It was a Saturday night and the local railroad museum was having a fish-fry fund-raiser to help finance their new building project. It was the second one that we attended this spring and the first time sure was good so, why not? Besides, it was "all you can eat," which has a certain attraction to me anyway. We loaded up and headed that way.
In the lobby, there were three tables set up full of old railroad magazines. Most of them were mags that I had already read or had no real interest in but there was this certain stack of NMRA Bulletins that caught my eye. The NMRA is the National Model Railroader Association and is a membership group of fellow modelers that have helped the interests of model railroaders over the years. In the past, the NMRA has been very instrumental in setting standards for everything from track gauge to coupler types, from track spacing recommendations to DCC standards. While I've never joined because of their lack of a local group, the NMRA has done more than its fair share to make the hobby as enjoyable as it is today.
Every month, the NMRA puts out their magazine, The Bulletin, which has a variety of association and model railroad news in it. You will find info about upcoming NMRA events, their national convention, model railroad stories, cartoons... tons of model railroad "stuff" for the interested model railroader.
There was this large stack of NMRA Bulletins that I was thumbing through when one of the museum associates mentioned that they were 50¢ each... OR... a box full for $5! Really??!? Well... that certainly changed the playing field so I asked for a box and the lady gave me this huge box pictured above. I could easily get all of the Bulleitins in it; I probably got about 120 or more of the things! And all for $5; what a deal! I did feel bad about the whole thing and tossed in an extra $5 since it was also part of their fund raiser. So I lugged the box to the car and over the course of the next few months, I'll have a lot of reading to do. In just glancing at a few of them, I've already found articles about scratchbuilding, layout design and some neat track-work tips. Then there is Thumbs. Thumbs is the cartoon section of the Bulletin that has some pretty good ones in it as well.
Don't be surprised if you see some of the content show up here in future posts. Maybe I'll have a post or two dedicated to some of the pieces in Thumbs. That would be a blast and show that model railroading is indeed... FUN!