I remember John King and Bill Harris. I think Bill Harris even started an Antique Toy Club that he ran.
Other names I remember were Don Ladenberger, Chuck Stone, Jerry Rokas, Lyle Kane, Ron Wade, John Daniels, Ed White, Colonel Bragg, the Stearns family, John Parker etc. I wonder how many of these people are still around or still active in the train world? I was a teenager at the time and these people were a lot older than I was!
Those Friday night train meets were epic. You never knew what was going to turn up. It was so exciting in those days because the vintage trains were coming straight from homes, garage sales, antique markets, etc. I also remember them running very late into the night.
I left SoCal in about 1990, and that is also when I got out of train collecting and sold my prewar standard gauge collection. I just got back into prewar standard gauge about five years ago after having been completely removed from the toy train world for nearly 25 years. It sure is a different collecting world than when I first collected.
It is interesting to think that there was a train world where the new Lionel MPC trains were the latest and greatest in terms of new technology and there were no reproductions or re-issues. Prewar standard gauge was king back then.