Red Star Railway's Comments

13 January 2020

Dear Friends,

Just for a change of pace(?) from reporting the aftermath of my wife's death, I now need to report a disaster pertaining to the models I build. First, a little bit of necessary background.

Because I had a stroke some years ago -- and not wishing to kill off any more brain cells! -- I stopped painting my models indoors, opting instead to paint them outside when the weather is warm enough and the humidity is low. Obviously, this rules out doing much painting in the colder months here in Delaware; also, during these months, the humidity is almost always sky-high.

However, production practically ceased in 2019 due to my wife's declining medical condition, and moving to a new flat. When she passed away, I tried to jump-start production by doing the (for me) unthinkable and painting indoors. Problem! Almost immediately, two of my new neighbors -- this IS a 55+ community, after all, and there's always someone who's ready to be a pain in the ass -- went ballistic. I have no desire to get evicted, so I looked for an alternative.

Enter my friend Mike from Baltimore. Mike is a very capable model painter, and he had a well-equipped work space in one wing of his house. He very kindly offered to paint the models for me, only accepting money to pay for cost of paint. So my models -- one 3TE10U, one 2TE10U, 19 passenger cars and 17 HO open wagons -- went to Baltimore.

Note that I said Mike HAD a well-equipped workshop. That's because last Friday night, a fire broke out in Mike's house. When the smoke cleared (literally), one section of his house was badly damaged. His workshop was in that section.

Bye-bye, models.

The only good thing is, only the body shells were there. All the mechanisms, underframes, bogies etc. remained here, so I hope that gives me a leg up on rebuilding the models. Still, the body shells are the most time-intensive part of the job. I'll do my best.

Date: 24 November 2019

Subject: Thank You

Dear Friends,

To all of you who have contacted me, via what ever means, to express your condolences, sympathies, and support since the passing of my late wife LaDon: thank you. Your expressions have been a powerful source of strength and consolation for me, and I am deeply grateful.

So what comes now? I am rapidly learning in wrenchingly personal terms that what comes next is and for a long time will be the hardest part of all: simply stated, living.

Taking care of the daily details. Doing what has to be done every day. Keeping up the brand-new (literally) apartment we too briefly shared until LaDon's passing. Maintaining The Beast (our 2014 KIA Soul). Even stupid little things like taking out the trash. And, of course, caring for Mimi our Boston Terrier, who also misses Mama terribly. It's just the two of us now until this journey ends, after all. We shall take that journey together. And we shall take joy in it together, we did with LaDon.

Again, thank you all.

Chris White