Follow by Email

Monday, April 22, 2013

Hello guys,

Back in town - just a few pics from the Train Collectors of America show in York, PA where I was this last weekend.

Maybe not quite as exciting as Bauma, but interesting nonetheless....  We are not allowed to take photos inside the buildings, so I am rebelling a bit here - but only have pics of the DHS booth!



Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Hello all,

This weekend I lost a friend.

Some of you may know Steve Wolken.  He was a huge crane collector for years and an avid train buff.  His collection at one time rivaled that of some of the larger collectors in the world.  He had an entire basement full of items that he had collected and he had a soft spot especially for Tower Cranes.  I have photos of his collection somewhere - will find them and post them soon.

But Steve was first and foremost a train guy.  He loved the GG1 (his license plate read ISWGG1)  and the Big Boy Locomotives best of all.  He even had some Fine Art models in his collection as well as some other fantastic locomotive replicas which I know little or nothing about.

I met Steve originally when I worked for a software company.  He and I worked for competitive companies and we ran into each other at trade shows, etc.   One day, Dave Frank (Dave's Model Toys) told me he was going to introduce me to a "big collector" and in walked Steve-O.

It was a strange coincidence and we kept in contact ever since.  For awhile he was a good customer and then he and an old business partner of mine came to me with an idea to start American Diecast Models (ADM) ADM Website.  We originally were each equal partners in the venture which specialized in buying and selling collections.  Over time, I bought out the other two guys and ADM became part of DHS Diecast.  Steve and I kept in touch.

Steve is probably best known for buying the original version of the Kevin Anderson collection.  He purchased the collection in November of 2004 which was reportedly valued at over $1.3 million.  I wrote an article which was printed in the January 2005 edition of the Toy Trucker magazine about the Anderson Collection.

One day about 6 years ago, Steve, a bunch of local guys (including Curtis from Turtle Models and Jim McCormick) and myself were having lunch at "The Station" restaurant which is located where the Norfolk Southern Railroad and CSX cross in Berea, Ohio.  (2nd busiest railroad junction in the USA).  Berea Ohio Railroad Junction.  There were 6-7 of us talking about all the historical transportation and related industries that were in our area.  Companies like Bucyrus Corporation, Terex Corporation, Lincoln Electric, Parker-Hannifin, Goodyear, Lorain Shovel Company, Huber Corporation and so many others had started in our area and our kids would never know about all the history surrounding Northeastern Ohio.  Berea Union Depot Restaurant.

Someone said "we should build a museum" and that is where the concept of the Ohio Museum of Transportation and Industry started (OMTI).  The organization operates under the name "Celebrating American in Motion" nowadays.   See the website for details of what we are trying to do at Celebrating America in Motion Website.

Steve went full-throttle into this venture as a Founding Director and our resident internet researcher.  Without Steve's involvement, this tiny idea would have never taken shape.  Steve, along with his cohort in crime, John Shephard, visited over 30 museums and provided a report on each one to help us understand what we were getting into.  He was always available for a conversation and we lived through the ups and downs of trying to start something in a very difficult time period.

Steve also provided many hours of free consulting to me as I started up this business.  We met for lunch (one of his favorite things to do) for hours at a time working on strategy and concepts for building my own business.  I will miss those times.

At times, Steve could be classified as a "know it all".   There were times when he could not hold himself back and he had an answer for everything and an experience to share for every situation.  But that was just Steve.  He once told me on the sly that if he did not have information about a conversation we were having, he would just make it up.  I guess that is what made him a great salesman and it certainly made for some fun conversations.

I will personally miss Steve and his love of life.  He will be missed by his family (son, daughter and two grandchildren) of course, but he will also be missed by his friends.

Here is a photo of Steve (lower left) along with John Shephard (upper right), Tom Marsh (lower right) and me (upper left) when we visited the Nickleplate Class S3 Berkshire Number 765 in Indiana a few years back.

Thanks for listening.


Monday, April 8, 2013

Hello all,

Just back from our Spring Auction.  There were some deals to be had in there this time!  Thanks to all who participated, and to those who did not, you really missed out.

Now on to looking forward to Open House 2013.  The dates are July 27-28 this year.  One of the items you will be able to see in person is a 1:8 scale Manitowoc 4100 Crane model.  This model is made entirely of welded metal parts and will be a very striking machine.  The most interesting part of this model is that it is all remote control and it operates!   Here are some build photos of the machine which will be completed by the Open House and presented in its full glory at our shop!!

Is that amazing or what????

Make sure to setup your trip to visit us in July to see this model complete and operating at our 14th annual Open House event!


Friday, April 5, 2013

Hello all,

Here is an excerpt from a post I recently added to our forum pages...

I have really enjoyed the forum recently - there has been a series of very interesting posts. There are many, many readers of the forum who do not post and I have heard from many of them - they enjoy it too. There area so many interesting things going on around the world these days and it is great to learn about them right here. This forum is only as good as the people who post and I think our users are the best around. Here are some interesting stats for you:

We have had over 42,000 topics and over 411,000 posts just in the General Topics Section of the site. Most users ever online was 124 on Sunday, October 23, 2011 8:09 PM. We typically have 75-100 people viewing the forum at one time (there are 84 people online as I write this). We have over 11,000 registered forum members. Our board started on 8/8/2002 making it over 10 years old already! The average number of posts per day is 110 and the average number of topics added per day is 11.89 (not sure where that .89 topic is, I have looked for it). The forum database takes up over 523 MB of disk space.

I am fascinated by the number of people who frequent the forum but never participate.  I have talked to hundreds of people over the past few years who have mentioned to me that they love the idea and that they watch the forum religiously but never participate.  I can understand many not wanting to post because they don't feel they have anything to add and/or are afraid of the repercussions from some forum members who are not too nice.  But, in my opinion, everyone has something to add, even if it just an opinion.  If you want to be heard, don't be afraid to post!

Just my 2 cents....


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Hello all,

Some news from DHS...

We are announcing a Spring Sale today - over 60 models will appear on our website as on sale sometime today - keep checking back to see if the items have been posted yet.  This is your opportunity to get some deals for the spring season! See our homepage for details!

Also note our Spring Auction is happening this Saturday.  Starting at 10:00 am Eastern Time, the annual DHS Spring Auction will commence.  Over 320 items will be auctioned on Saturday.   The items are listed at DHS Home Page.

You can come to DHS's World Headquarters in beautiful Berea, Ohio for the day (we open at 9am on Saturday morning), or you can bid online.  Just follow the instructions on the auction page to register and bid.

As a parting comment, here are some pictures of the Turtle Water Truck that will be picked up at the auction this weekend by the proud new owner!

 Talk soon - Chuck