Author Topic: Author visits the Kingsbury Branch  (Read 1381 times)

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skytop35

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Author visits the Kingsbury Branch
« on: July 09, 2007, 01:15:42 AM »
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Those of you familiar with my Kingsbury Branch model railroad (http://members.aol.com/wdenton101/index.htm), may or may not know that it was inspired and based on an article in the April 1975 Model Railroader. The article was written by Randall M. Willis and documented the Milwaukee Road Chicago and Evanston line roughly between Hobbie St and Grand Ave. The line ran along Kingsbury Street much of the way, hence the name. I often pondered, after building Kingsbury, what the author would think of my model railroad. Friends occaisonally asked if I ever heard from the author. I would say no and wonder where he was or even if he was still alive.

Image my surprise when in May of 2005 I received an e-mail from none other than Kingsbury author Randy Willis himself. Randy explained that he moved from Chicago and had been out of the hobby for about 20 years when his interest was rekindled. He began surfing the Internet to see what was available and generally what was out there. The surprise was on him when he eventually stumbled across my website. He could hardly believe his eyes as he gazed at a complete model railroad built from the very article he had written some 30 years ago.

Several e-mails were exchanged between us over the next two years as we got to know one another and tried to arrange a visit. Randy and his wife Kathleen were finally able to make the trip to the Chicago suburbs on July 1,2007. I was excited as we headed down the basement steps. The Kingsbury branch had come full circle. I think Randy was impressed!



That's Randy on the left and me on the right
Bill Denton

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tom mann

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Re: Author visits the Kingsbury Branch
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2007, 06:17:08 AM »
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Neat, but are you sure that's not his son? :)  I would have guessed that he would be 60-70 years old. 

But more importantly...how many unpublished photos does he have. ;)

Chris333

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Re: Author visits the Kingsbury Branch
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2007, 06:27:59 AM »
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Tom,
Do you have the original article?...  If not let me know I'll send it to you ;)

tom mann

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Re: Author visits the Kingsbury Branch
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2007, 06:33:39 AM »
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Tom,
Do you have the original article?...  If not let me know I'll send it to you ;)

Yep, thanks though.  I actually bought the issue (April '75) from Kalmbach.  I was surprised when it arrived in pristine condition, almost like it was printed a week before.

skytop35

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Re: Author visits the Kingsbury Branch
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2007, 10:14:32 AM »
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Neat, but are you sure that's not his son? :)  I would have guessed that he would be 60-70 years old. 

But more importantly...how many unpublished photos does he have. ;)

Randy was a young man working for Montgomery Ward when he wrote the article. He stays fit by doing ballroom dancing with his wife. I asked but he doesn't have any more photos. You might be interested to know he wrote another article for MR about Mayfair Crossing in Chicago. The multi-tracked mainlines of the Milwaukee and C&NW crossed at Mayfair. I remember that article but need to dig it up to reread it.
Bill Denton

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