Midnight Magic at the Railroad Museum

Back SummaryOne day while serving as the celebrated museum host, I observed a youngster, a happy lad with a satisfied smile, marching in the lobby of the museum. After a few cautious steps into the lobby, he stopped dead in his tracks. Standing frozen as he breached the outer museum fortification, his eyes widened and slowly scanned the 1915 locomotive, our first lobby display. After giving it once-over, he turned toward his parents with that delighted energy and exploded with excitement, jumping up and down multiple times with youthful vigor. This is when I came to dream of the excitement that dominates a kid’s mind when visiting our museum for the first time. We see it all the time and even experience it when we would read to our children and grandchildren about the topics and themes that nourish their passions. Passions give way to daydreams that inspire us all. This was to be my inspiration and passion to facilitate this museum dedicated to railroading in America.This storybook delivers a narrative that will aid the young adults in appreciation of the museum exhibits and understanding the historical relevance for American railroading. All my main characters are fictional, but they are also real in their relationship with the theme found in each exhibit chapter. It is easy and fun to read for all ages. My objective was to offer an interaction for these youngsters after they have left the museum and take the exhibits with them wherever they go. This story will take the reader to the next level from just visiting the museum. More than an object, the museum exhibits become alive in a historical sense.In my preparation and research, I gained a greater appreciation for railroad dominance in the American frontier in the West and the prosperity it brought throughout the country. My investigation was focused on the museum exhibits. I found myself descending into every rabbit hole. I relied on multiple resources for obtaining the factual information about the museum exhibits to deliver this storybook. Museum docents, collaboration with outside sources as well as individual volunteers and visitors aided me in verifying my Internet investigations. This research and writing effort resulted in a fifteen-month enterprise. I was able to focus my attention to this project while recovering from a surgical procedure, which left me housebound while recovering and going through therapy. While in recovery, it filled my time when I could not entertain museum guests. My focus on the storybook filled a void for those months I was away from the museum.This story adds greater depth into each museum exhibit. There will certainly be favorites of the diverse readers. There is no structure other that one’s own individual passion and interest for each exceptional and historical place these exhibits filled in the American railroad experience. So start your adventure reading the Midnight Magic at the Railroad Museum and let your passions and dreams guide you and those you share this journey with. Deliver the same energy when that youngster first entered the California State Railroad Museum, which prompted me to share this story with you…All aboard!

--Verne Gore

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