How did Doc Christmas happen? Well, like many, I got my first train set when I was quite young. My mother got me a train set for Christmas and I took it from there. Thomas the Tank engine had no place in our house though – it was an electric train! Trains had always been a part of our lives. We had taken a train to Montreal for EXPO where they were showing off the ‘latest’ Via Rail train – the short-lived ‘Aero’ train which I thought was streamlined and very cool. Later, we even took a train on our family’s move out west – which was another adventure on it’s own.
I joined a model railroad club to get more involved and learned how electronics worked so I could make the trains go and control them properly. I learned logic and planning in train operations to move multiple trains around the single main line. I learned woodworking for benchwork and modeling skills of all sorts to try and make things look just right.
I decided on my own railroad name, took over a space in the basement and set about creating my masterpiece. Unfortunately, not too long after that I became consumed with school, socializing and, well, things other than trains.
Years later my son’s mother moved into a home beside a ‘Live Steam’ railroad association that was just moving into their new location and getting started on their 5 year plan to build their railroad. She thought I should help out because my son seemed to like trains.
I did, and soon afterwards, myself and a couple of others were elected as officers of the club. We completed the majority of the 5 years’ track work in about 1.5 years. (I really dig my teeth in once I get going).
The train did influence me however, and as part of my business, I started making railroad themed cribbage boards. While I was searching for a way to market them, I hit on the idea of a video podcast about trains as a great idea and TrainTalk.TV was born. After over a million views and not a single crib board sale through Traintalk I was thinking I should let the podcast go.
As fate would have it, on my last episode before TrainTalk’s ‘hiatus’, I ran an item about trying out for an AMC Television show called Hell on Wheels, about the building of the Transcontinental railway across the USA. It was being filmed locally and they were looking for background actors.
I did get the part, albeit only in background, but I ended up on the show for 2 years and ended up being the photo double for the star of the show, Anson Mount. I have since become more involved in the film and television industry at several levels.
Most importantly, hanging about with all these creative people again, I gained the confidence to begin to tell the stories that I’ve had inside me all along. While I am currently writing, producing and directing several film projects, it is only fitting that the first literary project that I will do, is all about the magic of Christmas and the magic of trains.
I do hope you like it!