Facebook Page
Slim & Stumpy at Carl's -
Slim & Stumpy Visit the North Pacific Coast RR
© George C. Thomas 2000
(Photos taken by Carl Tobin)

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 an earlier adventure.

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.

“Let’s try Carl Tobin’s North Pacific Coast RR in Oregon,” suggested Slim.

“OK,” replied Stumpy. “I’ve never been to Oregon, but I hear it’s really nice there.”

So off they headed for Brookings, Oregon. They didn’t have any difficulty locating Carl’s railroad. They had just found the tracks when a rail bus came along. A ride was offered and quickly accepted. It was a great ride, but all rides must come to an end sooner or later. The rail bus had reached a little town. “Where are we?” asked Slim.

“We’re in Helenback,” answered one of the passengers.

“Wow,” laughed Stumpy. “Now we can tell all our friends we’ve been to Helenback.” Stumpy had quickly recognized one of Carl’s puns, but Slim was only slightly amused.

Stumpy looked around and thought he saw an old friend. “Isn’t that Piute over there?” he asked.

“No . . . Piute lives in Colorado and this is Oregon.”

“Well, I’m going to find out. HEY YOU, PIUTE, IS THAT YOU?” he hollered.

The stranger just shook his head no. He wasn’t very talkative; the fact that he was holding a rifle seemed to emphasize his wish to be left alone.

“I told you! Why won’t you listen to me?”

“OK, but I thought it was worth a try,” said Stumpy. “He looks just like Piute, only Piute’s much nicer. Remember when we met him in Colorado,” he added.

“I sure do,” answered Slim. “That was a really fun visit to his BYOB Railway. Especially going over that high trestle. Ha ha!”

“Cut it out,” threatened Stumpy. He hated it when he was teased about being afraid of heights. Someday he would even the score with Slim, friend or no friend.

They walked on and soon came to a group of fellows playing checkers.

“What’s up, guys?” asked Stumpy in his usual friendly voice. He had absolutely no trouble bantering with anyone.

This time the question was met with a much warmer response; one of the onlookers replied, “Pull up a stump and take a load off your feet.” So Slim and Stumpy happily joined the guys. They bantered about checkers, the weather, the price of eggs in Oregon, Missouri, and New Jersey, and finally railroads. As it turned out the North Pacific Coast RR had a Class A Climax, too, and it was all steamed up on a nearby siding. Slim and Stumpy shared that their railroads also had Class A Climaxes. (Or is it Climaxi?)

And then it was Slim’s turn to make a faux´ pas´.

“Any of you guys play chess?” he asked.

The icy silence that followed let him know that this was not a chess crowd. Slim and Stumpy decided that this was a good time to meander on and explore another part of the town.

“Way to go, Mr. Uppity,” taunted Stumpy. Slim did not dignify that comment with a reply.

It didn’t take long for them to find two men working over a cook pot. Beef stew, Stumpy’s favorite! All of a sudden he realized how hungry he was.

“Is that beef stew you’re cooking there?” asked Stumpy. He was obviously begging an offer of something to eat. No response was given, so he added, “We haven’t eaten in hours. Could we have some?”

“Maybe,” replied the cook. “You’ll have to wait until I see if the work crew wants seconds and thirds.”

Stumpy couldn’t wait, so he put his brain in gear and tried to come up with a plan that would curb the workers’ appetite. It didn’t take him long to come up with a really devious one.

He went over to a group of workers and casually mentioned, “Too bad the cook’s donkey got sick and barfed in the stew.”

The response was predictable. Mass nausea struck as worker after worker lost his lunch. Stumpy’s plan had worked, but way too well. It was not a pretty scene.

Feeling certain that there would now be plenty of extra food, Stumpy headed over to get his stew. But the cook had heard his donkey barf comment, and he was not at all amused. Several angry workers had gathered around him.

“I think this is a good time for us to depart Oregon,” said Slim.

“If you mean skidaddle, I’m in full agreement,” replied Stumpy. They ran past a poor worker who was still hunched over a formerly empty barrel, hopped on the Climax, quickly put her in gear, and chugged down the track. When they were a safe distance away they stopped and got off.

It was definitely time for Slim and Stumpy 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,” said Slim. “Until next time.”

And so they both vanished into the cool, moist air of western Oregon, heading back to St. Louis and Delran. But rest assured, Slim and Stumpy will meet again to make another layout visit. So spike your rails, web site readers, it could be yours!

Enjoy the next Slim & Stumpy adventure
Return to the Lazy Acre RR HOME page