Credit Where it is Due… and Elvis.

There are only a few days to go on this trip now, I get home on the 21st and I’m about ready!  It’s been a successful trip, for the The Canadian, FP9 and a few other projects that are also in the works – more on that in a bit – but I’m still quite happy to be heading home to Christmas with the family. Which brings up a topic that Jason and I discuss often privately, but which rarely if ever gets discussed publically. I think that it’s time to change that, so let me step up onto my soapbox.

Ahem…

All of us in the model railroad industry are aware of the bevy of experts and historians who assist in every project and who are often credited in instruction sheets and on web sites. It is certainly true that without their support none of the models that we produce would happen. But, as I mentioned, all of us are aware of them (or should be). The people who should really get the bulk of the credit for supporting our projects, but rarely if ever get mentioned publically, are our families. 

Many of us probably know modelers whose wives are model railroad widows. These guys spend most of their free time in their basements (or other people’s basements!) rather than with their families. As fellow model railroaders we often take this for granted, almost as the norm. However, those of us who work in the industry are probably the most extreme examples of this behavior and we owe a lot to our “better halves” and our families. Consider that we spend all of our working week (which for me anyway is normally well on the other side of 40 hours) working with “little choo-choos”, then add in the often long business trips and numerous on-the-road shows that we attend as well. Now top it all with the fact that after work is done many of us disappear to work on our OWN layouts – it takes a special person to put up with all of this behavior and still support you.

Take, for example, Jason’s wife, Sidura. She’s a saint. Really. Here’s a Type A guy who works all week in his hobby business, is actively involved in many railroad-related groups, and then spends mornings and evenings with power tools in the basement building a super-detailed model of a VIA coach and gutting the rest to build his layout room. The layout construction has not even been begun yet! How DOES she put up with it? The only reason that he’s not on this trip with me is that Sidura is due, literally almost any day, with their third child. It’s a heck of an excuse! Still, I know that her support and that of his great kids, Boaz and Dalya, keeps him going in the stressful times and has been vital in keeping Rapido moving forward.

Behind every good man… Sidura with Boaz and Dalya. Of course, somehow there is a train involved in almost every Shron family photo…

My wife, Theresa, on the other hand has it relatively easy. To begin with, she knew well what she was getting into long before we even started dating so she really can’t (shouldn’t?) complain too loudly. Now that we have a home all that she has to do is put up with the long work hours, the trips away, the loss of our only guest room for my layout (one must have one’s priorities!)… and of the attic for my office… and of the garage for my old Mustang… Oh, and of course the switchstand in the driveway (doesn’t everybody have one?) My now teenage (help!) daughters, Kayleigh and Laura, have long ago given up on their dad being “normal” and I think eye the whole train thing with some amusement. However, they do seem to show an interest in what I do and they are REALLY good at making trees! I’m very lucky as well…

 Theresa (who on this occasion was… celebrating…? being married to me for 20 years), Kayleigh and Laura. Any snide comments about my being HO scale while the rest of my family is N scale will be ignored… Jason!

So as this trip comes to a close and with the holidays fast approaching, I just thought that it was time to set the record straight and give credit where it is due, and offer up a special thanks to our families for their continued love and support.

Also, if you haven’t already seen it, Boaz Shron has now even entered the Rapido art department, as witnessed by our great ad in the January issue of Railroad Model Craftsman magazine…

My job is in jeopardy!

Now on to train stuff…

I’m happy to report that the final tooling tweaks needed are now nearly complete on both The Canadian and FP9 projects. Production is now underway on many parts and components. There are a few features that we’re keeping to ourselves for now, but just WAIT until you see the packaging and some of the special inserts in the Canadian box! To all those that pre-ordered the locos and trains we thank you for your support and patience. Work also continues on several other projects that we’re involved in, most of which I can’t talk about… yet.

See. I told you that production had started! Oh, come on, we have to start somewhere! (Besides, big boxes of black plastic parts don’t phtograph as well!) That really rough appearing texture behind the shield is actually writing paper!

Speaking of things that we’re keeping to ourselves… You know, I love a good conspiracy theory as much as the next person, but you folks on the CanModelTrains Yahoo group really bowled me over last week!  (yes, I’m a lurker – hi all). As I was explaining to Elvis at dinner the other night, as part of my last blog I posted a snap shot of the rather cluttered top of the desk here in the factory office. On that desk were a bunch of samples that relate to the various projects that I am working on while I’m here. Well, some of you apparently zoomed WAY in on that image to see what might be there, and then came up with some great explanations of what you were (or at least, thought you were) seeing.

Now, there could be all sorts of explanations for pretty much anything in that photo, but you apparently all have your opinions. Well, I will neither confirm nor deny any speculation on what is (or might be) there. You’ll just have to wait for official announcements. But please, keep the speculation going. It’s VERY amusing! Besides, there have actually been some interesting project ideas popping up! Thank you very much….

Now, for those who really feel the need to know, here’s what was on that desk last night!

Finally, if I don’t get a chance to post again before the holidays, all of us at Rapido want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, happy holidays and a safe and prosperous New Year!

Bill