Great Lakes and Northern Railroad

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Museum, Crew's Lounge, Dispatch Center and Gallery

Posted on July 26, 2014 by Andy MacVie

 Ya know going to a National Model Railroad Association Convention can be very invigorating. You get to see old friends, learn all kinds of new things, meet manufacturers, see great layouts and meet new friends. One of the people I looked forward to seeing again was Larry Fisher. Larry is an artist who paints some great looking train pictures. I met Larry a few years ago and started to purchase his work. Bob Barrett and I purchased some of Larry’s work, I think at a Springfield show. On my visited this time, I purchased a coffee table limited edition book of all of his current works; it will look great in the “Crew Lounge." So let me tell you about the “Crew Lounge," The Museum, The Dispatch Center, The Gallery, and Larry Fisher.
The Museum: When you come down the stair from the house into the basement you first enter a 12’ by 12’ L shaped 15’ by 30’ room.The 12’ by 12’ is to the left and the 15’ by 30’ is to the right. The 12’ by 12’ room I call the Museum because it houses all of my real railroad memorable. I have a Pullman step box given to me by my good friend Father Paul Seil. (Father Paul is the cooking Priest. He has a television show called “Our Daily Bread” which airs in all eight counties of Western New York and Southern Ontario, Boston, Mass, Fresno California and Texas. I have so much fun with him and I eat well at the same time.) I also have an original 1897 New York State Rand McNally map, showing all of the railroads in the state at that time. It was given to me by my friends Brian and Donna Kusmierski. Believe it or not they found it on a trip to Hawaii and had it shipped back for me.

My son AJ found a Rutland RR section phone for me on one of his outings in New Hampshire. I also have a Conductor’s hat that my friend and traveling companion Bob Barrett gave me, as well as the coat buttons that would go on a Conductor’s coat. The oiling can was given to me by my friend Tom McQuillen; it has been in his family for years. Not all things have been given to me, but they are my favorites, because people have entrusted some of their family treasures to me. I have purchased some items that I found at different shows that I have been to. I also earned one. I did an electronic project for Conrail a number of years ago. I not only was the project manager, I was also the electronic programmer for the project. So they issue me a hard hat with my name on it and the title of R2D2 on it. There are other things in the museum as a car mover, a message hoop, a potbelly stove, a number board from an old diesel engine, a number of signs including an old union sign and finally a token stand taken from an old street car just to name a few. So to me this is really a museum. The Gallery: OK, so that was the museum, let me tell you about the “Crews Lounge," puzzle area, Dispatch Center, and the Gallery. The “Crew’s Lounge” is an area of the Gallery where the television is locate, surrounded by two couches and a coffee table where I can place display types of books. (Larry's Book)

To complete the “Crew’s Lounge” there are two end tables with lamps that I made out of two Conrail lanterns that were given to me. The puzzle area is a high pub table that is free standing with no chairs. You walk up and start putting the puzzle together if you are so inclined. The dispatch center is an area where if I decide to put in a CTC system for my railroad it will be located there. It will not interfere with any of the artwork on the walls.

The Gallery: The room originally was used as a radio museum by a man who built the house. His father was George “Hound Dog” Lorenz the famous radio Rock and Roll Disk Jockey from Buffalo, NY. This made it easy to convert to an art gallery type of room, I just had to add more lights and the gallery was born.

I started with some of my old prints and then gradual started to add better quality artwork. With the quality of Larry’s work, the room began to take on that air of a real art gallery. So, I just kept adding Larry’s works. I have five of his prints now and each one really draws people to them. I also have an O Winston Link print which I enjoy as well. Because of these two artists I consider the gallery area a true “Art Gallery” be it a small one. Here are some more pictures of the gallery and the museum. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.