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I once had the great honor and sadness to disassemble a late friends post war dream layout. The wife had sold the house and everything needed to go. The trains went to auction but the track the wiring and the table had to be removed

We’ll always have memories of Marty and all the pics and videos and the post here in the forum. Glad the New Jersey hi railers could take on this endeavor.

Wow, bittersweet as they say. Good for you guys to keep at least aspects of Marty's South Manchester layout going. This was a historic layout for the 3-rail world.

It is such a shame that great layouts are not preserved by family or new owners. I love the idea of re-using or recycling former layout materials. After Marty passed away, I began studying videos of his catenary system, and it motivated me to plan for one on my layout. It took me a while but I finally tracked down enough poles and wires to build it. It'll likely be a couple more years before I can make a dedication run.

Hello all,

Marty was a very close friend to me. Although we lived far from each other , we spoke every week. I miss our weekly calls, laughs, jokes, and even when i was stumped on a repair he was always there for me. He's truly missed !

My hat goes off to the NJ Hi-Railers and the guys who dismantled Marty's beautiful layout. It's beautiful that parts of it will be displayed in memory of him. In 2013 i built a model replica of Marty's home, Dotie and i worked closely getting all the plans together to do this. The best part of the model was, if you looked in the basement windows we put a panorama photo inside of his layout.

I was told that this model replica of his home will be on display on the NJ Hi-railers layout. Ben had asked me if i wanted it, i told him the best place for this model is on the layout where it can be seen by many.

Thanks, Alex

@Alex M posted:

Hello all,

Marty was a very close friend to me. Although we lived far from each other , we spoke every week. I miss our weekly calls, laughs, jokes, and even when i was stumped on a repair he was always there for me. He's truly missed !

My hat goes off to the NJ Hi-Railers and the guys who dismantled Marty's beautiful layout. It's beautiful that parts of it will be displayed in memory of him. In 2013 i built a model replica of Marty's home, Dotie and i worked closely getting all the plans together to do this. The best part of the model was, if you looked in the basement windows we put a panorama photo inside of his layout.

I was told that this model replica of his home will be on display on the NJ Hi-railers layout. Ben had asked me if i wanted it, i told him the best place for this model is on the layout where it can be seen by many.

Thanks, Alex

Marty Fitzhenry's New House from Richard Melvin on Vimeo.

Thank you to Dotty and the NJ Hi-Railers for helping keep Marty in our thoughts. Still love Alex's video. Marty was like a big brother bailing me out of fried circuit boards and other stupid mistakes. The times I spent with Marty and Dotty were even more enjoyable than running the trains. Must admit, it all hasn't been quite as much fun since Marty has been gone. Thanks again to everyone involved in this project.

Ed Kazarian

55B6F549-9769-4C71-AB07-8369A21A47AAThis is fantastic. Marty was a great man who generously helped with some MTH PS1 issues many years ago. He will be missed.

The south station is a special piece. Tom Kerrigan only built 6. Marty had one and my grandfather who passed last month had one. Those are the only two I know of. It was the prize of his layout. Unfortunately he sold it about 10 years ago before a move. I doubt I’ll ever find another so I will definitely make the drive up to see Marty’s in person at the NJ Hirailers and enjoy the memories. I’m glad it’s going somewhere it’ll be enjoyed by so many!

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Last edited by PRR Steam

Alex, I remember when you and I went up to Marty's. You drove to my house in Westchester and then I drove up. It was your first trip there and it had to be like in 2011 or so. It was a fun day. Playing country music. Seems so recent and so long ago. Marty told me many times how much he loved the house you made for him. I'm glad that its going to be in NJ. And I'm really glad to have the stuff you made for me.

John, I loved those Wednesdays. Lunch at Isaac's. But senility strikes. That shot has Jim, Barry, Carl, Dotty, Marty, ????, me, Cora and Alan. Do you recall who's sitting to my right? We'd hit the Museum, do the lunch, go to the train store, go to the Fairgrounds and end up at the DCS dinner.

Skip, so sorry we never made it. We did give it a try though. We're in Somerset, NJ now and was getting my layout further and further along until IDA hit. That's posted here.  https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...c/brats-rr-v2?page=2

No damage to trains, but everything set back a bit. And my back is lousy (can't bend well; compressed disc and deteriorating joints), so everything takes longer than it used to. Not that I was ever that fast anyway.

Gerry

Last edited by gmorlitz

Wow!  I haven’t been following the forum as much as I used to, but I’m really glad to find this thread.  Marty was truly the G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time) of O Gauge railroading and we will miss him.  Jean & I were honored to be signers of “The Wall” and deeply moved when Marty told us that Jean was the first female signer.

A heartfelt thank you to the guys at the NJ HiRailers for preserving so much of Marty’s masterpiece.

@gmorlitz posted:

Alex, I remember when you and I went up to Marty's. You drove to my house in Westchester and then I drove up. It was your first trip there and it had to be like in 2011 or so. It was a fun day. Playing country music. Seems so recent and so long ago. Marty told me many times how much he loved the house you made for him. I'm glad that its going to be in NJ. And I'm really glad to have the stuff you made for me.

John, I loved those Wednesdays. Lunch at Isaac's. But senility strikes. That shot has Jim, Barry, Carl, Dotty, Marty, ????, me, Cora and Alan. Do you recall who's sitting to my right? We'd hit the Museum, do the lunch, go to the train store, go to the Fairgrounds and end up at the DCS dinner.

Skip, so sorry we never made it. We did give it a try though. We're in Somerset, NJ now and was getting my layout further and further along until IDA hit. That's posted here.  https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...c/brats-rr-v2?page=2

No damage to trains, but everything set back a bit. And my back is lousy (can't bend well; compressed disc and deteriorating joints), so everything takes longer than it used to. Not that I was ever that fast anyway.

Gerry

Hi Gerry

i remember that day like it was yesterday, we had a blast running trains with Marty. It’s a great memory!

I’m honored that the replica of Marty’s home will be displayed on the NJ Hi-railers layout. That’s were it belongs.

Thanks, Alex

Yeah, really, that was Captain John. It's either senility or stupidity. Or some mixture. John has been a great friend over a bunch of years. Here he is in Captain mode on his ferryboat with Sue and our grandchildren, Theo and Rory.

BTW, that was really an interesting table. I always got a kick out of the egos. Barry always HAD to show you that he was the smartest person at the table. Marty and Jim certainly weren't going to buy that. And I'm pretty much convinced that Cora was the smartest person.

Gerry

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Wow, this was quite a post and I cannot let it go without doing a reply for sure.

My initial contact with Marty was on this forum as I noticed a picture he posted standing next to his 1965 Red Corvette Z06 which I sent him an inquiry asking if the corvette was really a Z06 which he replied "that it indeed was".

My next encounter was on a visit to Ohio to attend one of Mike Reagan's famous Lionel open houses and I was in Dave's train store and in walked Marty and Dotty for which I went up and asked if he was Marty Fitzhenry for which he replied "I am indeed" letting him know I was the guy who asked about his corvette.

From there we all went and visited Lou Palumbo Underground Railroad Shoppe which Lou was gracious enough to show us his back room layout and even powered it up for which was a real treat to say the least.  We next went out to lunch and then met up at the hotel and did dinner with Mike showing up with some of his crew creating quite a night and of course the next day attending the open house.

A few months later I called Marty and offered to fly him and Dotty out to Seattle to visit a rather unique layout built by Dave Hikel and although it took a little arm twisting and thanks to Dotty's persistent encouragement they finally flew out and spent the next 4 days or so visiting the layout, touring downtown Seattle where we did lunch at Pike Place Market where he purchased a Seahawks t-shirt.

We spent almost the entire first day touring the layout that took Dave around 5 years to build and was by far one of the best master pieces of a train layout ending the day going to dinner with Dave and Ted at a Maggiano's Little Italy restaurant in downtown Bellevue which he thoroughly enjoyed.   

We also took them to Boeing field to tour the air museum which he really enjoyed since he was involved with aviation while in the service.  There was also of course a visit to Eastside Trains where he found a unique Lionel set that he had been searching many years for and of course snapped that up immediately.

He told me during the trip and I quote: "ya know Larry I do a lot of things for a lot of people and it is rare for someone to do something for me and I don't even know you all that well nor have I ever done anything for you".  That comment will always stay with me as he was indeed a very special human being which I know everyone of you would agree.

I also recall my wife and I took him and Dotty for breakfast at a little restaurant in downtown Kirkland (Hector's) and did a dinner as well and he asked if we would mind going back to the restaurant for dinner as he really enjoyed their "meatloaf" and so every time we would go back there I would have the meatloaf and send him a picture which he would reply "oh man, I can taste it now"

A couple of years later we flew out to Boston and visited him and Dotty and of course the highlight of the trip was visiting his layout and most of all I got to sign the famous wall and for which I actually saw my signature on the wall "larry w. Brown" from the picture you folks just posted on the forum which of course was very special.

I also remember having coffee and Donuts in the area just off the layout which he proudly showed me where he kept all the little special tools I used to send him which I thought would come in handy since he worked on trains for Charlie Ro for which he had known for at least a hundred years.

He and Dotty also took us up to Charlie Ro's train store and as you can imagine we got a first class tour of the store from Charlie's son and even got to see all the behind the scenes of how the store worked which was a treat in itself.

Anyway, I could go on and on about that guy and although I only knew him for a short time it will be a friendship I will always treasure and remember.  I will always hear his voice and hope some day I can attend one of the NJ High Railers events and see some of Marty's treasures.

Larry Brown

Congrats and many thanks to the NJ High Railers for doing this...  I am happy that all the items have been preserved and will be on display...  I was wondering what was happening with his layout, but I guess I really did not want to find out the answer...  As one who had the  privilege  of signing the wall I am certainly pleased that it too will be preserved for posterity...  It was such a privilege to have known Marty and Dottie very well; we had great talks at the layout and at various lunches over the years...  And I do miss very much the phone conversations we would have...  Rest in peace, My Friend...

"He told me during the trip and I quote: "ya know Larry I do a lot of things for a lot of people and it is rare for someone to do something for me and I don't even know you all that well nor have I ever done anything for you".  That comment will always stay with me as he was indeed a very special human being which I know everyone of you would agree."

Larry, this reminds me of the first time I visited Marty's home. I met Marty at York, and when I told him we were fellow New Englanders and that I'm frequently in the Boston area, he immediately said, "Why haven't you been to my house? Come by any time." The first time I went to his house, I didn't want to show up empty-handed, but wondered what in the world to get a guy like Marty who already seems to have everything he wants. I finally decided to get Marty & Dotty 2 passes to the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad in Portland.  It wasn't much, but I could tell they both appreciated it, probably because he was always doing for others.

When I arrived at Marty's house, he had another visitor named Ronnie, and Marty was working on one of Ronnie's trains.  Ronnie told me that if I'm going to visit Marty, I have to bring him coffee. From that day on, every time I would stop by to visit Marty & Dotty (usually about every 5 or 6 months), I would first stop at Dunkin Donuts to get coffee for them.   I have no idea if Ronnie was serious or joking, but I always brought coffee to Marty's house when I would visit. I'll always remember the way Marty's face would light up when he saw that I had brought them coffee.

Like you, Larry, I knew Marty a short time compared to many on this forum, but I'll always remember him.



John

We placed the first item from MArty's layout   Its the model Alex M. made of Martys house   Put it right next to the tracks  I couldnt find the figures of Marty and Louie so I probably have to recreate them  The dinosaur in the back is in preperation for the Halloween show  Hope he doesnt stomp on Martys house

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Ben and Alan,

Its great to see Marty's house on the NJHR layout. Dotty and I had discussed returning the house to Alex if we ever got access to items on the layout.

  The last Corvette Marty owned was a bright red 2003 C5 50th anniversary edition. The Corvettes in Ben's photo are models which are  much older than that.  Yes, I know that I am splitting hairs, but details were important to Marty, especially when it came to fixing trains.

Erol

@locolawyer posted:

Ben and Alan,

Its great to see Marty's house on the NJHR layout. Dotty and I had discussed returning the house to Alex if we ever got access to items on the layout.

  The last Corvette Marty owned was a bright red 2003 C5 50th anniversary edition. The Corvettes in Ben's photo are models which are  much older than that.  Yes, I know that I am splitting hairs, but details were important to Marty, especially when it came to fixing trains.

Erol

I offered the house to Alex    He said he would rather see it on our layout  Those are 58 Vettes which came from his stuff  I will eventually get the right ones there and hopefully have a garage built

"We placed the first item from MArty's layout   Its the model Alex M. made of Martys house   Put it right next to the tracks  I couldnt find the figures of Marty and Louie so I probably have to recreate them"

The figures made it onto the truck; they were some of the last things to go into a box on the last day we were there, so I'm sure they'll turn up.  The house looks great in its new location!!



John

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