The Really Boring Section
My name is Dwight Ennis, and I'm the owner, builder, operator, and chief bottle washer of the SCLCo. I'm providing this really boring background information for those who like to read the National Enquirer and just need to know.
My wife and I live in Milpitas, California, at the southern tip of the San Francisco Bay and the northern tip of Silicon Valley. My wife, Cathy, was born and raised in New Jersey, and lived there until we got married in May of 1998. We plan to retire on the East Coast, probably in New Hope, PA if all goes well.
For my day job, I'm the IT Manager of a small company that builds custom transformers for the Silicon Industry... primarily those companies that make the machines that make the chips. I built and maintain the internal local area network, set up and maintain all the computers, write in-house software, and so on. Anything having to do with the company computers is my responsibility.
As I write this (Dec 2001), I'll be turning 51 next month. Essentially, I'm old enough to know better, but still young enough not to care.
My love of trains goes back as long as I can remember. In fact, the earliest thing I can remember is playing with my toy trains. When I was three and four years old in the mid-fifties, brown butcher paper was still pretty common. It came on rolls about three feet wide. I can remember taking a piece about five feet long, drawing track all over it, and pushing my little potmetal trains around it... sort of my first model railroad. The photo with me in the middle of my Dad's Lionel set was taken in 1954, a few months after my third birthday.
I've always loved to build things, and my favorite toys (beside my trains), were blocks, Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs, Erector Sets, and anything I could make stuff with. Once I got old enough, I always enjoyed building models as well.
I got my own first train set as a Christmas present in the third grade... a Tyco set with an 0-4-0 Shifter, a caboose, and several freight cars. That same year, Kenner came out with their Girder and Panel Building Set, and I got one of those too. It wasn't very many hours before I had the train running over Kenner bridges and through Kenner buildings. Though the Kenner set disappeared to who-knows-where, I kept the Tyco set until I was 19, when I traded it in on my first brass locomotive (you could trade stuff in back then) - an HO Southern Pacific T-28 Ten Wheeler made by West Side Models. Not long after that, I sweat blood to buy a Southern Pacific 5000, also by West Side Models. I still have that locomotive, my only remaining piece of HO standard gauge brass.
As I always loved to build things, I suppose it was natural that I gravitated to scratchbuilding... first out of paper and cardboard, and by my teens out of balsa wood. My dad and I had a model railroad in the garage, and I built all the bridges, trestles, and structures for it. In the 60's, Model Railroader used to run a monthly feature called the ''Dollar Model Project'' as well as numerous scratchbuilding articles. I built many of these. My building has always leaned towards structures, with some rolling stock. I have yet to even attempt to build a locomotive, and I frankly envy those that do such incredibly excellent work as I've seen!
After high school, I left the hobby until my late twenties. On a whim, I visited a hobby shop that specialized in trains, and the bug bit again. A couple of Campbell's kits wet my appetite again, and served to get me back into things.I started accumulating HO Southern Pacific motive power and started a layout in a bedroom.
It wasn't long after that when the Narrow Gauge bug bit me but good! The tight radii curves necessary in a small bedroom layout just never looked right to me with standard gauge motive power and 80' passenger cars. One day I saw a brass HOn3 C&S Mogul, and I was hooked! I sold all my standard gauge motive power, ripped up my standard gauge layout, and started over in HOn3. This was the time period in which I built the roundhouse and the Lagunitas featured in the Other RR Models section.
Around 1990, I again got out of the hobby for several years, mostly because I got into other things - R/C Airplanes being among them. This time, though, I kept all my HOn3 motive power and rolling stock, and I still have it, though I'm not really sure why. As I get older, it's getting harder to see things in the smaller scales.
In the spring of 2000, I bought my first Large Scale locomotive, a Bachmann Climax, and started the Santa Cruz Lumber Company in my back yard. I have a small yard, necessitating tight curves, so a logging line was a natural fit. I currently have, in addition to the Climax, a Bachmann Shay, and a couple of Big Hauler sets (I'm hedging my bet against the day I have a bigger yard), as well as a 10th Anniversary Ten Wheeler. I own a Ruby 2, my first live steamer, and have an Accucraft West Side live steam Shay on order.
I also couldn't resist a couple of the Bachmann On30 sets, and I'm now trying to decide between On30 and On3. Both have advantages and disadvantages. I'd like to build an indoor logging shelf-type layout if I can find the room.
Guess that's about it. If you've read this far, you're a glutton for punishment!