Monday, December 7, 2015

Andy replies; Hal inspires; E. L. proposes

This’ll be the last post until sometime after Christmas. I’d like to thank everyone who’s stopped by 30 Squares, and wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. 2015 has been a big year at 30 Squares and there’ve been many exciting developments on the E. L. Moore legacy trail. At this time last year I was planning to wrap up the series, but with encouragement from Debra, and not to mention her excellent detective work, combined with clues and comments from readers, a lot of fascinating finds were made – and all the interesting discussions that resulted in the comments. None of this would have happened without the generosity and kindness of many individuals. I’m looking forward to what 2016 might have in store.

To the letters.

Here’s Mr. Anderson’s reply to E. L. Moore’s long letter of 3 December 1965.

December 7, 1965

Mr. E. L. Moore
525 Oakland Ave., Apt. 3
Charlotte 4, N. C.

Thanks for the interesting letter. It reads just like something out of an E. L. Moore construction story -- and you know how well I like them! How many was it I had on hand when MODEL TRAINS was abandoned? I really don’t know, but MODEL RAILROADER’s manuscript budget gained when I turned over the leftovers to Linn.

You make retirement sound so good, I’m going to hate to keep on working right up to when I die.  Well, maybe something will turn up so’s I can try when the time comes a few years hence.

I know Bill Rau will get a bang out of your letter, so I’m going to pass it around the corner.

Thanks for the Christmas wishes, and I hope you have a merry one yourself.


signed Andy

Willard V. Anderson,
Managing Editor

At the same time E. L. Moore was writing to Andy Anderson, he received an ‘inspirational’ letter from Hal Carsterns at Railroad Model Craftsman. It also kicks off a brief, but interesting, exchange on atmosphere and detail. I believe the ‘Ellison’ mentioned in the letter is model railroading pioneer, Frank Ellison.

Dec. 2, 1965

Mr. E. L. Moore
525 Oakland Street
Charlotte, North Carolina

Hi Colonel ...

Cleaning up the desk and found a Moore mss and I didn’t know I had so am shoving it into Feb. RMC. Its the Norfolk Southern something-or-other.

Thinking about new projects, seems to me as how you should broaden your spectrum. Like the old brick packing houses down by the depot in many larger cities, or the  wharf and pier, complete with railroad tracks, along the waterfront. And a Tugboat named Annie [Wharf an’ Annie!]. Or some kinda old mill or factory in which the car rolls under or into the building. Ellison captured the feel of many of these older buildings to perfection and while Ellison was good, I feel he could be muchly improved upon without becoming technical. After all, his stuff was banged out around 1940 and there have been many improvements since. His stuff, incidently, looked good in the overall but by the piece was pretty crude. Which may be a very profound observation. Have many models become too good, models too precise, modelers too critical.

Another idea would be for some kinda old time coaling tower of wood construction. Hard to beat Alexander though with their FM tower of wood. Its dandy....And I don’t think anybody has ever come up with a practical HO rotating type bridge or an HO lift bridge. I just picked up a 1914 vintage Marklin swivel bridge, clockwork no less, for No. 2 gauge.

Hope I have inspired you to greater things. Work hard. Model railroading is fun, more or less.


signed Hal

H H Carsterns

PS: Or maybe a “ZULU” car, if you remember your Railroad Magazine.

E. L. Moore took Hal Carsterns’ letter to heart, outlined what he was going to deliver in the weeks ahead, and added some thoughts on atmosphere and detail.

December 5, 1965

H. H. Carsterns, Editor
Ramsey, N. J.

Hi ya Major ....

Yup, guess I sort of got in a rut with small stuff.

I think I know just about what you’d like, atmosphere and all. What do you think of these?

        Meat Packing Plant
        Fertilizer Plant
        Livestock Auction Building

And I’ll look up a zulu car --  have a remembrance of seeing some illustrated.

I figured there had been a surfeit of coaling towers. Always wondered how some of these fellas, John Allen for instance, workssup so much detail and still operate a big layout. Never saw anything but pics of Ellison’s but they had a feeling and atmosphere that belonged. But today’s modelers are a breed apart. I wouldn’t even think of building that damed caboose -- some gazook is going to come along and spend six months just striving for perfection down to the last gnat’s eyebrows.

Guess I have to send in my sorghum mill, though. And sometime, my old cider mill, for a change of pace.

Thanks for the ideas. Keeps me from (whoa!) chasing wimmen, and at my age they set too fast a pace.

your eye

signed E. L. Moore

E. L. Moore
525 Oakland Ave., Apt 3
Charlotte 4, N. C.

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