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Slim & Stumpy XIV
Slim & Stumpy Visit the New Hampshire
Garden RR Society’s Modular Layout

© George C. Thomas 2002

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’ve forgotten, 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.

“I have an idea,” said Stumpy, “let’s visit the New Hampshire Garden RR Society’s modular layout. Remember we saw it at the East Coast Large Scale Show in York, Pennsylvania, last year.”

“Great idea,” responded Slim, “I’ve never been to New Hampshire.”

So off they headed for New Hamshire. Upon their arrival Slim mused, “I wonder where it is?” He should have known something was up when Stumpy began to grin... you know the kind of grin. If you think Slim was the recipient of a prank, you’re right, because when they got to New Hampshire the modular layout was nowhere to be seen.

“I really got you good this time,” laughed Stumpy. “This is the weekend that it’s in York again.”

“That wasn’t nice, I’m going back to Missouri.”

“Wait, we can still see it, because in York. I’ll buy you a brew to make up for my prank.”

“Well OK,” responded Slim, “but I’d better not drink. Remember what happened when we visited the Toenail Ridge Shortline in Australia? I got a bit tipsy and got into trouble.”

“A little bit tipsy? Ha! I’ll buy you a root beer instead.”

So Slim and Stumpy headed for York, Pennsylvania. Since they had been there before they had no trouble finding the New Hampshire group’s layout. It was even better than last year! Stumpy quickly spotted some cars that were on a siding, including a Beck’s Beer car. His devious mind went into high gear ~ he had only begun to prank!

“Look! Beck’s is a fine imported root beer,” said Stumpy. “The door’s unlocked, so I’ll climb in and get you one.” He was back in a minute, bottle in hand. He handed it to Slim.

“Thanks!” Poor Slim ~ I don’t think he’ll ever learn.

“Don’t mention it.”

A few more bottles followed, and then Slim whispered, “Hey Stumpy, I gotta go.” Beer, root beer or otherwise, can have that effect. Stumpy spotted a diner just a ways down the track. Remember, Stumpy is from New Jersey, so he has a knack for finding diners.

Stumpy ordered some burgers, fires, and Coke while Slim answered nature’s call. Needless to say he stuck Slim with the bill. After all, hadn’t he gotten Slim the brews.

“Hey,” demanded Slim, “Why do I always have to pay?”

“Because I got you your Beck’s root beers, that’s why,” replied Stumpy. Slim didn’t counter that Stumpy had not paid for the bottles ~ perhaps he was too tipsy to remember.

They left the diner and headed back to the railroad yard. They were admiring a boxcar from Maine when a moose wandered up and snorted at them.

“What’s that?” stammered Stumpy.

“Looks like a moose.”

“I know it’s a moose, you fool, but what’s it doing here in Pennsylvania? They aren't supposed to be this far south.”

“Maybe it thinks we’re in New Hampshire, or it’s confused by that boxcar from Maine.”

Stumpy didn’t buy either of those explanations, but decided not to stand there and argue about it. The moose was looking less and less friendly with each passing second. This was no time for our dynamic duo to be heroes ~ he took off in one direction and Slim ran the other way.

Stumpy reached another part of the railroad yard, and upon realizing that the moose hadn’t followed him, started to look around. He quickly spotted a large crane. You’re right, he shouldn’t have climbed up to check it out, but he did. It didn’t take long for him to start it up and begin to raise and lower the boom. He was successful in being very careful when he was distracted by Slim.

“Stumpy! The moose just turned blue!”

CRASH! The boom dropped and smashed into a boxcar. “Now look what you made me do... and what did you say?”

“After I ran away from the moose I saw it again ~ only this time it was blue.” Sure, thought Stumpy. He smiled as he mentally counted all the brews Slim had consumed. The smile disappeared, however, when Slim added, “But don’t worry that blue moose, I called the police.”

“The police? Great! Just what I need after you made me smash a boxcar,” replied Stumpy. He was beginning to realize he was in quite a bit of trouble, and that perhaps it was time to skidaddle. But Slim had other ideas.

“Come with me and I’ll show you the blue moose.”

What the heck, thought Stumpy, we can see the dumb moose on our way out of here. So he followed Slim, and when he saw the blue moose he laughed so hard his sides began to ache.

”What’s so funny?” asked Slim.

”You Bozo,” laughed Stumpy, “your dumb blue moose is just a statue!”

Just then they saw an angry crowd headed their way, with a policeman in the lead. Their short visit to the New Hampshire Garden RR Society’s modular layout had ended. They headed to the far end of the yard and luckily saw a critter pulling an ore car away from the crowd. They were really scared when they saw the huge engineer ~ these 7/8ths scale models by Bob McCown were the first they had ever seen. But they were even more afraid of the angry crowd that was headed their way, so they climbed aboard and hid in an ore car.

As they made their successful escape, they knew 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 for us to visit.”

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

And so they left the little town of York, Pennsylvania. Slim headed westward toward Missouri and Stumpy headed eastward to nearby New Jersey. But rest assured, web site readers, Slim and Stumpy will meet again to make another layout visit. So dust off your diner, it could be yours!

Enjoy other Slim and Stumpy adventures
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