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that can be really dull, things

like making enough trees for a forest, shingling roofs, or cutting about a mil- lion pieces of stripwood to the same length for a board-by-board construc- tion project. Such things are fun, to a point, and then they become less fun. In order to break the boredom during


these “drudge projects,” I often listen to recordings of old radio shows, shows that were broadcast from the l930’s to the 1950’s, great programs like the Jack Benny Show, Suspense, and The Lone Ranger. Unlike watching TV while modeling, I can keep my eyes on the work while my mind goes off on an adventure somewhere else, except for the part in charge of keeping the hand holding the hobby knife from slicing the fingers off the hand that isn’t! One of my favorite shows is a sci-fi

training here.

Go to and get links to hobby resources and reference materials, lists of train shows and events, and information about planning and building your first model railroad layout. We’ll even help you find a shop or club in your area willing to coach you one-on-one. It’s everything you need to know to start enjoying your new hobby. Getting started in the World’s Greatest Hobby has never been easier!

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Two helper sets consisting of Chessie System SD50s sit in the helper tracks at Hyndman, Pa., on a chilly December night in 1986. Westbound helper operations were eventually moved to downtown Cumberland, Md., and the tower at Hyndman was closed and demolished. STEVE BARRY PHOTO TEEN-AGERS

series called X Minus One, which ran in the waning days of network radio back in the 1950’s. In the opening of this show, the announcer dramatically tells listeners that they are about to experience adventures “in which you’ll

ing is not the same as the kind used to write poetry or to coax beautiful statu- ary out of a slab of marble. That is pure creativity, the kind that answers only to the heart and soul of the artist.

One Night at Hyndman

Our feature on Sand Patch Grade by Stan Trzoniec (page 30) reminds me of my favor- ite story from visiting the southwest Penn- sylvania landmark. Back in December 1986 I was visiting with several friends, and after a day of shooting we headed up to the tower at Hyndman, Pa., to do some night photogra- phy. At the time the helpers for westbound trains were based out of Hyndman (they are now attached back in Cumberland, Md.), and the two sets sitting there each had two spiffy Chessie System SD50s — by far and away the most impressive diesel locomotives I had seen up to that point. Upon arrival at Hyndman we checked in at

the manned tower and told the operator what we were going to do. “No problem,” he said. “Stop back when you’re finished — we just got some brand new caps in.” With that, he pulled out a box of new ballcaps with the Baltimore

& Ohio “Capitol” logo on them. “Will do,” we said, and headed out to the helper tracks south (railroad east) of the tower. By 1986, access to towers and the right-

of-way was becoming more restricted, and I kept a nervous eye out for anyone in charge to come along. I didn’t want to get myself or the tower operator in trouble. We broke out our Graflex flashguns and No. 2 bulbs and started shooting. After about an hour, we were wrap- ping up. That’s when I noticed it — a hi-rail truck

The Teen Association of Model Railroaders is dedicated to helping teens with the hobby. For information write:


c/o Newton Vezina, 76 Roy Street

Springfield, MA 01104 Email:


heading west coming up from Cumberland. “Oh, boy,” I thought, “we’re in trouble.” I real- ly knew we were done when the truck pulled to a stop next to us and the window rolled down. Inside was a man wearing a white su- pervisor’s hard hat. I gulped. “Good evening,” I said. “Good evening,” he replied. “When you boys are done here, stop by the tower. We just got some new caps in.” —STEVE BARRY

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ment that would never have existed, build bridges that could not stand up under their own weight, or have UP Big Boys hauling stack trains. The truth is, I chose freelancing first because it just naturally appealed to the contrarian in me, and second, because it fulfilled the need for a creative outlet that was miss- ing in my life during a time when my work was all about being creative. For nearly 25 years I made my living writing advertising, dreaming up TV and radio commercials, magazine ads, and sales brochures for everything from cars to beer. Now you might think a job like that would give me all the creative outlets I could handle and you would be right—up to a point. That point is called “creative freedom,” and in the advertising business it’s normal- ly in very short supply. The creativity involved in advertis-

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