Tuesday, April 03, 2007


There's always something new to learn. Maybe I just forget more than I remember.

I received back issues of model railroad magazines the other week. Lots of them. Some of them go back into the early 1940's. I'm slowly grazing through them. Some of them smell a bit. I go through those a bit faster.

Reading some of the issues that were published during WWII I find a few things of interest. THey speak volumes about the mindset of the country. Some of the advertisers publish ads not about new products to buy but about their employees who've gone off to war. They seem to say, "See we're willing to make a sacrifice and we're proud of our employees."

Some of the railroad clubs make a point of inviting servicemen who might be visiting the area to stop by. Some of the manufacturers point blank say, we've converted all of our production and expertise over to the war effort. See you after the war. Some of the ads talk about shortages of items as raw material is diverted.

Heck, they even have plans of things like tanks that folks can build.

So the next time you see some polityician today talking about our current war, wonder what the real sacrifices are that we're willing to make. Not only can I get all of the track I could ever want but I can drive a gas guzzling SUV to the North Pole to get it. Employees aren't getting drafted and signing up for service in droves. Nope. I don't think we really are in a war.

Another thing I notice is the articles about making stuff. Sure many of the articles are really crude by today's standards but they're making things like motors. Now I made an electric motor back in elementary school from a kit but that's just because I wanted to. I can tell you my boys never made an electric motor and I doubt they ever considered it. Model railroaders making motors, today? Right, and it's snowing in hell too.

Times have changed. Values have changed. Perceptions have changed. It's interesting to peek into the past. Glad I'm not living back then. Damn glad.