That's a name that came to mind when I received a book order from Texas. The email address of the customer caught my eye. It included the reporting marks of a certain, well-known, Winnipeg-based torpedo-tube equipped Geep - a Front Range GP-9 that Craig Thomasson did back in the early 90's, and he has a small layout for it.
Craig comments, "I've been wanting your books since they came out. When I stumbled across your pages about Portage, it brought back memories. I grew up in Beaver, went to school in MacGregor, and my grandparents had a house on the main street in Austin (front row seat for the CP parade!). My best friend's dad was the elevator agent at Beaver, then transferred to Rignold, and finally ended up as the last agent for the UGG Portage B elevator on 8th St. before it closed. I used to visit him for a weekend and we'd spend all day riding our bikes everywhere between West Tower and East Tower. I sometimes wonder if we're in one of your photos! My mom was an accountant for McAllister Pea and Seed Cleaners for a few years, but was too young to remember much about the plant other than it was an interesting complex. Looking back, I wish I'd had a camera back then!"
Books are on the way, Craig! Thanks for your order.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! It appears that several book customers got Christmas money in their stocking and decided to add to their libraries. Thank you!
I know it was (and still is) nice to receive a little cash to have on hand (mad money!) for a special purchase now and then. I trust these 2019 readers will have lots of trackside reading pleasure arriving in the mail soon!
Sales to all parts of Canada and the U.S. are great, but a mountaintop experience happened this week when a customer in Switzerland ordered copies of both volumes of Trains & Grains plus all four of my books on VIA Rail.
I call that a Swiss Six-Pack and special thanks to Alessandro!
No, not 50 mission cap! This hip map shows the delivery missions for distribution of Trains & Grains copies sold so far. Several provinces are not represented. One territory represented! Also, seven copies to the US (not shown).
As you might expect, Manitoba and Alberta are strong. But Ontario stronger sales than Saskatchewan? Guess so.
I was encouraged to receive the following email from Randy O'Brien, someone who is actually modelling Portage la Prairie! Randy wrote the foreword for Volume 1. But he hadn't seen the book in its final format. Contributor complimentary copy now in hand, here's his post:
" As a Portage modeller I cannot begin to express my thanks for you publishing the 2 volume set of Trains & Grains. In almost every photo of “Portage proper” there is some small gem of information lurking in the background. In veritably a gold mine for a “Portage” modeller such as myself. A real treasure book in every sense of the word ! A true “Trackside Treasure” for sure! As I am a family-oriented person, I was touched that your uncle was able to see your “scribbler scratchings” come to life, after all this time! Kudos on a job well done! I loved the layout of the books; your “graphics guy” should be congratulated for doing a bang up job!"
Thanks to Randy for input and feedback received. Randy is also inspired by Dominion Day and sent this greeting of goodwill between our two HO scale transportation systems:
Happy Canada Day to all those who have supported me and continue to do so. It's great to see efforts rewarded and appreciated. Both ways.
It was great to see the above photo by Steve Boyko tonight. Even better that the photo, taken at La Salle, MB, accompanied the first review of my two-volume Trains & Grains project! Or as Steve puts it, "I love both trains and grain elevators, so it almost felt like these books were written for me...or at least people like me." And that's exactly what I hoped to hear while creating these books.
Steve summarizes succinctly: "Both of these books are well worth purchasing by anyone interested in Canadian railway history or Canadian grain elevators."