It was a simple plan, although entirely unexpected: thanks to a healthy inheritance, I
purchased seven acres of rugged woodland where I’d realize a lifelong dream: to build my
own home, a place where I could lick my wounds and return to the modeling world in a
major way. I was living in a camper on my property so I could work on my home whenever
the spirit moved me. While waiting out a bitter winter, I decided to do a little modeling,
and made some scribbles on a piece of paper.
It was to be the White River and Northern VII, a two by three foot switching puzzle—I had
room for very little else. But I made one big mistake: I’d forgotten about my misadventure
with the WR&N VI. And so when it came time to start hand-laying Code 40 standard gauge
turnouts, I was met with stinging failure. Again.
But that was just a prelude to yet another series of catastrophes that would put me in the
darkest place I’ve ever been. My lifelong dream was cut short by a real estate deal that
went down in flames. I was financially ruined. And just to pile it on, I needed surgery for a
hernia, and I contracted Lyme Disease, which triggered a massive, debilitating Sarcoidosis
attack. I’m sure things could have been worse, but not by much.
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