It is amazing that CW has received such warm praise from so many here. I knew him well enough to know that he deserved it all. What I did not know was how many people would speak so well of him, given that he was a quiet person, in the sense of simply being helpful. I can only add another such story, although dimmed by the passage of time. There was an earlier board, which was somewhat unruly. We met face-to-face in one of the York halls one day, at his table. He greeted me by name, having read it off my tag, saying he had always wanted to meet me in person.
Somehow he knew that I had a train set my parents, aunt and uncle had given me at some expense. It was the 1950 Anniversary set with the orange Alco F's, the freight, the orange boxes. In a short four years I would have totally different interests. He also knew, I cannot remember how, that I had literally run the wheels off the engine-- the motor truck had oilite bearings, but the trailing truck did not, so the contact slider for the coupler was hanging up in switches. He had a brand new truck block casting; I didn't even know how he found it. He must have brought it to York after York. Of course, he would take nothing for it.
He said it was his way of thanking me for not taking part in the unkind comments made at times in that bygone forum. I remember rather than criticizing one of the new control systems, I had tried to sort out some of the problems. It was a bit of an effort, and I thought passing the 70th post, if I ever got to 100 posts, it would be too much. Now I had dragged my feet on this repair, and given the sacrifice made to give me this engine, I had wanted it to be a like-new repair, although I don't recall ever saying this to anyone. Perhaps I said something about the circumstances of receiving the set; he did follow my posts. I only checked that once, and then only two did so.
And of course, now too late, I wonder if I ever thanked him enough for his thoughtfulness. Perhaps I gave an impression of lost youth, having been 20 years an Army brat and having had 20 homes in 10 states in 4 nations on 3 continents in that time. Did I say 8 schools and 3 high schools? But I seldom mention that, not here that I recall. Did CW realize that the train was the only working artifact of those years? Once a college friend asked me how I'd managed those years with parents and family so far away. I thought, no, the problem is that one loses friends too easily. A failure to take the time to write a few words is the problem; it is hard to do so well.
I can only be glad that I have had the help of so many here in their kind words for CW. For myself, I can only feel that I have fallen short, and will have only burdened his family by the length of this post. But my friends will justly take me to task for that.