A few days ago, rude, cruel vandals in Lincolnshire, England broke into a model railroad exhibition in Stamford, England, destroying thousands of pounds worth of model raailroad displays and countless hours of painstaking work. Sir Rod Stewart, himself a model railroad enthusiast, “is donating £10,000 to the Market Deeping Model Railway Club ” said the Rutland and Stamford Mercury newspaper. Sir Rod, famous for such hits as Hot Legs and Da Ya Think I’m Sexy? called on fellow musicians Jools Holland, and Roger Daltrey (Fitzcairn in Highlander) to also donate. Holland and Daltrey are also model railroad fans, as was Walt Disney.
Sir Rod was knighted in 2016 for his services to music and charity. He has been a musician and songwriter for over half a century.
The late Robert A. Heinlein (1907- 1988) warned us this sort of thing was a sign of a dying civilization.
“A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot.”
It feels like vulgarity and vandalism are on the rise, but maybe it’s just that the Internet makes it easier to hear about bad behavior elsewhere.
As Krypton Radio’s executive producer Susan Fox pointed out, “fans take care of their own. Whatever the fandom.” My distinguished colleague Wyatt D. Odd confirmed: “model railroading is its own kind of geek culture.” Who doesn’t love trains, Geek or Mundane?