I have opinions, generally let's keep it simple though.
Some people like trains, some people don't. My son loves trains, we're moving up from wooden Thomas and Whittle this year to O at Xmas. He's 5 and I bet he'll like trains (even if he isn't a true model railroader) his whole life.
My daughter is 2, she likes trains but not like my son. She can't sit still long enough to appreciate something that for the most part travels in circles, etc. She prefers to be throwing, hitting, running, jumping, climbing, etc. At 2, my son could sit for a long time!
I think my son is going to get my interest back from liking trains to having a layout of some kind, I've always enjoyed them but haven't had a layout since I was about 10.
My wife is somewhat annoyed by the trains of all shapes and sizes taking over the house, but other than rolling her eyes and calling me a dork once in a while, she does things like stops to let my son see a train if they cross the tracks and one is coming, goes to the farmer's market a town over instead of in our town because the LGB club set up there, etc. I don't expect her to enjoy trains, she allows me and my son/daughter to enjoy trains.
As far as people who don't enjoy trains and think they're kiddish, who cares. That other kid probably grew up in a house where trains were considered loud and annoying by his parents, so he picked that up. Don't alienate people because of your hobby, your hobby is yours to enjoy - no need to remove yourself from society to focus on your hobby. Consider this potential irony:
Someday, when your circle of friends (dwindling or not) is in their mid- to late 20's and some start having kids, "Uncle Gearhead" is going to have the trains everyone looks forward to seeing! Pretty soon your friends who think it's silly now will be asking you how to set up a Xmas train... no need to be anything but patient, you can secretly enjoy hooking their kids on model trains someday!
Oh well, my two cents.
Hitsua, Good to read your interesting comments.
I'll be taking your advice and mete out the mags as suggested and hope they'll be devoured by the lucky few who would be interested and perhaps intrigued.
One thing the wonders of computers and the internet have done for me, is, to allow me to enjoy such great news items and information on this wonderful subject of Railroading and the views of people like yourself and Tinplater and all the other readers and contributors.
Thanks to all.
What an interesting post. The article brings up some points that are true and also invokes some nostalgia on my part. When I was your age (in the 60's) Christmas was the only time that a model railroad was able/allowed to be set up. Trains were not available to the basic public until after the Thanksgiving Holiday (the old start of the Christmas Season). The great part of shopping with Mom was being able to see the layouts at the various stores (re: the beginning of the movie "A Cristmas Story".) Living in the city, there were only a few stores that carried model trains of any variety, and the others carried only the basic train stuff. The imagination could only run wild by looking at the Lionel Catalogs that were available. Most of the good equipment was only able to be seen from the specialty hobby shops. Income back then was limited and trains were not high on the list of things to get. Today with the internet and the wide array of shops available, I'm seeing more and more layouts that are permanent, and the opportunity to buy stock is everywhere. Don't feel like you are in the minority, the opportunity to enjoy your hobby throughout the year is now able to be realized. I was allowed only 3-4 weeks of enjoyment before they had to be put away for another year.
Granpaps today won't let the hobby die down. Although the days of the "Lumbering Behemoth" are pretty much long gone, it is still a very intriguing hobby. Learn all you can about the industry/hobby, as the only thing constant in life is change. This and other web sites like it keeps the fascination going. Heck, we were lucky to have a phone (party line) in the house. The internet wasn't even thought of yet. I'm rather fortunate in that I have a couple of gransons to play with, and you gotta believe they have trains exposed to them. If/when you are able to do a layout, make it a piece of artwork. Put your heart into it and believe me, it will be admired by many. KTF (Keep The Faith.)
Tinplater, What an interesting letter and your thoughts and observations. I know exactly where you're coming from [as they say these days].
I was born in South Africa and during WW2 received Lionel Electric trains and American Flyer models which served me up until I started work and became interested in many other things. When I lived in Canada during 50's and early 60's unfortunately I did not get into model-railroading again. What a missed opportunity!! For the last 40 odd yrs have lived here in Australia.
After a visit to Canada in 1985 I got the itch and bug again and upon returning home immediately got involved with all that goes with RR modelling in HO CNR/CPR 40's/50's prototype. I get much enjoyment from my layout and the wonderful Kalmbach magazines.
I would like to give many of my Trains and Model Railroad Craftsman magazines to local youth who may find them interesting. So far I don't know how to go about this and do not want to frighten anyone off. Any suggestions on this?
Deshler Ohio-crossroads of the B&O Matt eats your fries.YUM! Clinton st viaduct undefeated against too tall trucks!!!(voted to be called the "Clinton St. can opener").