So today I click over to the web site of Wm. K. Walthers, Inc., probably the world's premier manufacturer and distributer of model train products, only to see this:
Bruce J. Walthers
Bruce's father (William K) formed the company during the Depression to have a job and to give others access to products that just weren't available (most places) locally. Bruce took over from his father in the late 50's and passed the reins to his son (Phillip) in the mid-80's. The William K Walthers company has acted as a nation-wide and international distributer for many operations that are little more than a garage shop. ... And they have been doing this since long before the Internet.
You know how excited children get when the Christmas Toy catalogs come out? Something similar occurs each Fall when Walthers publishes their HO and N&Z Reference Books.
It is something to see the expansion of products that has occurred in the last 18 years. When I returned to modeling after the birth of my son, I found little had changed since my youth. Atlas and Life-Like still produced the same structures and Campbell had their craftsman wood structures that one had to build in miniature using the same methods as used on full size buildings. Now there is an amazing wealth of materials to work with, from detailed plastic models of all devise to elements of your favorite (now fallen flag) railroad.
We will miss you Bruce and all that you have done for the NMRA and modellers everywhere.