wiley's trains

 
 WILEY HARRIS DHS-'67! I MET WILEY IN THE 8TH GRADE AT DUNBAR HIGH SCHOOL, AS A POSSIBLE MEMBER TO JOIN THE PROJECTIONIST CLUB! THIS CLUB, ALONG WITH BEN JONES, REGINALD JOHNSON, EDWARD HOYLE AND OTHERS HELPED MAINTAIN THE PROJECTORS, RECORD PLAYERS, TAPE RECORDERS THAT TEACHERS WOULD NEED FOR TEACHING. THE SPECTACULAR CHRISTMAS PLAYS, MISS BRONZE, PUT ON BY MR. STAMPS HAD TO BE A PERFECT PRESENTATION THE CLUB WAS ALSO IN CHARGE OF!  THE CORRECT LIGHT SETTING AND FADE, THE SOUND, AND THE SPOTLIGHTS ARE IMPORTANT.....LIKE I FOUND OUT IN THE STORY BELOW!

(CLICK HERE) FOR A STORY OF ME AND ONE OF MR. STAMP'S PLAYS! (SCROLL TO NEAR THE BOTTOM)

 WANTED TO JOIN AN ELITE SCHOOL CLUB WHERE MISTAKES WERE NOT EVEN THOUGHT ABOUT! I WOULD BE THE YOUNGEST MEMBER, AND REALLY HAD TO PROVE MYSELF TO THE OTHER MEMBERS. I WAS THE "GRUNT"... I RAN TO DINKS TO GET DRINKS FOR EVERYONE, GO FETCH A RECORD PLAYER FOR SOMEONE....ECT. I DIDN'T MIND, KINDA LIKE A PLEDGE IN COLLEGE. WILEY KINDA LEANED ON MY A BIT, AND HE FOUND OUT THAT I KNEW A LOT OF ELECTRONICS, STUFF HE DIDN'T KNOW! I BECAME A RIGHT-HAND MAN FOR EVERYONE. WE GOT INTO HEATED ARGUMENTS, AND A LOT OF TIMES I WAS CORRECT ON THE ISSUE! LET'S SAY WE TOLERATED EACH OTHER THROUGHOUT HIGH SCHOOL! WHEN WILEY AND BEN GRADUATED, WE LOST TOUCH WHEN ALL WENT TO COLLEGE AND LEFT TOWN. *****(below is a link put together by welford jones)  

(CLICK HERE) FOR WILEY'S ACCOMPLISHMENTS AFTER HIGH SCHOOL, LEADING TO BEING ABLE TO HAVE A FREE CLASS REUNION FOR HIS CLASS OF '67! WOW....NOW THAT WAS NICE! WILEY AND THELMA SETTLED IN GREENSBORO, N.C, BUILDING A BEAUTIFUL HOME THERE IN 2001. JUST LIKE I HAVE A PASSION FOR OLD RADIOS, WILEY HAD A PASSION FOR MODEL TRAINS! JUST ABOUT THE ENTIRE SECOND FLOOR OF THEIR HOME WAS TURNED INTO ONE VERY LARGE TRAIN LAYOUT! THE SET HAS MODEL HOMES, CARS, LAKES, BUILDINGS... A SPECIAL ELECTRICAL SYSTEM HAD TO BE INSTALLED TO RUN EVERYTHING! MY LITTLE TRAIN SET WAS A FIGURE 8 LAYOUT, ONE TRANSFORMER CONTROLLER ONE TREE AND ONE BUILDING! WILEYS SET WAS.....WOW!!! 
 
BELOW ARE SHOTS OF THE EARLY STAGES OF THE LAYOUT. THE WALLS OF A FEW ROOMS WERE TORN OUT, AND A CENTRAL CONTROL PANEL WAS BUILT. YOU SHOULD SEE WILEY AT THE CONTROLS WITH THIS CASEY JONES LOOKING HAT ON??   


 
THROUGH THE YEARS, BEN TOLD ME THAT WILEY CAME IN TOWN TO VISIT AND CALLED HIM NOW AND THEN. WILEY AND THELMA WERE IN A POSITION TO DO GOOD THINGS FOR CLASSMATES AND FRIENDS. THEY HAD INVITED A FEW TO PARTYS THEY HOSTED WITH A FEW FAMOUS FOLKS!
 
(CLICK HERE) FOR SHOTS OF THIS GALA AFFAIR!  

WILEY AND THELMA PUT ON A DINNER FOR ALL THE REMAINING DUNBAR TEACHERS WHO ARE STILL WITH US! IT WAS HELD AT THE CRADDOCK/TERRY HOTEL, APRIL 2014,  DOWNTOWN LYNCHBURG!  
(CLICK HERE) FOR SHOTS OF THE DHS TEACHERS DINNER!  

I ASKED WILEY IF I COULD COME DOWN AND TAKE A FEW PICTURES AND PUT THEM ON MY WEB-SITE....HE SAID GREAT! THIS WAS THE FIRST TIME WILEY AND I HAD TALKED IN DECADES! WE TALKED ABOUT OUR HOBBYS AND EMAILED EACH OTHER ABOUT THE RETURN OF THE 611 STEAM ENGINE COMING TO THE AREA! I FOUND OUT ABOUT THE TICKETS FOR RIDES ON THE TRAIN FROM GREENSBORO TO LYNCHBURG AND ROANOKE....YOU KNOW HE WAS INTERESTED ABOUT THAT! I SENT WILEY THE PICTURES I TOOK OF THE 611 TRAIN IN LYNCHBURG IN 2016, AND HE WAS GRATEFUL! 

IN JULY 2016, IT WAS WILEY AND THELMA'S 25TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY. I OPENED THE MAILBOX AND THERE WAS AN INVITATION TO IT! I TOLD ZEE TO CANCEL EVERYTHING....WE ARE GOING TO THIS! IT WAS GREAT, CATERED, A JAMACIAN BAND PLAYED, I SAT RIGHT NEAR THE CHEF COOKING LAMB CHOPS! A FEW DHS FRIENDS WERE INVITED TOO! I HAD HEARD ABOUT IT, WONDERING ABOUT IT, AND WILEY MADE THE ANNOUNCEMENT THAT HE WOULD SOON START UP THE TRAINS....EVERYBODY UPSTAIRS TO THE SECOND FLOOR!! BELOW ARE THE SHOTS I TOOK OF ALL THE TRAINS! THEY WENT EVERYWHERE, THROUGH TUNNELS, OVER BRIDGES, INTO THE NEXT ROOM, WOW! IT WAS AMAZING! 


 

Here is a video, a direct link from welford jones' site showing the trains in action
(CLICK HERE)


WILEY TURNED OUT TO BE A GREAT FRIEND ON SUBJECTS THAT HE LIKES TO TALK ABOUT! TRAINS STRUCK THE RIGHT NERVE! I CAME UP AS ONE OF THE DJ'S BIDDED ON FOR THE 50TH CLASS REUNION FOR THE CLASS OF '67.....WILEY'S CLASS! I WENT TO A CLASS MEETING TO PRESENT WHAT I COULD DO TO MAKE THEIR CLASS REUNION GREAT AND MEMORABLE! SAM PINN, FRANK HUGHES, LOLITA WARRICK AND THE REST OF THE PLANNERS WERE THERE! MOST WERE FAMILIAR WITH THE DHS-'65-50TH REUNION I HAD HOSTED A FEW YEARS BACK! I ASKED AT THE MEETING IF WILEY WAS GOING TO TAKE CARE OF THE REUNION EXPENSES LIKE AT THE 40TH, EVERYTHING PAID FOR!? THE ROOM SUDDENLY GOT QUIET AND COLD FROM EVERYONE....SAM SAID.....YOU DON'T KNOW DO YOU? THAT WAS WHEN I FIRST FOUND OUT HOW SICK WILEY WAS! I WAS WONDERING WHY WILEY WAS SO SLOW ANSWERING MY EMAILS LATELY? USUALLY, HE WOULD ANSWER ME BEFORE I COULD HIT "SEND!" AFTER SAM TOLD ME EVERYTHING ABOUT WILEY, I WAS SO UPSET I COULDN'T DRIVE HOME.....I SAT IN MY CAR IN ROSETTAS YARD, WHERE THE CLASS MEETING WAS HELD, AND I CRIED...........WELL, GOOD NEWS AND THE BAD NEWS....I GOT THE MUSIC GIG FOR THE CLASS OF '67! .......BUT.......WILEY DIDN'T MAKE IT TO THE REUNION............


(CLICK HERE) FOR THE SET OF PICTURES I SENT WILEY OF THE 611 STEAM ENGINE IN LYNCHBURG! WILEYS TRAIN COLLECTION IS PROBABLY GOING TO END UP IN A TRANSPORTATION MUSEUM, HOPEFULLY WITH A FEW PLAQUES AND AWARDS! 
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