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Re: [Z_Scale] Re: What in God's Good Name are you guys doing out there in the hea...

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  • David George
    I m catching up here from a two week trip to Switzerland ( Glacier Express- Bernina Express - Gonergrat Express - Golden Pass Line/ Montreaux to Luzerne-
    Message 1 of 24 , May 21, 2008
      I'm catching up here from a two week trip to Switzerland ( Glacier Express- Bernina Express - Gonergrat Express - Golden Pass Line/ Montreaux to Luzerne- Stasserhorn Funicular- etc.) and must say that Tristan started with me when he was 3 years old. He could use the railing ramp very well at 4 yrs and began setting up trainsets for train shows at 6 years old. A lot of background scenic under coat painting ( rocks/water/fields ) was done by him. He has been setting up most all rolling stock and operates any and all of the 8 trainsets going during a show since he was 9 years old.
      Damage has been minimal,,,,,joy on his face, doing this stuff, is incalculable.
      Mister Dave
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Don A
      To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Wednesday, May 14, 2008 8:58 AM
      Subject: [Z_Scale] Re: What in God's Good Name are you guys doing out there in the hea...

      I think you might have a pretty sharp disagreement with Dave George
      [aka Mr Dave] and the age of kids who are interested in Z. One of
      Dave's neighbor kids knows as much about model trains as many of us,
      and probably more. Dave has spent a lot of time with this boy and
      got him into trains and Z when the neighbor was pretty young - I would
      guess no more than 6 or 7, if that old. Many of you met him at the
      Detroit NTS show last year. His photo is in Dave's Blog. After a
      couple of weeks on the road [to-at-from] the train show he got a
      little homesick and missed his friends, after all he was only about 10
      or 11 last year. But he sure did have a lot of interest AND KNOWLEDGE
      about Z.


      --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Mark Edwards" <mrex@...> wrote:
      > Wow,
      > I must be a loose cannon. You all do realize I was joking in that
      > first post?
      > But I just read this thread, and I feel I should contribute some points.
      > Give a kid a train set, even if you don't have time for one yourself.
      > Its a great toy, and even if your child destroys it while playing
      > with it, it will pay off in whatever experiences they have with it.
      > As a Software Engineer, I guarantee they will learn more about the
      > real world and how things work than if they are just playing some
      > stupid computer game like "GTA Version 217, Milan The Destruction
      > Continues!" or "Barbie's Dream Dressup Malibu Vacation."
      > My Little Pony and the other toys I see on TV are just inanimate
      > pieces of plastic and metal. Toy Trains are a clear step above, they
      > require a higher level of understanding, patience and dedication, and
      > they pay off in the expectations that your kid has, the rewards they
      > get when the expectations are achieved, and their willingness to do
      > some work to make them happen.
      > Some may say Z Gauge is definitely too small for most kids, but you
      > never know, and I think you can't go wrong regardless of the gauge you
      > get them. It will change their lives, and yours.
      > My Dad had no clue about toy trains, but my *Mom* did (god bless
      > her!), and when I was 9 they had to figure out what to get me. I
      > think my Dad also thought I would run it around the circle, and then
      > get bored, he thought it was a waste of money and time. But she
      > argued in my behalf, and I got a train set.
      > Take a look here to see how bored I was:
      > http://users.rcn.com/mrex/nakedmarklin/index.html
      > I learned basic electronics, fine hand work, the value of good tools,
      > basic mechanics, and basic programming of mechanical systems via
      > relays with this stuff. I also ended up bringing my family together
      > around my trains, it kind of sucked us all in!
      > My Dad wasn't into sharing or building layouts with me (he was a
      > Concert Pianist, Composer and Vocal Coach totally devoted to the
      > arts), but he got a kick out of it when I had it working on the floor
      > in front of his piano.
      > And Mom (also a Musician and Vocal Coach) loved it, it just tickled
      > her farm girl Indiana roots. It paid off later too when all of a
      > sudden I could fix fans, vacuum cleaners and wire our telephones.
      > When I finally had our two engines running automatically around the
      > layout, using our one signal and some contact track, it became a show
      > piece for everyone.
      > My parents taught music from our home, and we had 16 students (8
      > 1-hour lessons for Mom and Dad each) coming in every day back in the
      > 70s. They all just loved my train set. These were working Broadway
      > Actors, staring in shows and musicals. Seeing a toy trainset running
      > automatically like clockwork was a real escape for a lot of them.
      > Somehow it really brought all of us, my family, and the students,
      > together.
      > Now here's a real story for you:
      > If you've ever seen the movie Taxi Driver, you may remember the scene
      > where Robert De Niro is at a political rally in Columbus Circle here
      > in Manhattan. He ends up talking with a *big*, white Secret Service
      > Agent in a blue suit wearing mirror sunglasses.
      > The actor playing the agent was my Mom's student Bill Hicks. He loved
      > my trains so much he used to show up early for class so he could play
      > with them. He would sneak in to the studio where the layout was and
      > start running them.
      > I came home from school one day and he actually *confessed and
      > apologized to me* (I was 11 at the time) for running them without
      > asking me first. Since I had already trained him on how they worked,
      > I said "Bill, its okay, have fun!"
      > Imagine your 11 year old son, all of 5 feet tall, getting a confession
      > from a giant 7 foot tall "Arnold Schwarzenegger" kinda guy, because he
      > feels guilty playing with your son's train set?
      > You just can't get this kind of stuff from Tickle Me Elmo.
      > I say recommend toy trains, and gauge be damned. If the family wants
      > Z, sell them some and let them deal with it. It might just deal with
      > them, and you've done a *good thing*.
      > Signed,
      > Here, Kitty Kitty!

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