Thanks for the kind words. I enjoy creative railroad-oriented writing w/history and anecdotes mixed in among it... but I'm not too sure very many others enjoy reading it!
I've never understood just why some of us have a life-long love for railroading (and often express it with model railroading), I reckon it's just the way some of us are hard-wired, apparently.
My longest lasting friendships have been based in my interests:
Model railroading: My longest friendship dates back to April or so, 1969. That that friend is now in his late 80s. That friendship is still going. The next-oldest I met in early 1974, and is also still going. I also have several other long term model railroad friends from the mid-late 1970s on. The one I met in 1974 was also a long-term retired railroader. He's still a part of my operating crew board, as well as a couple others model RR friends from the late 1970s. He typically comes up from Pencil Bluff, AR (his home) and spends the night with me before an operating session, and the regional friend off the call board joins us the next morning for ops.
Motorcycling: Still have one that I touch base with, a school mate I met upon my move to Arkansas in Jan of '69. He's the one that helped set the hook on my dirt motorcycle interest! Just this past autumn, the wife and I rode our vintage dirt bikes (street legal "enduro" bikes) via backroads to Mansfield, AR and met up with Glen and his wife and ate lunch with them.
Anyway, those two interests, model railroading and off-road motorcycling, have produced some of the best friends I have.
Amazing the side benefits of model railroading.