It's A Rat Race

Sometimes people ask me what I do the other eleven months of the year in the train business. I usually reply that I go to Florida a lot, or bowl, golf, whatever! I guess the idea of trains any other time of the year is surprising to many people. Actually it is to me how busy we can be out of season. But now with the Internet, etc, I really don't think trains have a season.

Let's face it, my best season is when I have inventory. Thank goodness I usually have at least a handful of trains laying around for sale, so things are usually popping around here. Especially after a big train collection comes our way.

So far this year we have purchased several collections of which one was very big, and another was big and very high grade. That would be the Lionel post war collection that I purchased last weekend near Pittsburgh.

This is the highest grade collection that I have purchased in quite a while. You can find a bunch of this collection on this site if you browse or search through our inventory using the windows in the menu above. Or for more trains from this collection go to There will be many more appearing. Actually there would have been some tonight, but our Internet was not working earlier, so Debbie couldn't place auctions today. (3/19/01)

Of course the big collection was the collection in North Carolina that I purchase in January. I actually paid a little to much for it, but I really needed the inventory at the time, and I was there with an empty truck that I didn't particularly want to drive back home empty so I dug deep into my pockets on that one. Well actually I pay fair on each collection I buy, but this one wasn't graded correctly that I found at inspection and that fact put me in it much higher than I wanted to be since the owner wouldn't budge much.

Today I purchased another collection which won't show up on for a week or so because I'll be out of town.

And the kicker for collections is that I have an even larger collection than the North Carolina collection waiting to be picked up in late April. This is a confirmed deal.

My point again is that when I have inventory we are busy. And I am happy to say that I am so busy I don't know what to do right now.

And of course when you are particularly busy what happens? Everyone goes on vacation. Joyce is in Arizona. She told me she was going to be there looking for sugar Daddies or something like that. I guess her husband Bob said go for it, so that's what she's doing this week. Oh, she may visit with her daughter also.

Debbie is going to be in North Carolina this coming weekend. So that leaves Linda, Hank, and me. Ah, but wait a minute. My friend Gene called me up a couple of weeks ago and asked if I wanted to go on a golfing trip in Florida with him and two other friends. Well, you know me. It didn't take long for me to agree to that one! I'm out of here Wednesday. To many orders to deal with and things to do anyway. My dentist just told me that when it comes time to go on vacation just leave. Let the help deal with it. Good advise, thanks Tony. Now I don't feel so bad.

So I guess that is going to leave Linda and Hank up here in this snowy country all alone to deal with problems and things. So please be nice to them.

I would like to give my condolences to Hank Bodamer who lost his wife Doris last week. I remember going over to Hank's house for supper when I was a kid, and Doris was a wonderful person. And in earlier years Hank was actually my coach for little league baseball.

Last year we had a help wanted ad in the paper and I almost fell over when Hank called me up and applied for the job. Well, it has worked out great. Hank is a great guy who I enjoy very much being around. Wish his wife was still around, but that's life I guess.

So needless to say with Hank not around over the past couple of weeks it has been more or less a rat race around here. It seems that is the theme of this topic. But don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining. It is fantastic. Please make us busier. Especially since I'm not going to be here!!!

One more note on this recent collection I purchased. It seems another dealer who has a high presence on the Internet was involved and actually had the chance to buy the same collection. Before I actually processed the collection, which seems to be the case with most collections, I wasn't sure this would turn out well. Most of the time they do, but sometimes they don't. At any rate, now that I am done processing this one, I have to thank that other dealer for hesitating. Boy do I love it when my competition does that!

And on a sad note, you maybe well remember I had told you about another train collection that I looked at in December. It was the biggest Lionel post war collection I had ever inspected, but I never gave the guy an offer, and then more or less forgot about it. Well he's still trying to sell it. Evidently we are in the neighborhood of $100,000.00 apart between his asking price and my most recent offer price, which I finally did earlier this week. And we have a slight problem. I won't go up (because I'm not a non-profit organization), and he won't come down. Oh well, maybe someday he will come to the realization that his asking price is around $100,000.00 to high. Maybe not. But as much as I'd love to buy that collection one thing will always be true. There are many more collections out there, and I have to go with the ones that I can buy and actually make a profit!!! Profit is very important in business as I learned in grad school. (Good thing I went there.) But actually I'm a grad school drop out so what do I know!

Someone e-mailed me a couple of weeks ago and mentioned that they had seen my name in the Greenberg Pocket Guide and that is why they were contacting me. Well, out of curiosity I picked up the old handbook and there on page 15 was my name! Wow, I had no idea. I've had the book since August. Just shows how much reading I do. (I've already memorized it anyway.) At any rate, thank you very much Greenberg Publishing, aka Kalmbach Publishing. The plug is very much appreciated!!!

Oh well, I have to get busy polishing golf clubs and packing shorts and golf shoes and visors, and running shoes, and get ready to kick some butt on that golf course!!!! Whoopie!

If you have comments or feedback regarding this article or any subject having to do with electric trains, please feel free to visit our message boards, where you can discuss topics related to trains with other train enthusiasts.

 Back to Archives

Revised 03/19/01
For questions or comments, please email or call us at (814) 833-8313. Fax: (814) 838-3237
Train City, 3133 Zuck Road, Erie, Pa. 16506
All Rights Reserved