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Slim & Stumpy XI
Slim & Stumpy Visit the
Del Oro Pacific RR

© George C. Thomas 2001
(Photos taken by Dennis Packer)

It happened the other evening, just as it had happened before. When the old gibbous moon was high in the sky and someone in Circleville, Ohio was playing “The City of New Orleans” on the radio, Slim and Stumpy entered the plastic-plasma phase and began to “connect.” If this doesn’t make sense, you should read one or more earlier adventures.

In case you need a reminder, Slim is a 1:20 figure on “Engineer” Jeff Saxton’s Winona & Thorny Mountain RR in St. Louis, Missouri, and Stumpy is a short 1:20 figure on George Thomas’ Lazy Acre Lumber Company RR in Delran, New Jersey. When Slim and Stumpy “connect” they like to visit a great model railroad. In addition to visiting each others railroads they had already enjoyed several others, but one can never visit too many railroads. This goes without saying in our hobby.

“Wow, that Arlo sure does that song proud,” said Stumpy.

“Yes he does, but I still like Willie Nelson better,” replied Slim.

“I think we’ll always argue about this,” said Stumpy.

“But we can agree to go on another adventure. How about the Del Oro Pacific RR in California?”

“OK, let’s go,” said Stumpy. His immediate answer showed that he was a man of action.

So Slim and Stumpy headed for southern California. In what seemed like only a matter of minutes, they found themselves standing along the Del Oro Pacific RR’s right-of-way. You see, just like their 1:1 counterparts, 1:20 men don’t need to ask for directions. They know exactly where they’re going. A man’s sense of direction, no matter what the size, is innate.

As they started to walk down the tracks, they saw a K-27 heading their way. They hitched a ride, and hopped off when they came to a nearby yard. Slim and Stumpy knew yards usually had many interesting items in them. They were not disappointed with this one.

“Wow! Look at that old truck,” said Slim. “Let’s go take a look.”

“I bet this Mack truck can go anywhere it wants,” said Slim, but Stumpy wasn’t there to hear. He had wandered off. Slim finally found him watching a welder working on a broken plow. Stumpy was fascinated with this new activity until he overheard a conversation about a nearby beer truck.

That did it. His mind began to wander, and it was quickly followed by his body. He headed down the street. Slim saw him wander away and, like the good friend he was, followed him. Why? Probably because he wanted to help Stumpy keep out of trouble. There was a lot yet to see at the Del Oro Pacific RR, and Stumpy had a way of shortening visits.

Stumpy spotted the truck driver and greeted him with a, “Howdy, Mr. Beer Man. My name’s Stumpy.”

“Well, howdy yourself,” the truck driver replied. “The name’s Packer, but you can call me Dennis. Where are you from?” Apparently they did not talk like Californians.

Slim and Stumpy told Dennis about New Jersey, Missouri, and all the other places they had visited. Dennis determined that some of the inventory was defective and removed it from the truck. But it didn't seem right to just throw it away--you get the picture.

All of a sudden Dennis exclaimed, “Holy cow, it’s lunch time. Gotta go!” Good-byes were quickly exchanged as Dennis hurried off. Some things in life are sacred, and most people would agree that lunch is definitely one of them.

“Let’s do some more exploring,” said Slim.

They stumbled down the street (perhaps they had condemned too much beer) and spotted an old garage. “Let’s take a look,” said Stumpy. “This looks like an interesting place.”

“Do you think we should?” Slim sensed trouble, but it was too late. Stumpy was already inside. CRASH!

Stumpy came running out, clearly concerned. “Dad burn it! All I did was lean against a car and the bumper fell off.”

“I warned you. Now how are you going to pay for the damage?”

“Maybe I won’t have to,” said Stumpy, “If the welder is also at lunch we can fix it ourselves.”

Before Slim to question the intelligence of this suggestion, Stumpy was running down the street in a somewhat zigzag manner. In only a few minutes he returned with some of the welding equipment. He was trying to hook it up when the owner, Mr. Alvin Crabbe, wandered in. He was known as this village’s idiot ~ his speciality was dropping his pants at parties to show off a hidden tattoo.

“Hi there,” said Stumpy. “Do you have a match?”

Mr. Crabbe looked at Stumpy, the welding torch, and the nearby gas pump. “HELP! POLICE!” he hollered, as he ran from the garage, expecting an explosion at any second. The townspeople loved telling this story about their idiot for years to come.

But Slim was not at all amused. “Congratulations, you’ve done it again! The police will be here any minute, so we had better make a quick exit from California.”

Having been in this situation before, Slim and Stumpy knew what to do. You know, been there, done that. They ran as fast as they could to the freight yard. Slim spotted a caboose and climbed on.

“What are you doing?” asked Stumpy. “It’s not moving.” But it was, ever so slowly. At first Stumpy just watched, totally dumbfounded.

“Come on!” yelled Slim. That was exactly what Stumpy needed. He shook his head, ran, and boarded the caboose.

“That was close,” whispered Stumpy. “Thanks for saving me again.”

Their short visit to California was over, and Slim and Stumpy knew that it was time for them to part ways again. As we all know, it’s not easy for good friends to say good-bye.

“When and where will I see you next?” asked Slim.

“Who knows," answered Stumpy. "It’s up to the moon and a beautiful railroad song. There are plenty of other fine layouts to visit.”

“You got that right, little buddy, until next time . . .”

And so they joined the evening mist of California, and headed eastward toward Missouri and New Jersey. But rest assured, web site readers, Slim and Stumpy will meet again to make another layout visit. So weld your whatevers, it could be yours!

Enjoy the next Slim & Stumpy adventure
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