What Long-Time Contributor Mike Stella Has to Say…
I know there are lots of stories waiting to be shared. This is mine.
Over the four-plus decades that I have been a “born again” Lionel collector and operator of “Lionel Lines” (The Largest Lionel Railroad on my block), I have penned many a tale for magazines and seven different club publications.
I write because I like to write. I like to share what forty years of collecting has taught me. I like to talk about the friends I’ve made a few of the real characters (nicest thing I can say in print) I’ve met. I do not hide the silly mistakes I’ve made and like to share a laugh or two, especially when it is on me.
I’ve tried to get a few members to write about their interests and even have had a few do it. Nobody knows everything (except me), and I like to read about new things and learn things I never knew before.
Way too many toy train collectors and operators think they have nothing of interest to tell. How wrong they are!
Back in 1974, while attending my first “big” train meet in the San Francisco area, I met a young man who told me he only collected Lionel that had the NYC road name. He then asked if I knew that there were 162 different NYC gondolas? I’m still looking! I only recently added a #3461 operating log car with RUBBER STAMPING to my collection, and there are a few only things I keep an eye out for.
“My Favorite Character” always makes interesting reading. Vacations to ride real steam presented with lots of pictures are great. Did you know that I once rented a GE Steeplecab in Yakima, Washington, and then took it over the entire line? You probably have similar stories!
I look forward to the upcoming issues of e*Train being filled with new writers and terrific stories. I may even send in one or 100.