It’s A Guy Thing!

Jul 21, 2013 | 2 comments

At Clamshell Railroad DaysEven though I’m no expert – or even much of an aficionado – the display of model trains at Clamshell Railroad Days seemed pretty impressive to me.  Until yesterday I hadn’t been to the exhibit for several years and I was amazed at the new, improved set-ups and how professional everything looked.

This time, too, I had something to compare with since Nyel and I had gone to the Model Train Festival at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma last winter.  That show draws model trainmen from all over the state and is HUGE.  The local show is, of course, much smaller but otherwise I thought it stood up pretty well.

North Beach Peninsula IR&N_Plus, the fun part of Clamshell Railroad Days is that we know many of the exhibitors.  In fact. “I even were one” sitting at a little table signing copies of The North Beach Peninsula’s IR&N which are for sale at the museum’s gift shop.

As one would expect, there were more men than women among the exhibitors, though there were mostly women in “supporting roles” selling tickets in the lobby and preparing food in the kitchen,, for instance..  All those expressions like “it’s a guy thing” and “boys and their toys” and even “men and their models” came to mind – though that last one has a vaguely Playboy Magazine connotation.

Although the model trains take center stage in the big exhibit room, it is the historic narrow gauge railroad that is really the star of Clamshell Railroad Days.  Attendees are invited to “take a ride” on the creaky old train with the Shoalwater Storytellers and Harry Bell gives his informative power point program about the rail line which gives a clear idea of ‘then’ and ‘now’ along the route.  Plus, there’s a bus tour which yesterday featured a stop at Station Camp and a talk by Bill Garvin – a descendent of P,J. McGowan whose company town was the location of the McGowan train stop.

Unhappily, we had to miss most of those IR&N ‘extras.’  After my book-signing duties were over, we hit the road – off to Forest Grove, Oregon for the Coucours d’Elegance – a classic car show on the grounds of Pacific University.  This year (the 41st Annual) featuring 50 years of the Porsche 911 and 60 years of the Chevrolet Corvette.

Whoo Hoo!!  Another guy thing in honor of Nyel’s 70th which is coming right up!  Someone said they often have cars for sale there…  Oh my.


  1. Linda J

    That’s a great photo of the “trainmen.”

  2. Stephanie Frieze

    Trains and automobiles. You need to go see the Spruce Goose at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in McMinnville while you’re down that way and you’ll have the trifecta!


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