Sunday, February 21, 2016

HOJPOJ Reno: Cover letter and manuscript

I was a very happy fellow Friday because I finally came across the cover letter used to sell the HOJPOJ Manufacturing Company project and the typewritten manuscript. 

December 27, 1967

H. H. Carstens, Editor
Railroad Model Craftsman,
Ramsey, N. J.

Hooby-hooby and hub-hub . . .  Christmas is out of the way for another year.

Here’s the Hojpoj Manufacturing Company with a water tower -- can’t recall having seen anything on modeling a water tower.

I’ll try to find something simpler next. Any ideas?

Kinda thinking of building myself a railroad. Wouldn’t consider anything of any size as that would entail a bit of work. So . . .  card table size. Has to be simple to be in line with my thinking. N scale. Gotta plan drawn up, loop-de-loop, trestle, tunnels, mountains and lake, with just a couple of sidings. Intrigued with this little HOn21/2 stuff -- run both it and N scale stuff with some compromises, maybe TT buildings or between in foreground, N in background. Trouble is I’ll never know whether to reach for HO, TT or N ruler. Low cost project for beginner -- ought to be a little fun, and maybe the real reason is I like to dabble in scenery occasionally.

Hope your Creative Crafts thing is doing well.

Keep the steam up . . . . 

signed E. L. Moore

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

Well, well, well. Not much about the HOJPOJ, but an interesting proposal for what would become the three-part, Enskale and Hoentee layout series that ran in the October, November and December 1968 issues of Railroad Model Craftsman. This is the layout that featured, among things, an N-scale version of his Grizzly Flats Depot - well, it turns out that after he built a simplified version, he decided not to use it because it was too small compared to the other buildings.

Also, it’s an interesting reversal of opinion on layout building. In an August 1966 letter to Mr. Carstens he has this to say on layouts,

You and Crosby both have problems. He’s beginning on his “layout of a lifetime” so damned full of ideas he has to have a filing clerk to keep track of his ideas. I built one railroad, only 4’ x 6’ and I have no intentions of ever building another. It was fun, but I get even more fun outa building buildings. Now me, I’m probably the only railroader without a problem or a worry.

The 4’ x 6’ layout he was referring to was his Elizabeth Valley Railroad. I’m going to speculate a bit, so don’t take this too seriously: I think what he liked about layouts were the trains, scenery, buildings, atmosphere and the stories they can embody, and he wasn’t that interested in wiring and control and simulating business operations and empire building. He was a romantic, not a formalist. In today’s world, I think he’d have more interest in compact UK style layouts, and less in room and basement sized North American style operation oriented pikes. But, I as I said, that’s all speculation on my part.

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