Hudson Products-Part 2
By Gordon Wilson
Photos Bob Mintz and Frank Samaritano
A BIG P. S.
At the risk of being labeled as someone who relies on clichés, this postscript must be added. It is said that “What goes around, comes around” and for Bob Mintz, that was most certainly true at the TCA Eastern Division’s April Meet on Friday, April 19, 2002.
Two years ago, during my Presidency of TCA, I seriously monitored several toy train websites, not the least of which was TCA’s own Toy Train Mailing List and O Gauge Railroading’s on-line conversation site. I felt that by doing so I could be more “in tune” with the concerns and queries of a large portion of TCA’s membership. One day, on the TTML, came the aforementioned inquiry by Bob Mintz regarding this unusual set by Hudson Products. Since that time I’ve only seen two other complete sets. One was Richard Kughn’s and the other showed up at a Desert Division Meet, courtesy of Bob Dymacek. Neither was for sale. At every meet since his inquiry Bob had searched in vain for someone who was selling this set. On April 19, 2002, in the “Purple Hall,” his search finally ended.
Things certainly had come full circle for Bob and myself. Correspondence regarding my knowledge of this set had revealed that we had many things in common, not the least of which was that we both purchased most of our Modern Era Toy Trains from Don Shaw’s Train Station in Mountain Lakes, NJ. Earlier this year I was appointed “Chair” of the TCA Internet Committee by President Tom Jaworowski and Bob was already a member of that committee. In as much as I have nearly all the Postwar Lionel trains that I need or can afford, I thoroughly enjoy attending TCA Meets throughout the country, looking not just for the “oddball” piece I’m missing, but also for things friends of mine are seeking.
As a recent Past TCA President, I was enjoying being able to wander at leisure through all the halls at York and not need to worry about any TCA issues. While seriously looking for some Marx for my good friend, golfing buddy, and TCA Vice-President Paul Wassermann ([email protected]), I was stunned to find on a table in the Purple Hall the Power unit of this Hudson Products Set. There sat a lone F-3 A unit. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that the man was also selling the rest of the set, BUT had no room on his table to display it. In all the years since I purchased the last of these sets manufactured I had never seen another one for sale.
Upon returning to the Silver Hall, whose paging microphones go to every building at the York Fairgrounds, I called for Bob Mintz. It was about 4:00 PM on Friday afternoon. Bob responded to the page; I told him of my find and where it was; to use one final cliché, “The rest,” as they say,” Is History.” Bob’s three-year search had ended with a successful catch. This is one “Big one” that didn’t get away!