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My 2nd favorite train book has always been his "All Aboard" (2nd only to Lionel's postwar book "Model Railroading" by Bantam Books). He had a great style of writing - I'll miss him and his contributions

I 've spoken with Ron a number of times, always a nice guy - he used to frequent our local train shows.

RIP Ron. My condolences to all who knew him

Last edited by Lionelski

Sad and very shocking news! I have noted many times over the years that Ron's book truly got me re-started in the O gauge segment of the hobby after an absence of some years. I received his book as a Christmas gift; read the entire thing on Christmas Day night; went out the very next day, and with a visit to Honolulu Trains & Hobbies, got back into O gauge in a big way (up to that time, I was very active in N). Ron was a good friend and we corresponded regularly and spent some time together at the York Meets in the 90s and beyond. His writing style was something I wish I could emulate. He was able to captivate a reader's interest and draw you in so that you simply could not stop reading. The style he used so adeptly was friendly, inviting, and informative. I will miss you, Ron, and will be forever grateful for the good you added to my life.

Last edited by Allan Miller

Used to see Ron Hollander every York in the Yellow Hall-Grandstand. His table booth was right between the 2 sets of entrance doors. My tables for Rail Scene Apparel (t-shirts etc.) were to right as you entered...next to Mike Wolf's table group. We all had those same table locations for years until Yellow Hall closed and Orange Hall opened.

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He was a nice guy.

Walter

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I’m saddened by this news today. Broke my heart .

My father bought me the book from a B Dalton in Souix City Iowa in 1981 off the new release pile; I remember it fondly at the new Southern Hills Mall. I was 7 years old; I would dive into those charming catalog artworks he reprinted and dream and dreamed to have these post war classics and today I have a substantial collection because of this fellow I share with my kids now.

My grandfather in Spencer had a 1952 Scout set that was bought for my father when he was boy and prior to the purchase of Ron’s book I would run down those stairs to the basement and bring up the tattered box and the cardboard flats with the track wired to it. That grinding old Lionel 1110 still adorns my train room with my most prized models. My sister and I would run it on my grandfather’s living room floor. That was truly my first exposure to model trains around 1978-1979 or so and Ron’s book was the cement that acted like a rekindle of the efforts of the Lionel marketing department 30 or more years earlier. I wasn’t born yet for the golden postwar era but I’ve sure exposed my current 7 year old to them now in 2022.

As I gathered further interest in model railroading I wanted scale models as I perused N at the time (1982-1984) and was influenced by All Aboard to stay with O which I am highly vested in now. Unlike many scale o enthusiasts I share equal parts passion for pre and post war 3 rail toy trains and my P48 brass and scratch building.

I am very sad by his passing. I corresponded with him once maybe 10 years ago and I am honored I had the great opportunity to thank him for the passion it’s been very good for me over the years.

He was a legend in our time everyone; an influential man with a lot of love. My sincerest condolences to his family and friends.

Erik C Lindgren

2/27/22

Although I did not know Ron personally, we talked a few times in passing over the years. All Aboard was one of my influences for writing The Madison Hardware Story. When the book came out in 2017 there was a flurry of activity at York selling and signing books at my table. The line was about three deep on Friday afternoon and I looked up and saw Ron standing in line for a copy. I had one of those out of body moments where someone who's work I had enjoyed so much actually wanted to read my work. It was a very humbling moment for me and I will always be grateful that he purchased a copy.

Thank you Ron for adding so much to our collective understanding of the history of the hobby.

Ron and I go way back to the mid 70's when we roomed together at the Yorktown Hotel , talked trains far into the night and rubbed shoulders with some of the early legends  of train collecting.  The York meet had  one building then.  Later, Ron's connections allowed us to crawl around under the magnificent Roadside America train display and better appreciate the genius of its creator Lawrence Gieringer.  This display is now gone and its contents auctioned.  Through people Ron knew at CBS, he and I shared a segment on that network's Sunday Morning Show with Charles Osgood.  My layout was featured along with the story of Lionel's one hundredth  anniversary.  A more recent issue of the TCA Quarterly featured an article by Ron titled, Bury Me With My Lionel Catalogs.  Wouldn't that be grand.  Ron, if you can hear me;  give those cows a push to get them moving again.  Page 34 of the 1954 catalog  shows them all running smoothly.  Rest in peace my friend.  Phil

Very sad news. I met Ron at York through a mutual friend and the three of us sat down in the white hall and talked for about 15 minutes. At first it didn't sink in that I was talking to the author of the book that had taught me so much about the trains we all love. He was just such a nice person and easy to talk to. Condolences to his family.

Very sad news......I also was one of those 20 somethings who was greatly influenced by his book All Aboard in the early 80s.

I subsequently met Ron at York, and enjoyed his warmth and his amazing knowledge. This is a meeting of the Delta Lines group.......this picture is from the Oct 2019 in the Orange Hall.

Rest in Peace my friend.......you will be missed and fondly remembered......

Peter

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When I read the original post concerning Mr. Hollander's passing a tremendous sense of emptiness came over me.  Although I never had the pleasure of meeting him I read and re-read ALL ABOARD and all of his TCA Quarterly articles so many times that I felt I knew him personally.  His unique talent as an author literally brought you into his life and living room when he wrote about his life experiences with toy and model trains. I feel as if I have lost my best train buddy.  

I purchased his classic ALL ABOARD while I was on a business trip to Chicago in December of 1981.  The day after buying it I came down with the mother of all stomach viruses and was unable to leave my hotel room for the next two days.  As lousy as I felt I really didn't care because I curled up and enjoyed the best book I ever read about Lionel and toy trains.  Those two days are indelibly etched in my memory.  I'm sure all of us who are actively engaged in this hobby will miss him terribly.  Ron, Rest In Peace and may you enjoy that magical layout in the hereafter.

Very sad news......I also was one of those 20 somethings who was greatly influenced by his book All Aboard in the early 80s.

I subsequently met Ron at York, and enjoyed his warmth and his amazing knowledge. This is a meeting of the Delta Lines group.......this picture is from the Oct 2019 in the Orange Hall.

Rest in Peace my friend.......you will be missed and fondly remembered......

Peter

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Hi Peter, that is a wonderful picture! Would you mind providing the names of the individuals, next to you. My guess is that Ron is standing right behind you to your right.  Best, Dave

This news is heartbreaking.  I didn't realize that Ron attended the October 2021 York Meet until after it was over. In our email correspondence after the October York meet, he wrote of seeing me in April, "Have a good six months!"

I knew Ron's name from "All Aboard" - I was so impressed with the book, I ended up with three copies, one of which was the updated version - but I got to know him personally through the Frank Ellison - Delta Lines Group at York.  What a pleasure and honor it was to know that this distinguished author was a great Frank Ellison fan and had even purchased some of Frank Ellison's documents and artifacts when they went to auction.  In 2018, Ron told me of the problems he was having with getting the documents from his collection scanned and so I offered to help work with him on scanning them.   So in the summer of 2019, I ended up at Ron's home on Long Island to begin the project of scanning the documentation.  By the end of the visit, Ron was so appreciative of what I had done that he offered me the opportunity to buy his Frank Ellison- Delta Lines Collection.  It didn't take me too long to decide to accept.  The transfer was supposed to happen in April 2020 but COVID delayed it unti June 2020. I treasure this collection's association with Ron Hollander as much as its connection to Frank Ellison.

Ron put real scholarship into his writing, doing painstaking research for accuracy and completeness while maintaining a high level of attention to detail.  But his writing was always a joy to read - engaging and compelling and full of energy and momentum.  In spite of his many accomplishments, he was modest and unassuming and a pleasure to talk with.   

Rest in peace, dear Ron, you will live on in this world in all the ways you have made it better.  We in the electric train hobby are especially blessed with the rich legacy you have left us.

Peter Gentieu

Last edited by PGentieu

I hadn't heard this sad news until I read it in the TCA Quarterly today. I immediately came here and read every one of the above comments.

My "Ron" story is a bit different from most. Many have said that his book rekindled their interest in Lionel Trains. For me it was kind of the opposite. When All Aboard!  first came out, I was already deep into my first flush of adult enthusiasm for the hobby. That's why I bought and read the book. But, I was young and still unclear about a career path. Ron's vivid telling of the JLC saga didn't affect my love for trains.  What it DID do is make me realize that I was not doomed to spend my life working for someone else. Ron laid out the story of Lionel and its founder so vividly and compellingly that, as a direct result, I then and there decided to start a business--one that I successfully ran for the next 30 years. I honestly believe that had I not read Ron's book, this never would have happened. He literally changed my life.

I always meant to track him down at York and tell him this story, but of course I never "got around" to it, which makes me sad. I should have told him the story of one of the many, many lives he touched, both with his writing and with the important causes he championed.

Well, it's too late now, but anyway:  "Thanks, Ron."

Last edited by Avanti

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