"I am holding the IVES President Washington because you have to hold something in a picture. The cars have bullet holes in them giving deep meaning to the "played with" phrase. I have tried to collect every years' version of the IVES Standard gauge freight cars 1921-28. The real reason I focused on freights is that Sandy didn't like passenger cars and I could sneak freights home easier!"
Tinplate Times: Clem, tell us about yourself and your background.
Article initially published by David Linton in 2008, with photos by Edward Hartman.
Article initially published by Randy Berger and Dave McEntarfer in 2006.
My first toy train set, if you don't count the one I purchased for my son when he was three or the Marx set I had when I was 5, was purchased in November of 1979. For unknown reasons I answered an ad in the paper for an "Old Lionel Train". What I found was a peacock 253 with 2 coaches and observation, plus a 4 wheel peacock gondola and a controlling rheostat, all in original boxes in the set box. I gleefully brought the set home and tried to run it on my son's 027 track, but it did not like the curves. Lesson #1: prewar 0 gauge prefers 0 gauge track to 027. I call the set "Grandpa", since it was my first very own Lionel train.
In December of 1979 I attended the Holiday Faire at our county fairgrounds, where there was an exciting (to me at the time) standard gauge layout. One of the men invited me to the Christmas Show of the Golden State Division of the Toy Train Operating Society, where there were bunches of toy train layouts. I thought I was in heaven, finding out that I could actually run and collect these wonders. I joined TTOS that January and four years later joined TCA as well. I had the honor of serving at the national level of TTOS for 18 years. I also was given 8,000 square feet of space to fill with layouts at the 1988 TCA convention in Oakland, and had a Marx layout at the Burlingame TCA convention as well as showing my layout on one of the layout tours that year. The clubs have certainly enhanced my enjoyment of my toy trains.
Article initially published by Mike Isenberg in 2005.