billiards. In my younger days I played baseball, basketball, football, and tennis, but now can only enjoy these games as a spectator.
Technology and Science – I have always had an interest in computers, astronomy, geology, physics, and anything related to aerospace.
Relaxation – I love to spend time in my yard gardening, landscaping, or watching my fish in the pond. I also have indoor tropical varieties of fish. I like to listen to music, especially classical, sixties-rock, and country western. I play the piano and guitar.
History – I like to study ancient civilizations, the American Civil War era, and the American Railroad era from 1880 to 1940.
Collecting – I am a numismatist (coin collector), philatelist (stamp collector), mineralogist (rock hound), and ferro-equinist (railroad memorabilia collector.)