England has the Magna Carta (1215).
America has the Declaration of Independence (1776).
France has the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789).
And the CP Rail Manitoba & Minnesota Subdivision has the bill of sale from Bobbye Hall’s Hobby House in Dallas, TX (1987).
I know this, because I found it the other day.
I wasn't looking for it; I was going through a filing cabinet looking for an old warranty when I came across an archive file.
There were a number of keepsakes in there—bills of sale for our first few cars, our first house, things like that.
Also in the file—thanks to my wife, who hangs on to these things—was the handwritten bill of sale for the first model railroad equipment I bought 30 years ago when I got back into the hobby.
Dated May 25, 1987, it was just before we left Dallas after living there for two years to head back to Manitoba.
Before we left, I went to Bobbye Hall’s, a legendary Dallas model railroad store, and bought six pieces of rolling stock and a locomotive for $39.64.
(You heard that right, young people—you could do that back.)
As I have written before, I had been into trains since a young child but sold my N scale stuff in 1976 before leaving for college.
It was 11 years before I got back into the hobby, with a trip to Bobbye Hall’s.
And now, 30 years and two layouts later, here is the founding document of my model railroad journey.
All but one of those original items are long gone now. But through this old bill of sale, I can remember when it all began.