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Reconnecting with a childhood hobby
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I've had a lot of distractions from doing the hobby in the last few months, not the least of which is finding my birth parents (I'm adopted).
I've also been enjoying some of the hobby by being on the road shooting layout tours -- I've just not been working on my own layout much.
FINDING MY BIRTH FAMILY
The whole thing started last October when my two kids approached me and pleaded with me to consent to finally finding my birth mother. I was told I was adopted from my very earliest memories and I always felt that made me special. I would tell the other kids at school -- hah, they *had* to take you, but I was picked!
At age 18, my adopted mom gave me my adoption papers, and they had my birth mom's name, age, and signature. But to me my family consisted of those who raised me, not some name on a piece of paper. I also learned no one knew much about my father other than he was in the air force.
Anyhow, last October with the help of an expert friend of my daughters who knows how to research family history, in three days we had located my birth mother, now 85 and living in Michigan. I got her phone number and talked to her on the phone -- was that ever a kick!
Knowing also that I have been wanting to do a layout tour story on Bruce Chubb's layout in Grand Rapids, Michigan, I had the perfect opportunity to visit Michigan and combine business with visiting my birth mom.
Discussions with Bruce Chubb helped me set the date for the trip: May of 2019. So last week, I went on the road to visit Bruce Chubb's extensive Sunset Valley, document his model railroading museum project, and also shoot Andy Keeney's and Bob Truax's layouts.
THE MICHIGAN LAYOUT SHOOT
The first 5 days in Michigan consisted of shooting layouts, first Andy Keeney's, then Bob Truax, and finally 3 days at Chubb's. For Bruce, we captured a layout tour, an op session, and documented his model railroading museum project -- so we expect to get three video segments for Bruce.
Here I am at Bob Truax's scenic GN layout ...
Next, my mom at her age 50 birthday party. My mom was 5-11" during her prime, and she's the tallest one with the corsage in this pic:
And finally, now at age 85, hunched over, and probably now 5-7" compared to my 6'-3" ...
I also got a long overdue hug and kiss from her!
All in all, a very memorable week. I've only scratched the surface on the whole birth family revelations saga, and needless to say I've been very distracted since last October, and have done zilch on the Siskiyou Line.
But I think I've got a pretty good excuse!
This article first appeared on model-railroad-hobbyist.com
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