Where Have I Been?

Modelers who know me and have been following my work online since the early 2000s will remember that I used to have a separate website for each of my active layout projects. I was proud of my work, and so I purchased a unique domain name (e.g., whiteriverandnorthern.net, etc.) for each layout. Those days are long gone. Around 2010, my life began to fall apart. I was betrayed and seriously hurt by a significant other with whom I was living at the time. I stopped all modeling, and even closed my business, NZT Products. After moving out, I began building my own home; the plan was to complete the house in a year or two, re-start NZT, and get back into modeling.

I could not possibly have known that new, more serious disasters were looming. As a result of a commercial real estate deal that went sideways, I suffered complete financial devastation and further emotional collapse, made worse by disease, including Sarcoidosis and Lyme, as well as several physical issues that required surgeries. I had to shut down all of my websites to save money, and I abandoned the modeling community.

Very slowly, over the course of years, I returned to modeling as a means to cope with the emotional blackness I was still suffering, even if only a little; later, I also gradually re-emerged into the modeling community. The process has not been easy, and it's still fraught with setbacks.

As it is, my modeling has changed significantly. A combination of age and disease have robbed me of my fine motor skills. Consequently I've had to become satisfied doing far less; I couldn't hope to ever do what I once did routinely. So, I started building a small layout using Code 80 sectional track, something I'd ordinarily be loathe to do. But during its construction, I was betrayed by a good friend who was helping me with the project, and subsequently I destroyed the layout.

Meanwhile, at the urging of some friends, I started resurrecting my online modeling archives, and restored some of the materials here, in one place, at the one domain I couldn't afford to abandon because it serves as my email address. (In hindsight, I should have done this all along—there was no reason to create a plethora of unique domains.) Other materials, such as my work in T Gauge, were lost due to a catastrophic computer failure shortly after moving, which is regrettable because it was perhaps some of my best work.

Which brings me to the present. My financial situation is improving somewhat, and progress on the house has very gradually resumed, but it's by no means stable and secure. And my modeling comes in fits and starts as I wrestle with the fallout, and the chronic depression that's resulted; I model when I can, how I can, all depending on finances, mood, ability, phase of the moon—whatever.

Bottom line: this is not a website suited to people looking for nothing but positive, 100% modeling-specific inspiration; it is instead a slice of real life, which can often be quite disheartening. But if you're curious about what makes this old modeler tick, there's probably no place more "real" than this one. I hope you find something of value here.


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