Yesterday in the Shiloh neighborhood of Asheville I inspected another unique house. The owner, as you can see from the pics, had a thing for trains.
Imagine how all this looked in it's full glory? Dioramas were built at the front and back yards and on custom soffits in all of the living areas inside the house.
When I was a kid my Great Uncle Chuck built a similar train world up in his attic. He'd get in full uniform and would drive that train with as much seriousness as any real conductor-- more smoke billowing out of his tobacco pipe than his model train engine. As a kid this was pure magic.
I wonder how many children's lives this guy affected with his creations? Those children are probably adults now like me. And how many of them are going to carry on this tradition? Speaking for myself it's tempting.
How calming it must be to check into a miniature world of order where the train only goes forwards or backwards and the Ticket Inspector is always smiling at the station. We are in political turmoil right now but imagine what was going on during their time? Vietnam, Cold War, Gas shortage, Nuclear Arms race... When news from the world got crazy they probably just turned on the ballgame, fired up the wood stove and started painting a new tree for the meadow. Train dioramas are like the Western version of the Japanese Bonsai tradition- it's Zen, and I completely respect it.
Realistically i will probably never have the patience and discipline for this kind of work but it was nice to inhabit this space yesterday even if just briefly.