Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Gary Pfeil, Oct 3, 2005.

  1. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    I hope you will forgive this rather self indulgent thread, I was just looking thru the October issue of Railroad Model Craftsmen when I saw an ad from LifeLike for cartoon character boxcars. My first thought was how lame, but then I realized the cartoons offered were all very familiar, they were all ones by King Features. Then I saw in the ad that they were indeed King Features characters. My father worked for King Features. While I can't say just exactly what his responsibilities were, as we never spoke of it, he did bring me to work with him when I was about age 8, when my mother was in the hospital and no one was available to watch me. I remember most the large vat of molten lead, used to prepare the reverse image for printing the cartoons. His job was to get in early, around 5 I guess, and light the flame used to melt the lead. He maintained the equipment there. I thought it was really neat. He used to pour molten lead into forms he got for soldiers and give them to me. I don't have any, I wish I did. Around age 13 I gave them to younger kids, who really appreciated them, so I don't feel too bad now, although I wish I had kept one. He also used to bring home comics before they appeared in the papers. Prince Valient was my favorite. Thinking of my Dad brought a tear to my eye and I am considering actually buying the four car set. It doesn't look very good so doesn't even make a nice display, I sure don't want to run them! But I thought I could leave them to my son, now 25. He would care less now, as I did about the lead soldiers. But he may cherish them 30 years from now. I don't know, what do you think? He met my father just once, tho he can't remember as he was an infant. I went to Florida, where my Mom and Dad moved for health reasons, shortly after he was born. I remember him commenting " I never changed you" when he saw me change his diaper. I thought "gee, thanks!" But things were different then. On a side note, when I went to visit him in a VA hospital just before his death, a male nurse came in and asked him if he would like to be changed, as he had made a mess. He replied, very sarcastically, "no, I like it". Unfotunately, I remember him as a bitter, sarcastic man. Now I'm sorry he couldn't have been happier.

    Unfortunately, I have little to remember him by. He had had a minor stroke and divorced my Mom, remarried. There were two items I had hoped to keep of his, I never saw either again. His sister had married Jimmy Green, pen name Ward Green. He wrote novels among other things. He wrote Death in the Deep South, the only title I remember now tho it shouldn't be hard to search for others. The biggie tho was Lady and the Tramp, which he sold to Disney and of course became an animated classic. We had (the family had) a copy of Lady and the Tramp signed by Walt Disney, and also a, I don't know the proper term, a layered photo of Thumper, where the blades of grass and the rabbit and such were seperate layers of acetate, also signed by Disney. My dad's new wife got these when he passed and I never heard from her again.

    All this passed thru my mind in much less time than it has taken to type it! As I went I thought this is silly but I've decided to share it anyway. You never know what might trip strong memories!

  2. Sir_Prize

    Sir_Prize Member

    Often all we have are the memories...
    I once heard that memories are the true means of immortality...
    for each time you think of that person, in those moments they live again.

    Thank you for sharing yours.
  3. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Wow Gary, that is a pretty intense story. It seems to start off like the normal "good old days" trip down memory lane, but takes a bit of a detour into harsh reality, doesn't it?

    I wonder if, as you say the cars are not that great, it wouldn't be a better tribute to your dad, and his work, and your times at the shop with him, to create a building for your city where all this stuff got done. Maybe the fictional offices of a very fledgling King Features Syndicate..... ?

    I can see the sign "All Lead Deliveries to Rear of Building", and the little kid's bike parked out front.

    Thanks for the very interesting story. It sure would be cool to have those mylars now.

  4. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    What are memories if you can't share them with friends? These are all we have left of the past and cannot change them regardless of how much we would like to. We have no knowledge about future events as well, so all we have is the present and memories of the past. I'm glad you shared some of yours with us...
  5. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Neat story, Gary - Thanks for sharing... Who knows - once you see the cars - you might like them, if only for the memories they conjour... :)
  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Gary: the acetate of Thumper is called a "cel" (from celluloid, I think). Sorry to tell you, they are extremely collectible. Disney sells them for hundreds of dollars, and think a lot of them are copies, not originals.
  7. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Thanks folks. A few days reflection made me decide not to buy the cars, but the ad did trigger some strong memories, which I liked. David, about 25 years ago, maybe 30, my parents brought the picture to Disney World for appraisel. They offered $1000 for it! This was an original, and signed by Walt to boot. My attraction to it wasn't for its value tho, it hung in my childhood bedroom and meant a lot to me. I hadn't thought of it for many years. I guess I'm getting old enough now that memories are playing a bigger part in my life. Damn. Oh well, it beats the alternative!

  8. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    I know what you mean Gary. They say that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That's been happening to me for the last ten years. I'm not quite sure what that means. :confused: :eek: :D :D

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