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Did you know?
  • The original Rudolph did not have a red nose. In that day and age, red noses were seen as an indicator of chronic alcoholism and Montgomery Ward didn’t want him to look like a drunkard. To complete the original picture, he was almost named Reginald or Rollo.
  • The Christmas wreath was originally hung as a symbol of Jesus. The holly represents his crown of thorns and the red berries the blood he shed.
  • The three traditional colors of most Christmas decorations are red, green and gold. Red symbolizes the blood of Christ, green symbolized life and rebirth, and gold represents light, royalty and wealth.
  • Tinsel was invented in 1610 in Germany and was once made of real silver.
  • The oldest artificial Christmas trees date back to the late 1800s and were made of green raffia (think grass hula skirts) or dyed goose feathers. Next the Addis Brush Company used their machinery that wove toilet brushes to create pine-like branches for artificial Christmas trees that were less flammable and could hold heavier decorations.
  • ‘Jingle Bells’ – the popular Christmas song was composed by James Pierpont in Massachusetts, America. It was, however, written for thanksgiving and not Christmas.
  • Coca-Cola was the first company that used Santa Claus during the winter season for promotion.
  • Hallmark introduced their first Christmas cards in 1915.
  • The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on that day.
  • Santa Claus's sleigh is led by eight reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder (variously spelled Donder and Donner), and Blixem (variously spelled Blixen and Blitzen), with Rudolph being a 20th-century inclusion.
  • Outdoor Christmas lights on homes evolved from decorating the traditional Christmas tree and house with candles during the Christmas season. Lighting the tree with small candles dates back to the 17th century and originated in Germany before spreading to Eastern Europe.
  • That big, jolly man in the red suit with a white beard didn’t always look that way. Prior to 1931, Santa was depicted as everything from a tall gaunt man to a spooky-looking elf. He has donned a bishop's robe and a Norse huntsman's animal skin. When Civil War cartoonist Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly in 1862, Santa was a small elflike figure who supported the Union. Nast continued to draw Santa for 30 years, changing the color of his coat from tan to the red he’s known for today.
  • Christmas 2018 countdown has already begun. Will you be ready???
  • Why do we love Christmas? It's all about the traditions. In this chaotic world we can miss the "good old days." Christmas reminds us of that time.
gerald sundberg

Darn quiet

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Is every one on vacation in Minnesota? Nothing happening? Up here the Auger Creek & Northeastern Railroad is taking shape. Trackage rights have been negotiated with the Boss,and track panels have been built. Rolling stock is being built in the car shop and will be ready for paint soon. A new locomotive is being made in the machine shop as we speak. Sound system is ready to go,although might need better speakers. The survey crew has found several obstacles in the way,(current bushes and the like)no problem,loppers can take care of that. Other than that we only have to contend with snow depth,so the track will be laid 30" above ground,no shoveling! Whats happening in your world?

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I'm a newbie and this is my first post anywhere, on any forum. Sounds like you're making a train. That is a long time goal of mine so I'm very interested in hearing more about it. Regarding speakers, I might be able to help with some used speakers or discounts on new. I went to Re-PLUS in Louisville, again a first for me. Didn't meet amyone else from MN there -- were my wife and I the only ones there or did I just miss you guys?

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Wait until after the state fair...

I was scheduled to go to PLUS and events beyond my control allowed me to go elsewhere instead. I have atteneded many PLUS's and mini-PLUSs. This year was not to be for me. I'm glad you had a great experience.

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Track panels are all joined together and leveled up. Engine and tender run around well,had to put a more powerful gear motor on it though. Had to run a router around the track to take out any unevenness in the gauge of the rails. The car shop is making a 4' long maintenance of way car to carry ole Saint Nick around. Still looking for a engineer doll about 12" tall to ride in the cab. Soon it's to the paint shop for the lettering and paint.

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My neighbor donated a very nice Santa to ride on the maintenance of way car with a waving hand! On ebay I found a engineer by Brio just the right size so he'll ride in the cab of the engine. Friday was puky weather so the paint shop opened and the maintenance of way car got a nice coat of red and green. Today look like the engine and tender will get painted a nice black. Have to make a trip to office max for the lettering as they have some nice vinyl letters. Made a brass bell to go on the boiler and will install that after painting. found on ebay a small rechargeable flashlight that will work as the head light. I need to come up with an idea for a engine shed to keep the train in when not in use. Any ideas?

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