View single post by Keith Pashina
 Posted: Wed Apr 1st, 2015 06:10 am
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Keith Pashina

 

Joined: Sun Nov 4th, 2012
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Posts: 750
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MY TRAVELS WITH WOODIE, by W.C. Greene, D. Ericson, and Herb Kephart is one of those books than are just hard to categorize, but a fun read. This book recounts the model railroad and railfan adventures on several trips made by the intrepid trio of authors. Greene and Ericson were (and maybe still are) CIA field agents, and their activities brought them to several corners of the world. Kephart, a retired billionaire, tagged along and took the photos.

At $39.95 a copy, the book is a real bargain with several stories and photos not found anywhere else.  For example, Ericson’s recounting of an operating session on the Vatican’s O scale Schweizerische Nationalbahn, SNB (or Swiss National Railroad) was fascinating to see and learn about, and Ericson’s recounting of Bishop Bartolomé de las Casas’ attempts at dispatching the multiple passenger trains and the hilarity that ensued kept me up reading all night.  Other surprises abound, for example, very few people knew that Kim Jong-il was a model railroader? Yet, the book has a whole chapter describing the large C scale (C scale being North Korea’s designation for Communist scale, what we in the West call OO scale) Santa Fe-themed 4,000 square foot layout, with excellent photos by Kephart. There are bittersweet moments in the book, too. Although it was a joy to see photos and the authors’ descriptions of the three original 1880s South Park Mason Bogies that are temporarily stored at Area 51 in Nevada, it was sad to hear that the lack of space in the Smithsonian has prevented them from being put on public display.

Well, as you can tell, I am enthused by this book, and recommend you all get your own copy!

Keith

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