Mentor Texts

Here’s a great post from Mike Cougill. It’s called Mentor Texts, and as Mike writes, these are “works that you return to time after time because of the influence they have had on your life”. In this case, Mike’s looking at publications (books and articles) that have influenced his approach to our hobby.

I’ve added some of my mentor texts to the comments section of Mike’s blog. Rather than post here, I encourage you to read Mike’s blog entry and add your mentor texts there. That way, we’ll have them all in the same place. I’m always interested in learning about new sources of inspiration – so be sure to explain why and how these texts have influenced your hobby. I look forward to the list that we develop.

(Thanks, Mike, for starting this conversation!)

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9 thoughts on “Mentor Texts

  1. And since I’m in a philosophical frame of mind today, I’d also like to point you at a post I made recently on my Layout Design blog – a shout-out to a posting by Lance Mindheim on his blog.

    Talk about links within links within links! But enjoy if you visit…

  2. Some mentors were writers, others were talkers.
    In addition to those mentioned, the compilation of Frank Ellison articles published by Argosy in the mid 1950s – I almost had it on permanent loan from the library in 1957/58 until I found one in a used book store. Heady stuff for a 10 going on 11 year old. Designing towns for realistic operation by way freights made me want to build a shelf layout instead of 4×8 ovals and figure 8s.
    Family friends were real railroaders and helped me realize that the industrial area along the Willamette River was the “best” thing to model.
    Then we visited the Sumpter Valley and the narrow gauge hook was set deep!
    My dad was a teacher and encouraged me to research and learn – guess it stuck as I still try to learn something every day after 68 years.

    • Great stuff Bill. Be sure to write about it on Mike’s blog too. It’s his conversation – I don’t want to hijack it in the process of encouraging others to contribute to it!

  3. I’ve always admired Ben King’s articles – especially the camera construction article in MR. Ben wasn’t a prolific writer but what was published with his by-line was exquisite for the time. A true craftsman who also worked in a small space.

  4. You mentioned Andy Sperandeo’s San Jacinto track plan. A favorite of mine as well. I model the citrus industry in detail: different processing steps for each crop. Potatoes are loaded, iced, fumigated, re-iced, then sent on their way. That makes every cargo a challenge!

  5. Trevor

    Apologies for putting my comments here but I was unable to log on to Mike’s site, despite several attempts. I agree totally with the votes for Paul Dolkos, Bob Smaus and others who interpret prototypes such as Tony Thompson. I would add a category for folks who invent a railroad and then produce seminal pieces such as John Armstrong and my own personal favorite Allen McClelland.. Their work may be oldish but both are to say the least, well worn. Then there is my vote for the person who has had huge impact on realistic operations, particularly TTTO, Steve King. Thanks for listening


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