by Jan Poff
Born in Greenville, SC, I spent most of my youth in Charlotte, NC and Atlanta, GA. I attended Georgia State College and went into the rent-a-car industry after school. My wife of 49 years, Anne, and I started dating in high school at Druid Hills High School in Atlanta. We have four wonderful daughters, seven grandchildren and one great granddaughter. Anne, the lady of my life, is an Atlanta native and grew up in the same house until we were married. We have been transferred every 5 years or so during my career and have lived in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, and New Jersey. We have now lived in the Raleigh area for the past 20 years. After 27 years with National Car Rental, and another 5 years with Thrifty Car Rental, I am currently a franchise manager for a car rental franchise company, U-Save Car Rental based in Jackson, MS. I cover the east coast along with the states of California and Organ. I also travel to St. Maarten, Puerto Rico and Costa Rica.
I have always enjoyed golf, hunting and fishing. In 1995 Anne talked me into getting away from so much time 'in the woods' hunting deer. In looking for another hobby, a friend and fellow club member, Jim Craig, showed me his home layout in N scale. A few weeks later I visited a Neuse River Valley train show at the fairgrounds with Jim. After realizing that an individual member's single four foot module could be connected with other club modules to create a layout that was 64 feet by 24 feet and to run your trains on it — I was hooked. I do everything from chasing trains as we travel, to locating old depots and photographing them. From collecting too much rolling stock to building modules and researching railroad history, I enjoy the travel and the people you meet..
I currently model the Southern Railway, Central of Georgia, and Florida East Coast. I primarily stay in a period from the late 1950's to the late 1960's. I have four modules under construction. These will be constructed to use at home and to take to train shows. When finished there will be four four-foot modules modeling scenes from Atlanta to Greenville, SC. This will include mountains, textile manufacturing and the cities. Another two modules will go to FEC territory modeling Tropicana and the cane fields of central Florida. Now that T-Trak is part of our hobby I will be setting up modules that will cover 12 feet of table space.
I have watched trains though the Swannanoa area up to the geysers in Old Fort. Chased coal trains up the Blue Ridge Mountains and through the tunnels at the Apple Orchard at Altapass. I have taken four of the six grandchildren on the Carolinian and Piedmont. I have visited old train stations in all of travels from Florida to Maine. I took a few days to travel to the Tehachapi loops in California I look forward to some day leaving Chicago and heading west by rail into Denver and to taking the train from coast to coast in Canada.
I encourage you to try the hobby. Share some phase of it with a young person. See you by the rails.
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