The following is a translation of "The LGB Collector", an article by H.-Jürgen Neumann from Spring 2006. Mr. Neumann published it in his own IIm-Online News web page. You can read the original article at http://www.lgb-much.de/20406.pdf and use a Google translation or similar. To avoid mixing-ups in context with Yours Truly you will find "(HJN)", the abbreviation for H.-Jürgen Neumann, in places were the original author refers to himself since the article is about his lifelong journey being a dyed-in-the-wool LGB fan.
....Many a contacts developed through my LGB Hobby and my activities. Speaking with LGB friends at fairs and conventions, entertained a friendship with the Swiss LGB Club and their President Erwin Neuweiler; as well as with the American LGB Club of which I am a member for many years. I phoned Mr. Zeunert- who managed the LGB Depesche or met with him at fairs. I met and befriended a lot of dealers among them Jürgen Baumann, Jacob Groen, Marion Hötzel, Sven Linden, Hans-Peter Naber, Hans-Herrmann Nahrgang, Erwin Neuweiler, Frank Michael Pohl and others. In addition there were the manufacturers of other Big Train items and accessories. There were and are still today a great many friendships into all of the LGB world.
But back to the year 1972: Thank the Lord - I have to admit nowadays- I wasn't a good tinkerer. What others did to their LGB engines: super them up, paint them, construct one long one out of two short ones- I had no clue. I operated them the way they came out of the box. Maybe I added freight or transported my guinea pigs (which I kept as pets) with them. There are really just a very few engines which I tinkered with. For instance the American caboose # 4065 which I photographed for my 'Historic Pages' the other day. It was furnished with metal axles and power pickup plus two rear lights. While I removed the metal axles and the power pickup after the photo shoot and replaced them with the still existing Original axles the holes in the boxcar remained being needed for the cables to the rear lights -- what a pity considering today's (collector's) value.
I also have to admit to another 'failing' since I replaced the originally plastic trailing wheels for the U-Series with metal axles. It looked nicer. But I still have the originals so I can 're-work' the locos in the near future.
What I really bemoan is that I burned the LGB boxes in the field adjacent (to my home) because I didn't have enough space. But I grew wise fast and stopped that altogether.
My next stop was the attic in the same house where I first put my layout on the kitchen floor. This attic had been used by the landlord to store some junk and he agreed to let me use it to put up my first LGB (layout) - and the best was I could leave it there permanently. Yes I took pictures, look into LGB depesche # 23/24, page 46. Picture 2 shows the opening (flip door) to the attic, my access to my LGB world. The caption to the photos read that the layout had 80 yards of track and operated 15 engines and 65 cars. As you can see I was already really hooked on LGB.....
Looking for this Depesche magazine I (HJN) found issue # 25/26 and on page 41 discovered one of my tinkering 'excesses'. The little Gustav handcar was a new item in 1971 (LGB# 2001) (see LGB Depesche # 9, page 14) but production showed way less sophisticated bodywork (than the hand model). So I took a sharp knife and cut out the parts in-between the planks. That way the wheels became better visible. My work was published and described in the LGB Depesche but the LGB factory never changed their mold.