As a train enthusiast and self-professed rail fan, I attend model train conventions all the time. If they are miles away I look for an available train. But of course. How else would I get there? I always hope they aren’t in town. I look forward to meeting new people with a similar passion. I guess it is because I grew up listening to my dad describe the trains he rode back and forth on into the city to work. I was fascinated by the sights and sounds he so admirably described.
He was a good story teller and the love of trains he felt caught on. I can hear the whistlsmothe history of “iron horses” and covet collectibles that abound at the conventions. I love to watch Sheldon on Big Bang Theory especially when he gets excited about trains. He is my idol. I do believe he is a collector even though his heart may lie first and foremost with Star Wars memorabilia. But let’s give a shout out to the real train people who live and breathe their power and glory.
Foolishly, I expect him to appear in the grand hall amid the many exhibits. His silly face would beam at every turn. The last time I attended a train convention, I was so surprised to see a smoking section. I knew that Sheldon would not be there. I thought public places no longer catered to smokers due to stringent local laws. I also didn’t know that train buffs were into this “filthy habit” as my mother used to call it. Needless to say, I don’t indulge. I was almost about to voice a complaint when I spied a huge air purifier to keep the smoke and smell away from the other attendees with a sticker that said Clean Breathing. Did they used to do that on trains and planes when smoking was rampant? Perhaps.
I know the old trains, like the amazing Orient Express, had glamorous smoking cars. You could walk in and see men and women, or should I say the gentlemen and ladies puffing away. Looking at them, if you didn’t smoke, you wanted to. It was an era of great sophistication and style. Planes had smoking sections in the back with no separation from the “normal” people. This all ended in the eighties I believe when people started caring about their health and second hand smoke. I think many of them just wanted to be irate. Before that smokers had their own privileges. But that time is long gone so why is smoking allowed at the model train convention. Unless I call the organizers, I will never have the answer. I can only guess.